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14-04-2011 10:29 | 0 comment(s)

Oxford February/March Bumper Double Roundup

Volunteer doctors - Lansley might just feel a small prick

This February and March double roundup of grassroots news in Oxford begins with the anti-cuts movement. Back in February there was a March against the cuts, then in March, Cornmarket turned into the Big Society Hospital. A week later the big TUC march bought London to a standstill, one Oxfordian wrote My march for the alternative about the day. Please do share your experiences of demos at publish your news by the way! Not to be outdone both Swindon and Stroud were also organising against the cuts.


04-12-2010 20:26 | 0 comment(s)

November in Oxford - it's not all cuts

Clearly opposition to the cuts has been at the forefront of many people's thinking during November. This opposition is welcome, and much needed, but let us not forget all the other struggles and positive alternatives that are going on. Here is a round-up of non-cuts news in Oxford during November - peace, migration, zines, water, and food.


06-11-2009 11:17 | 1 comment(s)

Oil companies left with egg on their faces


Both BP and Shell had their flagship recruitment events at the Randolph Hotel hijacked by protesters in the last few weeks. Linking the global issues of climate change and exploitation to local attacks on people and the environment, campaigners from Thames Valley Climate Action took over stages, heckled, asked awkward questions, unplugged display equipment, leafletted and chatted with audiences.

The actions were amongst the first in a new grassroots campaign against the extraction of Tar Sands oil in Alberta, Canada. Shell are massively involved there, whereas BP are still in the process of getting involved; it's hoped that by targetted them early on we might be able to put them off. You can find out more, and hear first-hand stories from touring indigenous activists at the talk on Monday 16th November at Science Oxford, and at the film screening of H2Oil on Sunday 22nd November at Oxford Action Resource Centre.

[ Shell action: 1 | 2 | Video ] [ BP action: 1 | 2 | Video ]
[ Tar Sands background: 1 | 2 | 3 | UK tour | film screening ]
[ Thames Valley Climate Action | Shell To Sea | Hands Off Iraqi Oil ]


13-01-2008 11:30 | 1 comment(s)

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

That piece of fencing isn't going up...
Update (20/01/08): The Bonn Square treesit ended after Gabriel came down from the tree. He was in need of food and water after the police and council had cut off all supplies (even arresting those who attempted to get water to him) and had to be given medical attention. The tree was felled and several activists were arrested trying to prevent the felling. Meanwhile the campaign to save other trees in the area from the Westgate expansion continues.

The beginning of 2008 saw more resistance to the ongoing gentrification of Oxford. On the 4th January a sycamore, reportedly 100 years old, was occupied by a sole protester (with plenty of support from below) to prevent it being felled for the 'redevelopment' of Bonn Square. They have since been served with a court summons and could do with support on Monday 14th January from 10am at Oxford County Court.

Meanwhile, the Westgate Partnership have been merrily chainsawing trees to make way for the Westgate expansion (which is technically different from the Bonn Square project, but linked to the West End 'regeneration'). This is despite the fact that a public inquiry is still going on over the demolition of Abbey Place sheltered housing - a clear indication of what the developers think of the legal process.

On Wednesday 9th January there was an impromptu day of action at the back of the Westgate centre where some trees had already been cut down. This protest led to the arrest of Councillor Glass Woodin and also saw one of the London Plane trees being occupied for over 24 hours. The bad weather on the 10th saw off - no pun intended - any more tree carnage.

There was a protest about the Westgate expansion on Saturday 12th January which saw at least 100 people reclaiming Bonn Square.

Meanwhile, Oxford County Council are meeting soon to decide whether to grant Radley Lakes Town Green status. If successful, this would prevent NPower using the lakes as a dumping ground for their waste ash. Save Radley Lakes need supporters on Monday 14th from 1:30pm at County Hall, Castle St.

[ Early reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | Video ]    [ Later actions: 1 (with video) | 2 | 3 ]    [ Bonn Sq: demo | mass action ]    [ starvation policy: 1 | 2 ]    [ Bonn Sq chainsawed: 1 | 2 | photos ]    [ Westgate trees spiked ]


19-06-2007 13:56 | 2 comment(s)

A Tale Of Two Gardens

Common Ground / Barracks Lane gardens
"They left the land to rot, covered in trash and needles. They hope the buildings will fall down, so they can justify flogging to the highest bidder [...] Reading Borough Council call it development, regeneration. We call it gentrification, exclusion."

In Reading, a group of local activists and residents have reclaimed a plot of land left empty by the local council, transforming it into an attractive community garden. After months of hard work, they went public with banners and door-to-door flyering, advertising the opening day and encouraging the neighbours to see the garden as common land for all to enjoy. The councils response? Injunctions and threats of eviction. Undeterred, the group pushed ahead with the opening day, which was a great success.

A few legal hearings later, the council have their eviction orders, and are expected to try and evict the garden and adjacent squatted building on Wednesday 20th June. Help is needed to resist the eviction - meet 9:30am at the garden.

Meanwhile, in Oxford, locals have turned an area of derelict garages into a similar community space - in this case, with the permission and help of the local council (undoubtably because access issues make the site unsuitable for developers).

They held their official opening on Saturday 16th, also a varied and wonderful community event. In a sickening counterpart to events in Reading, council bureaucrats and the local Blairite MP used the project as cover to prop up their own crumbling reputations, to the discomfort of many of those present.

[ Reading: eviction callout | eviction hearing | detailed report | injunction hearing + demo | opening day report + pics | opening announcement | local mainstream coverage ]
[ Oxford: opening day pics | opening announcement ]


27-01-2007 12:06 | 4 comment(s)

Radley Lakes Resistance

Radley Lakes

Update (15/02/07): Tree felling and preparation work has started, and sporadic actions are taking places to try to block this work. More help is needed.

Update (06/02/07): The eviction took place on Tuesday 6th February. Bailiffs wearing balaclavas smashed their way in through a set of downstairs windows early in the morning, but it still took them several hours to clear the house after one of the squatters locked on. "We may have lost round one but we will re-group and consider our next course of action. We are not finished yet[...]" - quote attributed to one of the squatters by the Oxford Mail.

URGENT CALL to defend the occupation of Sandles, Thrupp Lake.

On Wednesday 24th January, energy company RWE Npower was granted an order to evict this lakeside property with immediate effect. Meanwhile, at the property extremely robust defences are being built with a view to delaying the destruction of this area of outstanding natural beauty. This is an URGENT CALL for people to join them in resisting the coming eviction. Please phone the site mobile 07772 055 384 straight away.

Npower, who run the notoriously polluting Didcot Power Station, want to fill the lakes with toxic fly ash, a by-product of coal-burning.

A massive campaign by local people has been ignored by both company and the authorities. Oxfordshire County Council has so far facilitated npower's dumping. The habitat is home to many protected species, including water voles and rare orchids. There have been reported sightings of otters. Further expertise is requested to gather further evidence of the ecology of the lakes. Boats are also very welcome at the site.

Links: Eviction expected | Videos: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] | Photos | Court Report | Occupation and background | Older Report | Campaign Website | Map


25-04-2005 14:34 | 0 comment(s)

The joy of seeds

Last month saw Oxford's first seed swap. In a repeat of a formula tried and tested in other areas, growers came to exchange seeds and knowledge and got to go away with some rare and unusual veg varieties, as well as some that are local to Oxford.

The importance of saving seeds has never been more relevant as the erosion of our genetic heritage continues, not just here but all over the world, and with potentially disasterous consequences. Please read the following links, and remember 'Think Global, Act Local'.

report + video | Our Vegetable Heritage | Brighton group website
Traditional Seed Saving Made Illegal in Iraq | Seedswapping at LARC


20-01-2005 13:07 | 9 comment(s)

Bulldoze Prescott's plans not Linslade's countryside

Countryside near Linslade
Update (03/03/05): The authorities were left looking rather silly when the protest camp disappeared under cover of darkness, the night before a massive eviction was staged. A demo is planned for 9:15am this Saturday (5th March) at Wing Hill Roundabout, near Linslade.

Local residents near Linslade in Bedfordshire have been disrupting work on the Stoke Hammond to Linslade Bypass, a new £50m road which is the first part of John Prescott's "development" plans for the region, including a massive expansion of Luton airport. The 5 mile planned route cuts across some beautiful open countryside and includes the destruction of several groups of trees.

[ Main Campaign Website (with latest updates) | Road Alert | Road Block ]


23-03-2004 09:10 | 4 comment(s)

Blackwood Tree Camps Evicted - Campaign Continues

Update: 29th March: The Campaign Continues! There are still around 50 trees to be defended, and there are still camps, tree houses being built, and actions taking place - read Blackwood Protest Continues and Status Report. Contractors Costain will also be holding a public meeting to address concerns and answer questions from local residents regarding the Sirhowy Enterprise Way, at 7pm, on Tuesday, March 30, at the Costain's site office, Cwm Philkins, Oakdale.

Early in the morning on Tuesday 23rd March, around 70 Police, Bailiffs and specialist climbers and tunnellers began evicting the tree camps at Blackwood in South Wales - where locals have been campaigning against a new road for over a decade [Pics]. Around 10 people were arrested as they resisted in the trees, on walkways, in nets and in a tunnel, some after breaching cordons. At Camp Kerry, one brave activist still remained at the end of the day, and was able to climb down without being arrested. Most of the trees were destroyed, but campaigners say they will continue to resist.

See Report and Pictures | 1 | 2
Also see collected reports (and pics): Bristol | UK

Evictions continued throughout Wednesday as Bailiffs cut people out of lock-ons and most of the remaining trees were destroyed. Some campaigners remain camped on private land next to the road route and are determined to continue opposing the road scheme. See Report | 2 | 3

Meanwhile in London an attempted eviction was also taking place in Kentish Town. At mid morning bailiffs arrived at several flats that have been home to a group of squatters for some months. Some of the occupiers took to the roof, whilst a crowd of around 100 people gathered in the road in front of the building.


17-03-2004 15:11 | 0 comment(s)

Oxford activists help stop work at Blackwood

destruction of St David's Woods
Last Friday, work on the Sirhowy Enterprise Way (aka Blackwood Bypass) was completely stopped by protesters when their numbers were boosted by a group of about 14 activists from Oxford who had travelled down for the day.

This is a road which will run through what was once a beautiful wood - now a lot of it has been trashed. Among those set to benefit are arms companies and MoD contractors.

Meanwhile, in Oxford, on Sunday 21st, Oxford Indymedia and undercurrents will be having another of their regular film screenings - 'a road to ruin' - about the resistance to the Newbury bypass.

[ full report | latest blackwood UK IMC feature | Corporate Watch | roadalert ]


Oxford Ecology Feature Archive >>

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09-03-2010 20:24 | 3 comment(s)

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28-02-2009 10:43 | 0 comment(s)

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22-12-2008 23:28 | 1 comment(s)

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10-11-2008 01:28 | 4 comment(s)

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23-10-2008 09:25 | 0 comment(s)

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19-01-2008 16:18 | 7 comment(s)

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13-01-2008 15:51 | 6 comment(s)

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02-05-2007 08:50 | 5 comment(s)

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25-04-2007 20:34 | 1 comment(s)

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25-04-2007 18:34 | 2 comment(s)

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09-04-2007 17:54 | 0 comment(s)

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25-03-2007 15:03 | 3 comment(s)

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21-03-2007 03:07 | 8 comment(s)

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16-03-2007 08:45 | 1 comment(s)

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13-03-2007 20:47 | 0 comment(s)

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10-03-2007 21:51 | 11 comment(s)

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09-03-2007 18:04 | 3 comment(s)

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05-03-2007 21:38 | 2 comment(s)

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22-02-2007 11:48 | 3 comment(s)

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21-02-2007 16:50 | 2 comment(s)

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19-02-2007 17:57 | 2 comment(s)

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18-02-2007 15:24 | 0 comment(s)

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17-02-2007 16:15 | 2 comment(s)

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