[diggers350] Fw: Diggers commemorative account

Lilia Patterson lilia at tlio.demon.co.uk
Thu Sep 2 13:44:30 BST 1999

An commemorative account of Digger's day.. a forwarded story from Ali. 
> "...making the  Earth a  Common Treasury  for All,  both Rich  and
> Poor."
>     As midnight drew  near on  Thursday 1st  April 1999,  350
>     years to  the day  Gerrard Winstanley  and his  followers
>     thrust their spades into the fertile Earth of St. Georges
>     Hill near  Weybridge, a  party of  two set  off from  the
>     Diggers'  commemorative  celebrations  to  retrace  those
>     first pioneering footsteps, making their  way once  round
>     the public roads encircling the hill.
> In  1649  when  St.  George's  Hill remained  Common Land,  still
> unfettered by the enclosures of private dominion, Winstanley  set
> off to cultivate this  land to  feed the  starving landless;  the
> dispossessed peasants of the republic. Within  a year  Cromwell's
> troops had cleared these dangerous revolutionaries  off the  land
> once more.
> Today  with  seemingly  deliberate  spite,  the  propertied  have
> developed  a  rabbit  warren  of  private  roads  and   exclusive
> mansions, guarded by gated-access and a private security force to
> protect its fearful inhabitants and their exclusive golf  courses
> from the dangerous rabble beyond. St. Georges Hill  is today  the
> supreme  English  epitome  of  Private   Enclosure,  Wealth   and
> Privilege so starkly challenged by those Diggers  350 years  ago;
> as clear a statement as any from the  powers-that-be against  the
> social aspirations of the many.
>     Negotiating  the supposedly  well guarded  roads the  two
>     defiantly ignored the signs of theft all  around. At  the
>     highest point where once lay the ancient fort that staked
>     the summit of the Mother's body - a site where St. George
>     slew her Python, and acquisitioned her Oracle - there now
>     stands a new 'castle', a monument of glass, erected as if
>     to reinforce the Apollonian slaying of the  Earth to  the
>     god of Private Dominion, rudely stating its message  that
>     Common  is  enemy  where  Privilege  and  Property  reign
>     supreme.
>     With the light of a full moon illuminating  their way  in
>     the profoundly still and  unusually warm  night air,  the
>     two walked around the remaining crescent  of public  land
>     that skirts the ramparts of the older  monument, and  the
>     second circuit was completed.
> It was the first full moon after the equinox on  which the  Celtic
> 'Pelagian' Church celebrated the Resurrection of the Earth and the
> Spirit of the Christ. In springs where  serpentine waters  channel
> the lifeblood of the earth, on hill tops exposed to the serpentine
> air breathing life into the land, our forbears celebrated nature's
> fluids and rising solar  forces as  they quickened  the return  of
> life within the Mother's womb.
>     Where the moon shone high and silently through a clearing
>     in  the  wood  the  two  climbed  the forted  embankment,
>     passing through a portalled hedge as they made their  way
>     out  onto  the summit.  Ahead, nearly  complete, lay  the
>     forms of three imposing post-modernist buildings hewn  of
>     vast  wooden  beams,  stainless  steel  joins  and  solid
>     float-glass  walls.  So  around  this  glass temple  they
>     walked - and thrice round the summit they made.
>     Where the bulldozers had skinned  the earth  to make  way
>     for the foundations of these  Temples of  Dominion a  new
>     mound of loosened earth stood waiting to be rebedded into
>     quaint ornamental gardens. So to the summit  of this  was
>     climbed and using  bare hands  the soil  dug once  again,
>     this time for common aspiration, in spite of its  present
>     private acquisition.
>     Withdrawing to the gladed bank, through the portal  hedge
>     the party came upon a fallen branch formed in mimicry  of
>     an  antler of  the majestic  red deer.  So with  antlered
>     heads, as shamans of old they each turned and gave  their
>     respect to the moon. Sitting down in the glade they broke
>     the bread of the land and drank  from the  waters of  the
>     earth.  A small  supper to  focus the  nights events  and
>     quietly reflect upon under the silvery moonlight.
> There was one final task to be settled.  Three days  later on  the
> official day of Easter, a bag of Diggers' soil was scattered  over
> a public allotment and dug-in - releasing its  fertility to  bring
> new life at the end of an old, fading millennium.
> "And now I must wait to  see the  Spirit do  his own  work in  the
> hearts of others...."
>                     - Gerrard Winstanley, 1650.
> The Digging continues...
>                  www.tlio.demon.co.uk/diggers.htm

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