Third Battle of Newbury

P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.

Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552

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Immediate Release Saturday 1st February 1997


Local residents and protesters 'tat-down'

Newbury Bypass Protest Camp


Newbury Bypass Protesters and Newbury residents will be 'tatting down' (reclaiming equipment/ materials and tidying the land) at the now vacant 'Gotan' camp in the northern part of the bypass route on Sunday 2nd February. More than a dozen of the many local residents who have befriended protestors and become actively involved in the bypass protests are expected to attend.

The Gotan camp has been established for over eighteen months and has had hundreds of visitors. In early April last year protestors and local residents formed a 'Digger Community' and cultivated a market garden on the devastated land of the bypass route. A Harvest Supper with local residents was held at the end of August to sample the excellent organic produce grown on route of the bypass. The camps registered postal address remains to this day 'The Digger Community', Snelsmore Common.

A campaign vehicle based at Gotan which was donated by Greenpeace is to be sent for recycling. One of the caravans which was at Gotan has been donated to the campaign against the second runway at Manchester airport. A second caravan, now decorated with murals and which was origninally used at the protests against Cruise Missiles at Greenham Common is to be scrapped. Newbury District Council who collect domestic refuse and own the common land upon which Gotan is based have been asked to remove it from the site. Many of Gotan's communal bicycles which were donated by people from all around Britain have been given to Lifecycles - the Slough based community project which reconditions bicycles. Much of the materials and equipment at Gotan is being stored at a local farm for future use. The Gotan camp's composting tiolets have been decommisoned and are now decomposing.

Martin Jakes of Newbury Friends of the Earth said

'Protest camps like Gotan raise important issues about the stewardship of common land - similar issues in fact to those of public spaces like parks' Janet, a member of the local residents group 'Local Voices' said 'I admire the spirited nature of protesters and many have become good friends - I'm so glad they came to help us oppose this dreadful road scheme' ENDS

Editors /Picture Editors Notes

Press liaison and on site press liaison: Martin Jakes

Residents and protestors with mops, dusters, etc. will be available for a photo-opportunity at 11.30 a.m. on Sunday 2nd February at the Gotan camp. This is situated off the B4494 Wantage Road about 1 mile north of Newbury. The camp is on the eastern side of the road immediately after the bypass 'construction' compound in the Snelsmore area.