25 Jan 2009

Nine Miles

Thursday January 29 Talk and reading by former Newbury protester and Worthing resident Jim Hindle, author of 'Nine Miles; Two winters of Anti-Road Protest' about his experiences in the 1990s and the lessons for today. www.ninemiles.co.uk Plus Worthing Alliance announcements. Upstairs at The Rest, Bath Place, Worthing. 8pm.

I had another nice surprise on friday, the first was being phoned up by Jerry Hicks (hopefully soon to be General Secretary of Britain's second largest union amicus/unite)...the other was finding that I had been sent a copy of Jim Hindle's beautiful book 'Nine Miles'.

The roads protests of the 1990s were a big thing, I saw them grow from literally three or four people kicking off Earth First! UK to Newbury where thousands of people including Jim, set up full time protest camps to halt the biggest roads programme in Britain since the Romans.

Nine Miles is about green action to halt and reverse the destruction of the environment. The direct action anti-roads movement of the 1990s is as inspiring to me as the struggles today of indigenous people, grassroots action is the key to tackling climate change and other threats to the biosphere. Jim's book will make you cry, laugh and be inspired. With so much painted on green, this is an account of the real thing.

Green isn't about Nicholas Stern and the bankers or the absurd claim that fast food is Green, it is about militant grassroots action for the environment and justice.

The direct action anti-roads movement help change cultural norms, as all effective social movements do, in some ways the fundamental and difficult task that political parties are normally too timid to try.

The theorist Melucci while a bit post-structural and even functionalist at times for me, summed it up in his title 'Challenging Codes'. My Phd looked at all this as well.

Well that's enough social theory Dr Wall for a sunday morning. Jim's book which I have been dipping into is a great read, very inspiring with some good photos...I am sure the struggle here in Britain in the 1990s would inspire radical greens right across the globe.

You can find out more about Nine Miles and buy a copy here.

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