Enabler Publications

Books to feed the Mind and Spirit

Police at a tree protest'Copse: the cartoon book of tree protesting' by Kate Evans

A couple of extracts from this book

 

 

Look at me

I'm happy

sitting in my square box home

watching my square box T.V.

eating my square box T.V. dinner

Which I brought home

from the box shaped supermarket

In a square box

On a square bus.

 

I only like flowers

that come in square boxes,

I only like vegetables

packaged and cubed.

 

I have white formica

wipe clean

wet dreams

About square boxes

fucking in the prison cell

of my home.

 

What does it mean?

by Hattie

Road protesting

 

IT MAKES ME LAUGH WHEN PEOPLE
CALL US TERRORISTS, BECAUSE
RADICAL CHANGE IS GOING TO BE
THE ONLY PEACEFUL WAY.

 

 

 

What sort of change do you see happening in your lifetime?

OLI: The breakdown of the global market? I mean this is what I hope for, it isn't necessarily what will happen. The re-emergence of strong, small communities of people in society. The emergence of art as part of everyday life, something that everybody does, and not locked up in museums and art galleries. The greening of the cities. The doing down of the big corporations and companies. People not having to work for a wage to buy food. That's quite a lot of what I hope.
Alternatively we could carry on the way we are, refusing to face the fact that the people who are entrusted with power and influence in our world are the ones who are making a profit out of its destruction. We are sold out to the blindest form of short-termism, and one of the biggest changes that my generation will see is the mass realisation of that fact.

But what will be left? How much has to be destroyed first?

OLI: Even though people don't have any faith in the political process, and they know how corrupt big business is, they don't see any way around this. This is the biggest triumph that the people who keep us in check have got over us. That most people don't think that they can change their world.

Thinking outside the system, this book describes a succession of acts of faith and imagination that became a reality, a victory.

OLI: It's something like 600 roads schemes that haven't gone through. That's hundreds and hundreds of places saved... But then again, that's just a little bit of reform in a world of shit.

The government may have accepted the one about no more roads, but it doesn't seem to have grasped the idea of fewer cars. And what's with all these new housing estates on green belt land? And what about genetic manipulation of our food? And the insidious moves of corporations more powerful than nations to consolidate their rights? And? And? You still can't vote to save the planet. You have to act.

This is a new thing. As a race, a species, an entity, we've never faced the situation before where collectively we are engineering our own destruction. And so opposition to the State, the Status quo, is fuelled by an entirely new drive. All previous grass roots movements for social change have been motivated by moral concerns, by a sense of the injustice of exploiting our fellow creatures, human and animal.

But now we are fighting for survival; a selfish call for altruism.

OLI: The alternative to changing this society is even more ridiculous, because we're on the road to ruin. Something's got to give, and occasionally it does.

British Road protesting started at Twyford Down in 1992, which is not where this book begins. Twyford deserves its own book, and is getting it: "Twyford Rising", available from Friends of Twyford Down. The first sustained British tree protest was not at Solsbury Hill either; the Flowerpot Tribe at Jesmond Dene occupied trees to try and stop the Cradlewell Bypass in 1993, and nobody knows about that because it was in Newcastle and too far away from London for the national media to find out about.

This book is partial, incomplete and not entirely chronological. I haven't included Leadenham, the Pollok Free State in Glasgow, Patterton Woods (twinned with Paeschendele), Thanet Way, the Wells Relief Road, M66 Daisy Nook, and the Swamp things of Allercombe, in the few years that this book covers. And those are just the ones I can remember. There have been many different protest sites in Britain. There will be many more.

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