Thursday, 26 May 2011

Green Cabinet Member Ben Duncan meets "peaceful" protesters occupying the Old Steine

Spanish Revolution camp on the Old Steine 26 May 2011
26 May 2011. Green Cabinet member Ben Duncan talked to protesters who have occupied the traffic island known as the Old Steine in central Brighton and Hove.

The protesters, calling themselves the "Spanish Revolution", say they will deliver "real democracy" and a demonstration to "take over the streets" on 4 June. They say they are a gathering of private individuals who have orgainised an "Assembly" and hold meetings daily at their camp on the Old Steine. Other activities include theatre, yoga, belly dancing and capoeira.
Councillor Ben Duncan, Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Protection, said: “I have spoken with members of the group and received assurances that any activity associated with their protest will be peaceful, lawful and transparent.

“The Old Steine isn’t just a public space in the city centre it’s the heart of a residential area so I am glad the protestors have liaised with the police and asked all supporters to recognise the need to respect the neighbourhood in which their encampment falls.

“In these respects the encampment is a model of the kind of engaged, peaceful protest the council and police are committed to facilitating, but of course we will be watching closely to see if this changes in the future.”

Spanish Revolution website says: "We are individuals who have come together freely and voluntarily. Each of us has decided, after the concentrations on Sunday, May 15, that we are determined to continue fighting for dignity and political and social awareness."

Valley Garden Project
Background information: The Old Steine is a series of large grassy traffic islands surrounded by dual carriageway traffic in the center of Brighton. Until recent times, this area was a social centre of the town, but road developments cut the parks off from the town and surrounded them by hectic traffic. In 2000, the city made plans to reverse this domination by the car. The Core Strategy included plan to redirect traffic, and make a big park connecting the traffic islands and the Pavilion/N Laine areas. This Valley Gardens Park Project was going to create a park in the city center, reclaiming it from cars in favour of people, but these plans were squashed by Tory admin last year. The local Green Party has made it part of their manifesto to revive a city centre park project.

(update 9 June: protesters agree to quit camp)

Spanish Revolution

Brighton and Hove Green manifesto at

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