[diggers350] Fw: Diggers commemorative account
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
> 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
> 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...
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