Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bristol Occupation Against Attack on Syria

Once more, College Green in Bristol is due to be occupied - this time against an imminent attack on Syria. A Facebook event page has been set up to promote the protest, from 5pm this Thursday. The page reads:

Britain, France and the US are committing to another disastrous military intervention. Apart from the inevitable casualties, any attack on Syria can only inflame an already disastrous civil war and would risk pulling in regional powers further.

Most people in this country have learned from the disasters of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. According to a Telegraph poll today only 9% of British people support an attack. Our politicians however have learned nothing.

We are to congregate in full force and OCCUPY College Green in protest against this possible "intervention" in Syria.

Kit List:

Sleeping Bag
Loud Things
Musical Instruments
Water Proofs

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/601040616614300/?ref=3

Another campaign is calling for people to write to their MP - find your MP at

Badger Cull - Direct Action the Only Option Left

From an anonymous correspondent:

We've tried everything. Legal challenges, petitions, marches, boycotts, celebrity support, trying to get landowners to pull out, music videos, getting the press on board and getting a vote in parliament. All of the measures that could possibly be undertaken to stand up for the badgers, the scientific evidence and the wishes of the general public against the barbaric measures proposed by the Tory government, DEFRA and the NFU have been tried and failed. This is more than a horrific slaughter of our wildlife - this is the cold face of an undemocratic system that does not listen to reason or public opinion. They have left us with no other choice - the only option left is to get out in the field and make damn sure that no badgers die.

There will be night patrols in the two cull zones in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Last night the cull began and there was an estimated 500 activists in the cull zones. There will be badger rescuers out looking and taking care of injured badgers. There is an activist camp in Somerset - for directions ring 01386 761455.

All who are willing and able are needed in the cull zones. The badgers need you!!!

Standing Stone's Blog will publish articles from anti-cull activists - please e-mail them to standingstonesblog@hotmail.co.uk

See also: The Badger Cull - What You Need to Know http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-badger-cull-what-you-need-to-know.html

Monday, 26 August 2013

Badger Cull to Start Imminently

If the rumour mill and the national press is to be believed, the slaughter is about to start - possibly tonight. The government haven't listened to the scientists and the public, and they are going ahead with the biggest mindless slaughter of wildlife in British history.

As I write this, there are brave people in the fields, prepared to do what they can to prevent this massacre. The government are trying to crack down on their democratic rights, but for many passionate people this is something that simply has to be stopped, and they will be putting themselves at risk. Others will be nearby supporting them, and carrying out less risky protest activities and tending to injured badgers and orphaned cubs. Many more will be supporting them from afar, sharing news stories, writing letters, going on marches, protesting shops selling milk from the cull zones, signing petitions and preparing legal challenges.

If you can support the anti-cull movement in any way possible, please do so. You don't have to stand in front of a gun, but there are many more activities that you can carry out. For more information contact your local hunt sabs and/or badger groups.

Standing Stone's Blog is committed to publishing anti-cull content. If you would like to contribute a piece (anonymously if you wish), especially accounts of protests in the field and badger rescue, please send it to: standingstonesblog@hotmail.co.uk

Bathonians on Facebook - the Bath Against the Badger Cull page might be just what you are looking for: https://www.facebook.com/BathAgainstTheBadgerCull

See also: The Badger Cull - What You Need to Know http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-badger-cull-what-you-need-to-know.html

September Date for Public Toilet Council Debate

Following the occupation of Twerton Public Toilets and a lot of petition signatures, here is an update from the Save Our Public Toilets campaign:

Following the hand-in of the 2400 odd signature petition  on Friday 9th, the B&NES Democratic Services are counting the number of B&NES post codes to ensure there are 1000 to trigger a council debate.  
Assuming that a full council debate will be triggered, possibly on Thursday Sept 12th, we are researching other aspects, legal and financial, to raise with various councillors and to include in a statement to that meeting.  The meeting starts at the unusually late time of 7:30pm, preceded by another full council meeting to do with approving aldermen, which starts at 6:30pm. 
Unfortunately, John Bull, leader of the Labour group in the council, whose support would be necessary to reverse any entrenched policy, (along with the Independent "group"), is saying, "The Labour Group will be discussing it (prior to the Council debate in September).  But, in the light of our difficulty in suggesting where else the axe should fall, I think that a paying system is maybe worth looking at, certainly for Larkhall."  
So far the Independents, led by Bryan Chalker, are of the same mind, and although we are awaiting further communication, nothing in their previous ones engenders hope of change.  Which is why it is necessary to pursue other lines of research.
Another organisation, Bath Against the Cuts, is holding a demonstration between 5 - 5:30pm on Sept 12th outside the Guildhall, and is planning to make a registered statement to the council, as we will for the Save Our Public Toilets campaign.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Bath Public Toilet Occupation: Day 4

Twerton Toilet Occupation
It's official: As of 8pm today the occupation of the Twerton public toilets has ended. After spending 3 nights in the toilet and collecting 2000 petition signatures online and a further 400 outside the toilets, Lin Patterson has left the building. On hearing the news, Occupy Bath posted on Facebook: "BREAKING NEWS - Lin has ended the occupation! She just informed us over the phone and said that she has accomplished what she set out to do. Lin will be appearing as a guest on Daybreak on ITV on Monday morning. The petition is now at 1983 signatures and additionally there are around 400 signatures on a paper petition collected outside the toilets. Well done Lin!!!"

Earlier today, Lin issued the following statement: "
A big thank you to all 38 Degrees people who have signed the petition to save our public toilets in Bath. You are amazing. Please ask your family, friends and work colleagues to sign the petition and continue to share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.


Both Councillors for Twerton have visited outside the toilets and it seems there may be 2 rays of hope - but nothing is certain , so it would NOT be wise to think the Twerton toilets are safe yet.

First, the disabled toilet is the only wheelchair accessible one in the area, even the football ground has been relying on it to fulfill their statutory obligation to provide equal access. So an Equalities Impact Assessment has been called for, which MAY keep the toilets open for 3 months - possibly.

Then negotiations are going on with nearby establishments. This is possibly the football ground or Morrisons, who have bought the old Blockbuster building, to subsidize the existing toilets and hold the RADAR key for the disabled cubicle. So a lot of maybes.
In the meantime the community can keep up the pressure, now that more people are aware.

So many times today and yesterday, I wished I could film the passion and clarity of those who approached to sign, and their outrage over the possibility of closure.

A couple of 14 year old girls held the fort with the petition table for an hour while I took a much needed nap. They counted the signatures, which now total 309 in 2 days.

Considering most of those people were either using the loo or making a special trip, that is phenomenal. So between the 2 petitions in 2 days, we've topped 2000. Has this happened in Bath before? Sometimes you can be almost overcome by the goodness of people. Let's hope the council will recognize the changed landscape."

Councillor David Dixon, to whom the petition is addressed said "
Once I have received the petition I can ensure a full response"

Standing Stone's Blog will report on the outcome of the petition when the time comes.

Congratulations Lin, and well done for standing up for ordinary people.

More on this story:

Day 1: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bath-resident-occupies-twerton-public.html
Day 2: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-2.html

Day 3: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-3.html 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Bath Public Toilet Occupation: Day 3

Twerton Public Toilet Occupation
The Twerton Toilet Demo has seen a successful third day. On Wednesday, Lin Patterson begun the occupation of a public toilet that was due to be closed for good yesterday. Since then her petition on the 38 Degrees website has grown to over 1800 signatures and Lin has been featured in the local and national news.

Earlier today, Lin was stood outside the toilet answering questions from the public. Other Bath residents have joined in by collecting several hundred paper signatures. Local taxi drivers have also been very supportive, telling Lin that they regularly stop to use those toilets. A Twerton resident with mobility difficulties commented "I have great difficulty getting to the shops and back. If I get caught short while doing my weekly shopping, I can't just run home like a normal person. I need these toilets to stay open". It has also come to the attention of the demonstrators that Twerton public toilets are the only loos in that region of Bath with disabled access.

Lin has been overwhelmed by the amount of public support. She was stunned when a woman drove all of the way from South Gloucestershire today just to see her. Lin has been passing Occupy Bath updates to post on their Facebook page. Earlier today she commented "What an incredible response to the 38 Degrees petition! Every signature represents 10 others who are disabled, young, busy carers, elderly with medical or mobility problems and the list goes on. We need the council to take down the closure signs and acknowledge their closure plans were unreasonable. I have a friend who absolutely relies on these toilets, which really brings it home. Today has seen a media frenzy which hopefully will generate even more signatures so the council will have to act."

Lin's petition can be found at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-our-public-toilets-open

More on this story: 
Day 1: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bath-resident-occupies-twerton-public.html
Day 2: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-2.html

Day 4: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-4.html

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Bath Public Toilet Occupation: Day 2

Twerton Toilet Protest
Yesterday Bath resident Lin Patterson began an occupation of a public toilet due to be closed by the council today. The toilet remains open and Lin has attracted the attention of the local media, including the Bath Chronicle and the BBC, and was on BBC Points West this evening talking about the campaign.

Since her occupation began yesterday, her petition on the 38 Degrees website has reached over 1000 signatures. This afternoon she commented:

"1000 signatures in just over a day is absolutely amazing! What it means is that we can prevail upon the council to have a debate based on achieving 1000 signatures on a petition to keep the toilets open. I have to thank every single person who took the trouble to sign the petition and please tell your friends and groups to do the same.

I would also like to thank a man named Adie Rawlings who single-handedly gathered almost 200 signatures on a paper petition.

The community is getting involved!"

Lin says that she intends to continue the occupation for at least a few more days.

The protest has seen support from Occupy Bath and many members of the public, many of whom were unaware that the council were closing down toilets in the city. 

Political comedian Mark Thomas, who performed in Bath last week, has added his support to the campaign by tweeting the petition, and called Lin's protest "brilliant".

The petition can be found at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-our-public-toilets-open

More on this story:
Day 1: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bath-resident-occupies-twerton-public.html
Day 3: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-3.html 
Day 4: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bath-public-toilet-occupation-day-4.html