Occupy Morlands - protestors move into derelict Glastonbury factory

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Dec 18 20:31:00 GMT 2011

Occupy Morlands - protestors move into derelict factory in Glastonbury
By IconoGlast | Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 21:21

A group of people operating under the umbrella of 
"Common Culture Collective" have within the past 
few days moved onto and are squatting the old 
Avalon Plastics factory site on the Morlands 
estate on the outskirts of Glastonbury.

While some locals view the group as scroungers, 
these are in fact the very people who were 
instrumental in ensuring that this was the best 
Frost Fayre Glastonbury has ever seen and they 
put a lot of time and effort into arranging 
things: helping with security and traffic 
control; playing music; lending their horses for 
the kids rides to the grotto and building the 
grotto; and having cleared up after the Frost 
Fayre finished on Saturday evening they moved onto this site.

As they were possibly facing eviction this 
morning I decided to pop down and have a chat, 
and they're a really amicable bunch, upbeat, 
jovial and enthusiastic they told me they are 
just looking to create an alternative feasting 
space for the Christmas/New Year period and use 
the building for community activism, a cafe and 
garden as well as a site for horse drawn 
vehicles.  If possible they'd like to create a 
healing area, hold parties and they seem to have 
plenty of other ideas too.  They say that they 
want to provide healthy fresh food rather than 
the prepackaged plastic food that is sold in 
supermarkets, and are currently building a pizza 
oven.  They are also working hard at tidying up the place.

One of them, Dave said to me that contrary to 
rumours they didn't actually break in.  "It was 
quite straightforward really" he said "Some 
workmen here left the combination lock open with 
the number clearly visible as they worked on 
site; I just made a note of it.  When the time 
was right we unlocked the combination and we were 
in".  He then showed me the undamaged lock which 
was open and quite clearly showed the (not very 
hard to crack) combination.  Of course the 
occupiers have now replaced this padlock and 
chain with their own much more substantial one!

Despite the fear of eviction very little happened 
this morning, it was a fairly quiet morning.  A 
few Glastonbury locals had turned up to show 
solidarity and stand around the burning 
brazier.  Outside a solitary bailiff drove slowly 
past shortly after I arrived, and about an hour 
or so later a police officer and gypsy liaison 
officer arrived for a brief and light-hearted 
chat through the fence about the situation, before they too departed.

The site has been derelict since Avalon Plastics 
moved their factory a few yards up the road to 
their swanky new premises, and this is now the 
site for a proposed new Tesco supermarket that has divided local opinion.

While the old factory buildings will be 
demolished in order to build the new store, this 
rabbit's warren that has been left to rot and has 
been vandalised and stripped of equipment by 
thieves could be used to provide welcome respite 
from the elements (it was very cold and snowing 
heavily this morning) for the group of humans and 
animals over the Festive Period.  And as Tesco 
managed to avoid paying a £140,000 Section 106 
agreement for the benefit of Glastonbury and 
Street when the revised planning proposals were 
passed by Mendip District Council's planning 
officers at the end of August; a bit of festive 
spirit in allowing these people to stay for a few 
weeks is a small price to pay!

If you'd like to lend some support then pop down 
and say hello, and as they are trying to improve 
the site any donations of brooms; hammers; nails; 
gloves; dust masks; rubble sacks; plastic 
sheeting to fix leaks and bubble wrap for 
insulation are all on their Christmas wish list!

+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list