Street theatre - acting out N-power's actions
Dr Harris MP addresses the multitude
Local demonstrators at the Guildhall
March to the Lakes
Rally at the Lakes
Starting with a rally at Abingdon's Guildhall, addressed by local MP Dr Evan Harris, Abingdon's mayor and supporters of the Save Radley Lakes Campaign, the group marched on to the Lakes themselves, where they met up with a group of cyclists from Oxford. Press were in attendance (and a couple of young, mysterious photographers, suspected of being intelligence gatherers for N-power), and the demo received substantial and sympathetic coverage on Meridian's news that evening.
We shouldn't fall into the "divide and rule" trap - there's always been arrestables and non-arrestables in every environmental head-to-head between community and State.
I think its unfair to characterise this as a polarised campaign: core members of Save Radley Lakes were physically abused by Shecurity while those members were trying to photograph the physical abuse of one of the six Sandles squatters.
The predominantly local-led nature of this campaign is important to its strength - and press-wise, helps prevent right-wing tabloids from attempting to characterise the campaign using oppressive stereotypes.
On the other hand, it is interesting to see that the Abindgdon constabulary does not send in snatch squads to rugby tackle Abingdonians wearing full face balaclavas, whereas a scrum of mask-wearing Wombles would have been banged up before Uncle Bulgaria could wink twice.
Perhaps both Shecurity, NPower and the Police are scared of violently putting down the local people's protest, and this might be why this campaign succeeds in the end. And if there is such a time that local people decide to use NVDA, and want advice and help, there's a wealth of knowledge among environmental activists in Oxon to ensure their safety and success.