1st September 2017 - Prosecutions! and event alert for tomorrow (Sat)
On being prosecuted
Although Royal Mail will probably not deliver my court summons until later today, I understand from the Stroud News & Journal that the four of us arrested last week are indeed to be prosecuted for wilful obstruction of the highway.
Strange feeling, given that our cultural assumption is that people are prosecuted for wrongdoing. The law is indeed topsy-turvy when our elected leaders can repeatedly churn out deeply misleading and inaccurate statements (e.g. incinerator provides £100m savings and protects the environment), ploughing on with a project that was never approved by planning or public and is itself under legal scrutiny, yet those wishing to protect families, communities and the earth are the ones criminalised. (See also this article about grandpa and former probation office Martin on why he was among the arrestees .)
I for one will be pleading Not Guilty and explaining clearly why - it's so important that the bigger picture is made visible. And as Rachel Smith, Green County Councillor for Minchinhampton makes eloquently clear in the SNJ article, when all else has failed, civil disobedience can be what it takes to do this.
You don't have to be arrested to take action
There are many ways to take part in a peaceful action without risk of arrest, and we were wonderfully supported by several people at Javelin Park last week who documented, broadcast, and provided practical assistance to those who sat in the site entrance. Simply witnessing and being present is an extremely powerful part of any action.
Stroud Red Shed festival tomorrow!
Date/time: Saturday 2nd Sept 12-4pm
Venue: Queen Victoria pub, Gloucester Street, Stroud, GL5 1QG
Entrance: FREE (prize draw funds raised for Grenfell Tower)
Tomorrow sees the launch festival of Stroud's "Red Shed" - a new non-partisan grass roots community for those on the ‘left of politics’ who want to be part of a creative, inspiring and welcoming new movement for political and social change.
There will be a 38 Degrees stall on the incinerator issue, and in the light of recent events, this workshop may be of particular interest:
12:!5-1:15pm Civil Disobedience with Dr Gail Bradbrook of RisingUP!
Come and learn more about the honourable tradition of civil disobedience, how it taps deeply into our collective cultural mythos, and how to engage yourself - with or without risk of arrest.
We look forward to seeing you there.