Runnymede Ecovillage faces eviction
Runnymede is the historic birthplace of democracy where the Magna Carta was signed 800 years ago this year. An ecovillage was set up on the site in 2012 by people who walked out from Occupy London to begin practicing ‘people and planet before profit’.
The ecovillage is now under threat of eviction – case due in court on Thursday April 9 – to clear it before a politically-charged celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in June.
A supporter of the community, Phoenix Rainbow said: “They’re trying to clear out the commoners before the Queen and aristocrats arrive to whitewash what’s left of the Magna Carta.”
Runnymede Ecovillage has created a space for occupiers and supporters to come and set up home – in a “tent city” – to drastically expand the size of the community in response to any possession order resulting from court proceedings.
Clauses in the Magna Carta gave rights to commoners and free men to live comunally on the land. The Runnymede ecovillage is the living embodiment of a different type of democracy as the residents seek to live in common on the land, while echoing the protest of the Diggers of 1649 who turned to peaceful direct action to highlight social and environmental injustice of that time.
Occupy activist Julie said:
“It’s an extreme hypocrisy to evict the camp now, and one can only wonder at the timing and suspect that it is in anticipation of the visit of the Queen and the modern barons of society coming to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta not wanting the messy democracy of the commoners, however pertinent and timely their protest.”
Runnymede ecovillage resident Danny Freeman said:
“The essence of community is consistently under attack in the UK and nothing could better display the sheer horror of this than the displacement of an eco-family on the boundary of the self-proclaimed birthplace of modern democracy. We will demonstrate our values within our tent city providing skill shares, talks, performance art and a variety of community initiatives which we hope to livestream. The extent of Runnymede eco-village’s love has always and will always penetrate every heart and mind imaginable.”
In a related development, an affiliated low-impact community, Yorkley Court Community Farm in Forest of Dean [https://yorkleycourt.
wordpress.com], has also been served an eviction notice in what appears to be a coordinated attack on low-impact forest-dwelling communities.
Pictures of the Runnymede ecovillage can be found here:
For more information see www.diggers2012.wordpress.com