Squatters try to stop Bristol's 18th new Tesco

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Mar 20 21:45:09 GMT 2010

Protesters bury their arms in concrete to stop a 
city's 18th new Tesco from being built

Story with pictures: 

Protesters bury their arms in concrete to stop a 
city's 18th new Tesco from being built

Last updated at 9:43 AM on 17th March 2010

Riot police were called in to remove protesters 
occupying a building in an attempt to stop an 
18th Tesco store opening in their city centre.

Forty officers were sent in when squatters 
refused to vacate the site - six weeks after moving in.

Two protesters had encased their arms in concrete 
and had to be cut out with sledgehammers and a 
pickaxe. Another had superglued himself to the 
building, and a third was cheered by crowds as he 
tried to climb on to a cherry picker used by 
security guards to access the roof.

Bristol city centre is already home to 17 
branches of Tesco - including 14 within a 
two-mile radius of the protest site in Stokes 
Croft, and five under a mile away.

Police made four arrests for breaches of the 
peace and had to close roads as 300 furious 
locals gathered in front of the site chanting: 'Whose streets? Our streets.'

Protest organiser Claire Milne, 33, who lives in 
Stokes Croft, said she had received 2,000 
postcards pledging support for the anti-Tesco campaign.

She added: 'People from all walks of life have 
been protesting through lots of different 
channels. We've been writing letters and working 
with the council but they say there's nothing they can do.

'This area has a really unique character and is 
full of independent shops. We don't want a 
supermarket selling rubbish, unhealthy food.'

But a Tesco spokesman said they were 'keen to 
invest' in the area, adding: 'Our store will 
create approximately 20 new jobs and provide 
shopping facilities for hundreds of local residents.'

The protests form part of a nationwide movement 
against the expansion of Tesco. The supermarket 
chain has more than 1,500 stores in the UK, 
controls in excess of 30 per cent of the national 
grocery market and last year announced profits of over £3billion.

Campaign group Tescopoly says weak planning laws 
are allowing supermarkets to expand 
uncontrollably, undermining local producers and ruining communities.

Read more: 

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