Eco-Pirates Seize Raven’s Ait

May 6, 2009 at 4:31 am Leave a comment

Back in February, an activist who goes by Nick Revolving, 28, was taking a leisurely boat ride in the Thames and realized that an island that once served as a venue for weddings and conferences was lying vacant as a result of the economic downturn. So he decided to do something productive with it. So he invited his friends, and with an aim to “to give it back to the people,” they’ve been squatting on it in a sustainable model commune, complete with a tree-house and raised-bed permaculture gardens.

The goal of the group is to “transform the island into an eco conference centre, aimed at showcasing green ideas and promote sustainable development” In the hopes of making it official, they’ve submitted formal plans for their “sustainable island” to the local council, but the council members are unwilling to negotiate while the squatters are still on the land.

In fact, they’ve issued an eviction notice, so my understanding of squatters rights in England is obviously flawed. It seemed to work for the Geurrilla Gardeners. Interesting though, that although the island has been vacant since November, council urgently wants them off because “there are companies interested” in the land. The community’s behind these eco-pirates, saying that “They’re serving the community”, but the group says it will leave in eight weeks time. Shame. I wonder what the consequences of ignoring an eviction notice are?

Read the article in Yahoo News. Or better yet, visit the Raven’s Ait website to read about their plans and show your support.

UPDATE:

from the Ravens Ait Facebook page:

The island was evicted by a large armed police operation in the early hours of Friday May 1st 2009.

The council are now paying for 24 hour security with a continous rolling presence of around 10 guards (at an estimated cost of £2000 a day of taxpayers money) while they try to sell off the island.

We think this is a gross waste of taxpayers money that could have been spent supporting our proposal for a community centre. Of course the island is no longer accessible to the public either, so effectively taxpayers are paying vast sums of money to keep themselves off the island while the council prepares to sell this historic piece of common land to a hotel or property developer

What a terrible lack of vision. The group hasn’t given up, though. They’re appealing to the media to help them raise £1.5 million “to save this island as a community facility for all generations to enjoy into the future.” I’ve asked them if they have a paypal account, and will post the link if they have one, for anyone who wishes to make a donation.

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Entry filed under: Activism, Community, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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