Royal Wedding Leads to Raid on Community Garden


Image credit: Transition Heathrow

The carbon footprint of the royal wedding, not to mention the wacky and wasteful royal wedding souvenirs that go with it, are not the only way that Will and Kate's big party impacted the environment over the weekend. It turns out that a well known community garden was raided by riot police in an apparent effort to make sure the activist community behaved itself.

I've reported before on the anti-airport squat turned community garden at Heathrow, but it seems that the authorities were concerned that these activists might have more than free bike workshops and organic vegetable gardens in mind. Transition Heathrow reports that 40 riot police stormed the community garden at 7.15 on the morning of the 28th. Activists were not amused:

In the same week as the Royal Wedding, the community market garden was raided and occupants were dragged out of their beds and searched. An hour and a half later they all left with nothing - all that was found was vegetables, chickens, bees and an enthusiasm to create a sustainable community in a world threatened by climate change.

The police tactics were completely disproportionate. If all they wanted was a tour round - they could have just taken off their uniforms and we would of given them a full tour. They might have even got a cup of tea. Unfortunately they did not come round for a friendly visit. The raid was one of many acts of intimidation happening right now across London. This is a crackdown on people who are bored of the state and the police controlling our lives.

So far there seems to be little evidence that the police were acting on a specific threat from the group, and activists have alleged that these were preemptive operations designed to warn groups to "behave themselves". They may indeed have a point.

But, in a cautionary tale, greenies might also want to refrain from being too paranoid. Rob Hopkins of Transition Culture recounts his visit to London on the weekend of the Royal Wedding. He and a fellow Transition Movement leader were watching a large gathering of police cars, aware of the recent raids, and asked an officer what was going on:

The conversation moved to whether we were sat next to an impending raid of some kind, or something to do with the policing of the wedding. Some kind of crack team preparing a rapid response should anything untoward happen at the wedding perhaps?

As we were having this conversation, two policemen walked by. "Excuse me", called Peter. They came over. "We were just wondering", he asked, "why there are so many police cars here?" The two officers looked at each other, and then at us in bemusement. "Because this is a police station" he said, pointing to the building we were leaning against. Ah. That'll be it then.


More on the Royal Wedding
The Carbon Footprint of the Royal Wedding
10 Wacky and Wasteful Royal Wedding Souvenirs
Will and Kate's Royal Wedding: The Green Lowdown in 8 Juicy Details

Tags: Activism | Communities | Permaculture | United Kingdom