FoE and the FRAW website closure

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Wed May 23 01:49:04 BST 2001

Hi all,

Please note that, because I basically can't spend the time maintaining the
FRAW website for the public any more because of having to take another job,
I've taken the decision to close 'The Data Centre' until further notice. I
know this is going to be problematic for a lot of people, but I can't stand
the fact that it's supplying out-of-date and incorrect information.

Here's the text of the message you now receive when you try to access 'The
Data Centre' now.

Peace 'n' love





Temporary Closure of 'The Data Centre'

This is rather a long message (my apologies), but please read it all.

This is a message to tell you that The Data Centre, the central data
resource in The Free Range Activism Website is closed for the next one to
two months. the reason for this is that it has not been possible to keep
the site maintained to the standard I am happy with.

One of the main reasons for recent problems has been the need to reorganise
my work following problems with my main business -- environmental
consultancy for community groups. The data provided through the website is
mainly a by-product of this work. Earlier this year I had to cease working
full time as an environmental consultant. This was for a number of reasons,
one of the more problematic of which was Friends of the Earth's (FoE)
continued attacks on my work for both FoE and non-FoE local groups. The
impact of FoE's defamation against my work has been to deny me some work,
and hence make my business as a whole unviable. It also, over the past six
to nine months, has had a knock-on effect on the web site because I've been
unable to spare the time and resources to maintain the site.

The attacks by FoE on myself are already detailed online (see But things have become
increasingly vicious recently as it would appear that Friends of the Earth
have recently continued their actions against my be taking action against a
number of people within the FoE local groups network who have given me
support in the past, and who have complained about my status as 'persona
non grata' within FoE. This came to a head recently when Dinefwr FoE, a
local group centred on Llandeilo in West Wales, had their license to be a
FoE local group taken away by FoE's head office. Again, as with my
treatment during 2000, the reasons given were spurious, without factual
basis, and were highly defamatory to those involved. Others too have been
forcibly ejected from the organisation, most notably FoE Cymru's scientific
officer, who was ejected from FoE's Cardiff office by three policemen at
the request of the FoE management when he questioned their decision.

*It is clear that there is something terribly wrong with FoE.* It has
merkedly departed from the original ideals of the organisation, as
expressed in their first newsletter. That I can live with, and pretty much
ignore, because it is their problem. But these changes have now begun to
impact the environment movement in the UK as a whole. Their activities have
certainly contributed to the problems I have had maintaining this website
-- a site which I know from the feedback I receive from this and other
countries provides invaluable help for communities and individuals fighting
bad development and environmental pollution. I am also aware of recent
problems with other groups where FoE has appeared to claim their work as
it's own -- to such an extent that there is even a term for it now,
"opportunism knocks".

It's with sadness, and great reluctance, that I terminate the data
resources of the site until further notice. I can see no other way forward.
Hopefully the other ventures I am engaged in now will enable me to resume
the site, redesigned and updated, in a month or two.

In the mean time if you have found the site valuable in the past, I would
suggest you write to FoE to complain about the impact of their actions. I
would suggest you write to --

charless at -- Charles Secrett, executive director of FoE;

tonyj at -- Tony Juniper, director designate for FoE;

julianr at -- Julian Rosser, campaigns manager in Wales and source
of many of the scurrilous stories about myself and others in the FoE local
groups network.

If you'd like to read the full sordid details of this whole issue in order
to get a few 
facts to put in your message (sorry, but again not up-to-date), then go to


Paul Mobbs

administrator of the
Free Range Activism Website



"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for
this party nor against the other
 but we are for justice and mercy and
truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation,
and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity
with God, and with one another, that these things may abound." (Edward
Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations,
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
Email mobbsey at


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