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Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 01:01:58 +0000
From: SchNEWS
To: SchNEWS Subscribers
Subject: SchNEWS 216, Friday 18th June 1999


This Summer Solstice we truly have something to celebrate when the sun rises over Stonehenge: the Exclusion zone has been lifted for the first time since the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985. Stonehenge has traditionally been a gathering place for people to celebrate the Solstice. From '74 onwards the Stonehenge People's Free Festival grew to be a massive annual event, celebrating the solstice in style until 1985 when the police resorted to violence to stop the party. A shocked ITN report who witnessed the scene described it: "We saw police tactics which seemed to break new ground in the scale and intensity of their violence. We saw police throw hammers, stones and other missiles through the windscreens of advancing vehicles; a woman dragged away by her hair; young men beaten over the head with truncheons as they tried to surrender; police using sledgehammers to smash up the interiors of the hippies' coaches." Although 420 people were arrested that day, every case was thrown out of court, with the police ending up paying damages. Then, in March this year, Margaret Jones and Richard Lloyd won a historic victory in the House of Lords which allows them and others the right to peaceful protest in the area. In gleeful celebration during the spring equinox, various pagans and druids were joined by the Mutant Dance sound system at the stones where they partied through the night.

This weekend the annual walk by the Free Stonehenge Campaign from London arrives at the Stones where they hope to join up with like-minded individuals for a peaceful party within the exclusion zone. The aim is to play it cool this year 'cos y' know those Wiltshire Police are easily aroused! Superintendent Andy Hollingshead promises to use his powers "vigorously" to stop any free parties from happening. Hmmm.

Solstice: The sun will set at 8.49pm on Mon 21st and rise at 4.59 BST on Tues 22nd.

Stonehenge Campaign c/o 99 Torriano Ave., London NW5 2RX. For a copy of their quarterly newsletter send an SAE.

The Last of the Hippies - booklet about Wally Hope, one of the main people who got the Stonehenge Festival going and what happened to him at the hands of the authorities. £1 + SAE from DS4A, Box 8, Colston St., Bristol, BS1 5BB.

road protests 1999   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links