Squatters at Transition Heathrow bordering the busy airport face a legal challenge today to stay on a previously derelict piece of land. The community’s aim is to show how resilient communities can salve the social injustices thrown up by global economic, ecological and democratic crises. Patrick Chalmers, our media correspondent, was there as the group and their supporters set off:
Transition Heathrow, which was planted on a squatted site as part of a successful campaign to halt plans for a third runway at the busy airport, is off to court this week to see whether it has a future.
The land it occupies, formerly a derelict dump, has become a beacon for the possibilities of community revival. The challenges it faces are not just from climate change and peak oil but also plain-old economic survival of its inhabitants. This has been, up until now, a hopeful story. Instead of the tarmac of a planned third runway, the site has greenhouses, raised beds for vegetable growing, bike workshops and much more.
The first video, featuring Joe, gives a perspective on how access to land makes this all possible.
This is a big issue given the concentration of land ownership in Britain in the hands of a tiny few, as per this article (http://www.progress.org/revwob.htm).
The second video features Olive, one of the residents, who explains what’s at stake in the court action. A couple of years on from its beginnings, Grow Heathrow has woven its way into the local life of a community that had been threatened with obliteration. A court will now decide if it is to continue.
Photo by Patrick Chalmers
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