Stonehenge and civil liberties

Thoughts on the Summer Solstice – and Video of The Four Fathers’ Set for the Virtual Stonehenge Free Festival

22.6.20

My thoughts on the summer solstice this year, as COVID-19 kept revellers from Stonehenge for the first time since the 1990s, when an exclusion zone imposed after the Battle of the Beanfield was in place. Also included: a video of my band The Four Fathers playing a set for the Virtual Stonehenge Free Festival set up by my friend Neil Goodwin to tide us through these times of isolation.

It’s 35 Years Since the Battle of the Beanfield; Where Do We Go Now?

1.6.20

It’s 35 years since 1,400 police, on the instructions of Margaret Thatcher, violently crushed a convoy of men, women and children trying to get to Stonehenge to establish what would have been the 12th annual Stonehenge Free Festival. The Battle of the Beanfield remains one of the most indefensible episodes of state violence in our lifetimes, and, while it didn’t crush dissent, it paved the way for sustained efforts to do so on the part of successive governments.

Change the World! A Life in Activism: I Discuss Stonehenge, the Beanfield, Guantánamo and Environmental Protest with Alan Dearling

29.4.20

An interview about my activism — involving Stonehenge and the Battle of the Beanfield, Guantánamo, the housing ‘regeneration’ industry in the UK, and the currently unfolding environmental crisis — as published in Gonzo Weekly and International Times, based on questions from the publisher and activist Alan Dearling.

“First They Came for the Travellers”: Priti Patel’s Chilling Attack on Britain’s Travelling Communities

15.11.19

My condemnation of Priti Patel’s disgraceful attack on Britain’s Gypsy and traveller community, in which she is calling for new powers for the police to be able to immediately confiscate the vehicle of “anyone whom they suspect to be trespassing on land with the purpose of residing on it” – a policy change that the police themselves don’t even want, as they recognise that the main problem is the lack of site provision, a requirement that was repealed by the Tories in 1994. I urge all decent people to rise up against this foul government, and also to be aware of where a far-right drift in government can lead.

The Significance of the High Court Ruling That the Police’s London-Wide Ban on Extinction Rebellion Was “Unlawful”

12.11.19

My report on the welcome news last week that the High Court ruled that a decision by the Metropolitan Police to impose a blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion in London last month was unlawful – and my warning that we need to be vigilant, and to ensure that no draconian new law is introduced, as happened in the 1980s and 1990s, after the Battle of the Beanfield and Castlemorton, with the Public Order Act and the Criminal Justice Act.

Photos of WOMAD 2019: Awareness of the Global Environmental Crisis Hovers Over Three Days of Sunshine and Great World Music

3.8.19

My review of this week’s WOMAD world music festival in Wiltshire, looking particularly at how, although it was a wonderful festival, the global environmental crisis hung over proceedings, as, to my mind, it hovers over everything these days, demanding that we get involved in bringing down the entire suicidal capitalist system that is destroying us.

This Summer Solstice, The Party’s Over; Now It’s Time to Save the Planet

21.6.19

In this year’s article marking the summer solstice, I contrast how the free festival pioneers urged revellers to “leave no trace”, in contrast to today’s throwaway culture, and, looking at the bigger picture, I urge anyone interested in the cycle of the seasons that Stonehenge so vividly represents to urgently get involved in environmental activism to try to prevent the worst effects of an already unfolding and unprecedented man-made environmental crisis that requires the whole of humanity to grasp that, collectively, we must all work out how to “leave no trace” if we are to sustain our existence on earth.

34 Years On from the Battle of the Beanfield, Is Widespread Environmental Dissent Conceivable?

1.6.19

It’s 34 years since a truly disgraceful event in modern British history – the Battle of the Beanfield, when police under Margaret Thatcher violently decommissioned a convoy of modern-day nomads, environmental protestors and anarchists trying to get to Stonehenge to establish what would have been the 12th annual Stonehenge Free Festival. 34 years on, I discuss a thread that runs from the free festival movement to Extinction Rebellion, the movement of now, which, powerfully but sadly, has an urgency that no previous protest movement has been able to call upon.

I Pledge My Allegiance to the Struggle for Survival Against Catastrophic Climate Change

9.5.19

My pledge of commitment to the struggle to save ourselves and much of life on earth from the worst effects of man-made catastrophic climate change and species extinction, which is already underway. With thanks to those who have recently led me to this commitment: Dahr Jamail, Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough. Please get involved!

Extinction Rebellion’s Urgent Environmental Protest Breaks New Ground While Drawing on the Occupy, Anti-Globalisation and Road Protest Movements

18.4.19

It’s the fourth day of Extinction Rebellion’s occupation of four sites in central London, as part of a demand for immediate political change to tackle the already ongoing global environmental catastrophe. If you can get involved at all, please do. As Extinction Rebellion explain, this is an unprecedented climate emergency, and we need to do what we can to change the way we operate immediately.

Back to the top

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

RSS

Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium

XHTML & CSS

WordPress

Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:

Archives

In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

The State of London

The State of London. 16 photos of London

Andy's Flickr photos

Campaigns

Categories

Tag Cloud

Afghans in Guantanamo Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners Center for Constitutional Rights CIA torture prisons Close Guantanamo Donald Trump Four Fathers Guantanamo Housing crisis Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer The Four Fathers Torture UK austerity UK protest US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis in Guantanamo