Living on a canal drifting from place what a free lifestyle, well not any more. You remember that good old 1994 Criminal Justice Act which criminalised travelling and forced lots of people off the road, well now it our turn. British Waterways the half arsed ( not publicly accountable) quango which runs most of the canals and rivers in this country has decided that we are all trouble making scum, who prevent normal people from enjoying the waterways and spending lots of money (ok i will agree with the trouble making bit). How dare we have the right to roam the canals at our free will, we should stick our boats in marinas and only take them out cruising once a month and then only if we have poshisled all the brass work.
BW have decided to implement a new moorings code it goes like this:
You have to move 20 lock miles every 2 weeks.
You must travel 120 lock miles every 3 months.
You cannot go back to the same place for 4 weeks.
So much for that lazy slow paced canal life. In their consultation papers they say if we cannot adhere to it maybe we should reconsider whether life afloat is a practical option, maybe they should consider how there are going to run the system if we all tell them to piss off and refuse to pay our licence fee.
The reason they are doing this. Guess?........... YES ITS MONEY.
They want us all to get expensive moorings so they can give themselves larger bonuses and leaving more room on the canals for rich boating scum and hire boaters.
What was once a solution to affordable housing for low impact families and individuals, trying to improve their own conditions of life in a sustainable and independent way is now becoming a niche for tourism and fat cat boating.
If this goes ahead it will spilt up many communities, force people of the waterways, or into detd, deny travelling people access to many facilities eg. Education, healthcare and generally destory the spirit of the waterways.
In 1995 a similar act was defeated by a number of groups who argued it discriminated against the elderly. So lets kick BW in the teeth again. Since new code was proposed many boaters around they country have come together in groups to fight it.
So far people have: Done a travelling canal side info shop.
Gathered loads of postcards which have been sent to the waterways minister.
Distributed an alternative moorsing code questionaire in order to find out what boaters really want.
Are organising an action against the code for October the 31st the last day of the consultation process.
Set up websites: www.baseplate.tk
Dusted off our spraycans and started spreading our message along the waterfront. Have got together a meeting in oxford on Tuesday 9th September where many groups and individuals will be coming together to support each other and
co-ordinate an all out offensive against BW.
This is just the beginning so get out your windlass and perpare for open combat.
For more details Email email@example.com
For details about the meeting email or ring 0775 8184789 or 0781 6602050.