Memories Of This Years Big Green Gathering
on Tuesday 28 Jul 2009
topic: Local Government
As I'm sat at home now trying to put a few words together to express how i feel about the whole thing and to be honest the only thing i can come up with is devastated. This year would have been my first BGG and a great opportunity to learn and share ideas with others. My reasons for going to the BGG wasn't to cause disruption but rather to be informed and to take part in something both meaningful and necessary.
On Sunday morning I was in the Be The Media tent when Brig broke the news to us all. Brig's opening words were " this is the second worst day of my life, the first being the day my partner died"
Whilst he was trying to explain what had happened he just burst into tears. Two people including some ones child had to respond and gave him a hug. It was then that we new the directors had tried everything. He and the other directors explained to us everything they had done to ensure the survival of the festival. It soon became apparent we had been set up by the authorities.
They had no choice other than to surrender the license and the reason they did so was because £50.000 for a gamble they were more than likely to lose was to much of a risk to take. Brig wanted his day in court to fight for the ticket holders and crew but was advised against doing so by the festivals legal team. Surrendering the license wasn't done out of fear but rather concern for the 1000's of ticket holders.
The ruthless measures taken by both Stuart security the police and Mendip Council have not only harmed the festival they have harmed the lively hoods of everyday working people. A campaigner had re mortgaged his home to help with the running costs of the festival. Catering crews have lost £1000's. One disabled man i spoke to took out a bank loan to fund his pitch. He then went on to tell me he faced the stark reality that he would have to sell his truck to pay off the bank loan. This isn't just about our gathering being stoped. Peoples lives have been deeply affected and in some cases ruined by this.
Its also worth mentioning the man i was talking to was also crying as he didn't know how he was going to support his wife and disabled son. This isn't spin but rather what i saw with my own eyes. Men and Women in tears utterly devastated by the actions of the authorities. Many of us were willing to fight but in order to ensure the continued development of the farm we respected Andy's wish and left peacefully. The big question is what happens now?