23 Jun 2015

Toxin Free Tea Party to stop incinerator; see the film!

Photo by Philip Booth
Around 150 concerned locals braved the showers on Saturday to attend Haresfield's Toxin Free Tea Party at the gates of Javelin Park. Vintage floral tea-cups were raised, songs were sung and totally yummy home made cakes handed round as young and old celebrated the spirit of community and the resolve to protect land and people from toxic industry.

Green County Councillor Sarah Lunnon arrived with a huge bunch of garden flowers to decorate the tables. You can see my films of Sarah here or watch here 9 mins of the many voices at the event. The event was great fun and a real coming together of local residents and people who had traveled from near-by to support.

Jojo Mehta of the Toxin Free Community (who spoke at the meeting and appears in the 9 minute film mentioned above) writes: "Haresfield is now a self-declared "Toxin Free Community" with results of a house-by-house survey conducted by residents showing 98% wishing to be incineration free.  Theye even knocked on the doors seven times to ensure they got everyone as part of the survey.  This is a very clear message of no social licence for the planned incinerator at the site, and expresses the community's willingness to peacefully protect their community and land.

"In addition, 94% wish also to be frack free, showing kinship with communities in other parts of the UK directly threatened by this unconventional gas drilling technique (eg Lancashire, South Wales, Yorkshire, Sussex) which has been shown to cause earthquakes. The Toxin Free Community strategy of taking democracy into local hands is starting to spread virally both in Gloucestershire and in other parts of the UK.

"Locally, Nympsfield made their declaration last year, Edge have already started the process with a public meeting and residents from Hardwicke, Hampton Fields, Standish, Horns Road, Lower Street and Summer Street in Stroud and areas of Cirencester have also shown interest in following suit, as have communities near Shepperton and Worthing and parts of Northern Ireland.  Balcombe and Broadoak in Sussex completed surveys in 2013.  This is the beginning of a social movement arising in response to threats to health, livestock and land as citizens realise that the ultimate check on toxic industry is the social licence, and this remains in the hands of the people to grant or withhold".

You can see highlights from Katy Dunne's speech which shares more about this here. Katy also forwarded to me a link to a great Australian film "The People vs CSG: the birth of CSG Free Communities". If you want to be inspired by what is possible go to: https://youtu.be/3Bvx-0DyNsw 

If you're interested to take up this democratic community strategy in your area, you can find more information at toxinfreecommunity.org

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