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From: "SchNEWS"
To: "SchNEWS Subscribers"
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 16:14:04 +0000
Subject: SchNEWS 148, 19 December 1997

Poplar People's Front (Kingston, Surrey)

Activists were out activated by locals at Kingston upon Thames this week. After initial hostility towards protesters, who set up camp on a park to save trees from Fairclough Homes, (the developers arguing that trees spoil the view of the Thames from luxury housing), the affluent residents soon saw the light and took to Direct Action with a fervour that would make the Scientologists jealous.

Over 500 suburbanites marched to Kingston Guildhall for the council vote with people carrying coffins, dressed as Green Men and trees. The normally reserved Kingstonites went apeshit as a climber scaled the Guildhall roof. With the building rammed others carried on the protest outside, the meeting degenerated for a time into absurd theatre as people shouted the councillors down, tore up paper and generally misbehaved. 100 police looked on nerviously as 90 year old ladies threatened to be dragged out kicking and screaming and a F.I.T Squad (Forward Intelligence Team) tried unsuccessfully to look anonymous (F.I.T. at a council meeting?) Amongst papers snatched from councillors desks was a Gold Paper the term describing documents covered by 'The Official Secrets Act' - what the hell does the official secrets act have to do with a public meeting? An unlikely coalition emerged as Conservative and Labour councillors voted down the developer loving Liberals 25 to 24 on a 1st vote. A 2nd amendment vote saw the hypocritical Liberals suddenly voting to turn down the tree felling application. Fearing for their seats perhaps? The meeting ended with Tories hugging dreadlocks and both Conservative and Labour councillors praising Direct Action. Although this battle was won, the war is still on as Fairclough Homes can appeal.

contact - The Tree house, Canbury Gardens, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
tel - 0181 287 3118 or 0378 498 257

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