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Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 14:10:16 +0100 (BST)
From: Jo Makepeace (
Subject: SchNEWS 261, Friday 2nd June


Stonehenge Open On Summer Solstice!

It's official! After years of riot police, roadblocks and barbed wire, people will be 'allowed' to celebrate at Stonehenge during this year's summer solstice.

Under English Heritage terms and conditions the Stones will be open to everyone from midnight to 7am. The change of heart from English Heritage comes on the fifteenth anniversary of the infamous Battle of the Beanfield when the authorities put a stop to the Stonehenge People's Free Festival with tactics described by one ITN news reporter as "break(ing) new grounds in the scale and the intensity of its violence." (see SchNEWS 172/3) The cost of the police operation over the years has run into millions, and last year the European Court made a ruling that the 'right to gather' laws in the Criminal Justice Act were in fact illegal. Years of meetings between the authorities and Stonehenge campaigners also seem to have finally paid off. Andy from Festival Eye magazine told SchNEWS "It's our best opportunity since 1984. I'm looking forward to going without fear of any trouble or arrest."

It should be a self-policing event, but there will be no dogs, fires, camping or climbing the stones in the centre circle. And one of the London to Stonehenge walkers told us "The big crunch will come at 7 am. If people don't leave then it could be back to square one with the Stones once again being heavily policed and only those with tickets allowed in."

* The annual walk to Stonehenge has already begun. If you want to join them call 07947 787628

* Festival Eye should be out at Strawberry Fayre this Saturday, but if you can't make it and want a copy contact them at -
BCM 2002, London, WC1N 3XX

* For a copy of the Stonehenge Campaign newsletter send SAE to -

Summer Solstice: 2.45am BST  -  Sunrise: 4.59am BST

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