Events occurring at Gotan Camp, Swilly's Copse of Wantage Road, Newbury on 30 January 1996 as witnessed by ??

I am ??, my registered address is ?????, though I have been staying at Swilly's Copse since Friday, 18 January. I consider Camp Gotan my home, more than my registered address as I have slept, eaten, laughed etc. there since the 18th of this month. It was a beautiful copse with an abundance of wildlife and many young saplings. In short a very healthy section of woodland that was regenerating and would carry on in a lovely way for years to come......

The communal bender contained my sleeping bag, 2 blankets and my rucksack containing my camera, cloths, and a lot of very personal things that I have not recovered as my whole rucksack is missing.

The camp was clearly sectioned with notices along the sectioned lines. Nick Puck definitely informed the Treasury Solicitor about the Section 6 and Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Inside the area of the sections, there were 5 tree houses, 1 bender and 3 tents. Also, 5 more tree houses were under construction. At 9 / 9.30am everybody (security, Brays, chainsaw men etc.) ran through the sectioned cordon without even pausing to read the notices and surrounded the camp. I ran out of the bender and just managed to get to my tree (which is almost a tree house, it just needs a roof, the platform is there) before the security could grab me. I reached my platform looked down to see a swarm of fluorescent tops just using whatever means they could to throw people out of their cordon. At this time I saw no police or legal observers. It was just chaos as soon as I got out of my sleeping bag. I watched from my trees as the Brays security investigators and orange hats had a very good look inside the bender and kitchen (with the Brays filming everything) then the orange hats started to drag everything outside and dump it on the floor outside the bender. The Brays also made sure they saw everything that came out and everything in the kitchen. After all of the stuff was being taken outside the security cordon and dumped in a pile they started to dismantle and burn the bender. The wind was blowing from the fire towards my tree, and as they burned foam and plastic, I was engulfed in black smoke which made me quite ill as I am an asthmatic. I complained about this and was laughed at ( with jokes about kippers being made)

Even after the police arrived the security and chainsaw guys seemed to simply be doing what they like and acted with blatant disregard for human life the day passed for me with fierce abuse and being laughed at, and it surprises me that humans can still treat each other in such a callous way. I clearly explained that they could not touch and remove possessions or the bender and was told to "fuck off" on a number of occasions, and was told that we were scum because of the way we lived. I write this statement mainly in shock at the way we were treated and in hope that it won't happen again




It is also worth mentioning that the police seemed to be disinterested and that the legal observers were not allowed inside the security cordon so they could not observe what really happened