Thursday, 17 September 2015

52000 Thanx! and a last Update on the Runnymede Eco camp.

I should be celebrating 52000 views but I've just had a really lousy day.
Robyn had to go up to London to sort out some documents.
The idea was to go up, sort things out and then go on and do something; the problem was that it poured with rain all day.
I ended up in the street getting soaked for an hour while I waited around then when we came home I got stuck in the rush hour and nearly lost it crammed in on the tube.
It really hurt!
I felt lousy but there was worse to come.
I've Blogged about the Runnymede Eco Camp many times and I was lucky enough to visit them in 2014. Back then I intended to spend a night there occasionally to support them but because I was a carer it never worked out.
Then I broke my back and that was the end of that.
It was an idyllic place, inhabited by families, children and some vulnerable individuals.
It was beautiful;
Last week they lost out at the High Court; the eviction order was confirmed.
The history of this is that the land above historic Runnymede was once public land, owned on behalf of us by Brunel University. There was a hall of residence and a sports field for the use of the students.
We paid for it all out of our taxes.
In this brave new world where public bodies act as if they are independent capitalist enterprises Brunel sold off the land to a development company which then demolished the accommodation to build luxury flats.
The land should never have been sold, it was ours.
The council should never have given planning permission for development in such a sensitive area.
The Eco camp was set up on the wooded slopes underneath the development, facing the meadows of Runnymede. Their settlement was sustainable and almost invisible - you wouldn't have known they were there unless you knew they were there.
But it was a problem for the developers; how could they sell their flats for outrageous amounts of money if there was an eco village nearby?
Today (Wednesday) the bailiffs went in, backed up by the Police and as these 'Get Surrey' photos show, they trashed the place; 

The homes were smashed up and the families and children lost their possessions and were made homeless;
It is appalling and brutal and unnecessary; a lot of people who were no trouble to anyone are now on the streets.
I am furious; apart from anything else I wanted to get down there to help and I couldn't because of my back.
And it poured with rain all day - an inch of rain in 12 hours.
As I write this there have been arrests, an injury and a few hardy protesters are still high up in the trees refusing to come down.
You can guess where I am in spirit!
The world is a worse place for what was done at Runnymede.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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