We suspect a lack of authorisation to fell some of the trees on the allotments. Clarification and action has been requested from Council Officers and has been sent as an Information request – we await their response.
Click on link to see request
We suspect a lack of authorisation to fell some of the trees on the allotments. Clarification and action has been requested from Council Officers and has been sent as an Information request – we await their response.
Click on link to see request
Very disappointing news in todays Govt. Budget & a very sad day for Rising Up and all who think MetroBust is a BAD idea. Despite rumours that the Treasury were not going to fund the scheme – they announced today that they will.
2.48 Bristol bus rapid transit scheme – The government has granted full approval to the North Fringe to Hengrove metrobus scheme, allowing construction to commence next month.
For a while it was looking hopeful, ….but then we heard one of the MP’sCharlotte Leslie withdrew her objection due to political pressure. The true story we just don’t know…maybe if she is your MP you can ask her!?
This is a blow but not the end…stay switched on & tuned in! Get in touch via email if you want to get involved. Please contact the Council if you have issues with the way they are / have treated the land and wildlife habitat- we are truly appalled.
Huge thanks for all the support & love.
Rising Up would like to respond to recent press coverage, particularly BBC Points West, which has accused activists and protesters of leaving the Stapleton allotment site in a bad state. We would just like to make it clear that the “mess” left behind after the occupation was caused by bailiffs, rescuers, security and bulldozers smashing up what was an orderly camp including trees sits, a kitchen, sheltered areas, benders, tents and a composting toilet.
The items we brought on site were all practical and part of daily life. Many Rising Up supporters have commented on the Rising Up Facebook page about the Points West report including supporter Fiona Stedman who stated “The reportage of this clearance of the camp is very biased and does not show the shocking vandalism created by the machines involved in the clearance nor how the site had been maintained by the protesters prior to the eviction. Disappointing local journalism.”
Rising Up spokesperson Belinda Faulkes states that “Activists made a huge effort to tread lightly on the land and strove towards an organised and tidy camp set up. Activists even cleared up fly tipped waste, which the council had left on the smallholding land for over a year, putting it into massive dump sacks to be taken away. Metal scrap found on the land was also collected and made into a piece of art.
As we understood it we have been evicted and are not allowed on the land due to the possession order to remove items. Despite this some of us have gone back to the site to retrieve possessions to find that many of them been crushed or have disappeared into the mess left by the bulldozers.
Rising Up showed the upmost respect to the wildlife whilst on site attempting to limit impact on the local ecology. We condemn the mindless destruction of wildlife habitat carried out during and since the eviction.
This unnecessary destruction goes against any works guidelines for this wildlife rich Conservation Area– such as those set out in the MetroBus works documentation – we call for this to be stopped and investigated immediately.
Rising Up have submitted a statement for the full Bristol City Council meeting this evening. The statement contains a demand for the immediate cessation of works on Stapleton allotments until clarification on funding approval, planning consents and conditions and correct adherence to environmental management and mitigation. There is an urgent need for transparency and adherence to due process. We want to stop this road but we also have strong reasons to suspect that due process is not being adhered to and the Council and Planning department must be held to account. “
The BBC coverage has given a very negative image of the Rising Up camp and the state of the land. We would just like to state that the “mess” left behind after the occupation is due to bailiffs and bulldozers smashing up what was an orderly camp with trees sits, a kitchen, sheltered areas, benders and a composting toilet. The destruction of wildlife habitat has been mindless and very upsetting.
We were very respectful when we had a camp set up and even cleared up a huge amount of fly tipped waste which the council had left on the small holding land for over a year. We were under the impression that we were not allowed on the land to clear up due to the possession order. Some of us have gone back to the land to retrieve possessions to find that they have been crushed or have disappeared into the mess left by the bulldozers.
BBC and BCC – all part of the same establishment!?
After six weeks of successfully protecting Stapleton Allotments in the Avon & Frome Valley Conservation Area from destruction, Rising Up activists and campaigners are now seriously concerned about the wellbeing of the land and wildlife no longer under their watchful eye.
Yesterday at around 6pm the last of the tree protectors were brought down from the trees to applause, cheers and tears from emotional supporters. The 4 day complex and drawn out eviction demonstrated the persistence and ingenuity of the activists as well as their resolve to protect this land for as long as possible. It was also a display of the strength of their conviction that the destruction of the land and trees for the M32 MetroBus road is wholly unjustified and totally unnecessary.
The eviction, although generally peaceful, was marred by some instances of aggression and assaults on activists, mainly by security. These have been logged and will be reported to the Council in an official complaint.
Rising Up utterly condemn the mindless damage to the wildlife habitat during the eviction including bulldozers crashing through woodland copse and bramble, and scrub – all prime wildlife habitats, has been no evidence of surveys or techniques, which would mitigate and lessen the impact on reptiles, bats and birds in this wildlife rich Conservation Area.
Today Rising Up submitted a statement to Bristol City Council Officials, including the Mayor, for the Full Council meeting this Tuesday. The statement demands the immediate cessation of works at Stapleton allotments until a) the funding for the route is secured b) The planning and development conditions and full consents have been clarified as well met to ensure no breach of planning regulations. c) There is clear evidence and assurance of that any works carried out will be done so under environmental management plans, adhering to legislation and planning control. Thus mitigating the impact on wildlife and their habitat, which so far there has been no evidence of.
We would like to express our gratitude to the many people who have supported and taken part in this direct action, without whom this would not have been possible. We would like to reassure people that although we are no longer in occupation, we remain committed to our aims; to protect the land at Stapleton allotments, to stop the MetroBus road and to challenge the flawed decisions and processes that have allowed this development to take place. We will also continue to raise awareness of the important issues of food security, land, community and earth rights.
This is not the end of this story by any means – just the next chapter, we will continue Rising Up…watch this space!
Today marked six weeks of Rising Up protecting, supporting and loving the land, trees, wildlife and community at Stapleton allotments and Avon & Frome Valley Conservation Area
After 4 days of a complex and drawn out eviction, due to the persistence and ingenuity of the activists, all of the tree protectors have now been brought down. The eviction has been a generally peaceful but at times challenging experience, with some instances of aggression and assault on protectors, which have been logged and will be reported.
The mindless damage to the wildlife habitat has been deeply upsetting, with no evidence of surveys or techniques, which would lessen the impact on reptiles, bats and birds in this Conservation Area, also to be reported.
The Rising Up campaign has reached heights we could only have imagined, motivated by love and respect for the land but also by the support and solidarity from the community, both locally and at large.
Tenacious protectors have climbed high, stood their ground and told their story, from the treetops, to the world! The strength and resilience of our actions have come from the diversity, creativity and conviction of activists, campaigners and supporters who range from professionals to students, activists to politicians between – 3 weeks to 96 years old! Our issues of land, community and earth rights have touched the hearts and minds of many.
Although we are no longer occupying the land, we remain committed to our aims; to protect this land, to stop the MetroBus road and to challenge the decisions and processes that have allowed this development to take place.
This is not the end of this story by any means, we will continue Rising Up…watch this space!
Day 44: 10 am A call out for people to come on site – the Poplars are full of rescue team – a telephone call from the tree squirrels as asked for more people to come and witness and celebrate our Solidarity & Achievement. DON’T DELAY COME NOW! Solidarity SUnday 6 Mother Earth Day special
Day 43 22:00 An incredibly emotive and challenging day…beginning with a physical assault of a female protestor as bailiffs came over their fence line and attempted to cut a line sending up hot tea and food to the protestors – police were called.
Then the “rescue” of our mighty Oak protectors – these sacred 70-100 year old trees have been at the heart of our protest and seeing and feeling them closer to their potential demise was a heart wrenching experience.
Protestors , supporters, families with children watched in horror as these “rescuers” smashed through the bird rich woodland glade removing smaller trees, beautiful blossom filed branches and vegetation . Some protestors overcome with anger rattled and knocked down some fences…an action maybe not agreed with but understood by all.
Having been told that they would not attempt the poplar trees until Sunday it was a surprise when suddenly at dusk the rescue team with a ladder stormed in, quickly got to the bird box and lowered down one protestor from the roof after cutting her from chains. It was already getting dark and there were concerns for safety….but then all fell quiet and the supporters and protectors breathed a sigh of relief as the trees are under our protection for 1 more night…
Video: with Oak protectors now on the ground http://bambuser.com/v/5349857
Day 43: 8.45am: “Rescue” of people from the old large oaks is about to begin. One determined squirrel is currently suspended in mid air between the oaks and the poplars on a line dangling in a hammock! Come down and bear witness and show your solidarity.
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance & Rising Up!! http://tinyurl.com/mddjyzw
Day 42..just! 11.59pm. An eventful day with conifers and towers gone and the ent toppled! it was heartbreaking watching the diggers tearing up what has been wildlife habitat , perfect for slow worms and tearing down the water tower and other building that was suspected bats at one point. There was a horrible “rescue” from the water tower with pain inflicted upon the person being “rescued” such a tying his hands behind his back with a cable tie, grabbing his face and his crotch.all caught on film and will be documented as being assaulted as with others. Despite all of this twee dwellers, though cold and tired are in good spirits, welcoming the food and other treats sent up to them ( even hot water bottles!). Tomorrow is another day in the trees – hoping the weekend will draw more people – come down Bristol!
Day 42 1.45pm. The tree protectors in the conifer trees ( not the woodland) have been “rescued” . Two of them chose to scurry down without assistance then one jumped over the herris fence in true squirrel ninja style!
The oaks and the poplars are still full and in high spirits. We managed to get a charged camera up to one so we are hoping to get some good ariel shots of the action soon!
Again, more people on site would be really welcomed and the comradeship between supporters is strong.
We strongly urge people to call Bristol City Council and demand evidence that they have carried out ecological surveys for bats, reptiles and birds ( especially with hibernating bats & slow worms & nesting birds) that their digger & dozer probably have disturbed or even killed! Tel : 0117 922 2000. u might want to Tweet or email Mayor G!
Day 42 7.40am..The dawn chorus was joined today by the twitterings of tree folk, all well fed ( thanks skipchen!)& nestled high in the trees anticipating the arrival of other climbing people – though this time not to join them but to bring them down.
So far all is quiet on the site, now the drone of the all night generators has stopped and there is respite from the glaring spot lights ringing the entire fencing. We are one tree dweller down after a security guard rugby tackled one protestor who had descended from a tree which resulted in suspected broken ribs and a badly sprained ankle. This is being reported as assault. But replacements quickly sprang into action scurrying over fences and up trees in true squirrel style!
Today we hope for respect both from the bailiffs and contractors both for the people, land and wildlife which yesterday was very sadly in question on many, (but not all) occasions. We are calling all Rising Up supporters to come to the site…the support, cheer and motivation you bring is vital – as are the observing eyes and mouths -which can avert and witness any wrong doings. Join this Rising Up – Resistance is Fertile, come sow your seeds!
Day 41! EVICTION UDATE
4.10pm. Update: The attempted eviction is still going on – all of the tree sits are still full of people who are all fine & in good spirits – giving us a show of acrobatics and dare devil climbing here & there!
The heroic person in the meadow tunnel has after 7 hours been brought out – waved an arm but was on a stretcher- hopefully OK. Other people still locked onto trees on the ground and gate!
They have crashed diggers and bulldozers through bird rich wooded area and have managed to swamp one of their bulldozers after digging through a culvert, which 2 people then chose to lock themselves to! ..
Some security and bailiffs have been OK others heavy handed and dangerous – at one point they were about to use an axle grinder to remove a D lock from someone’s neck until we shouted that they could kill him! One woman was pulled around and one bailiff tried to drag her out of a tree – in a totally unsafe manner – all captured on video.
It is a media frenzy, but the usual Rising Up way the atmosphere is somewhat jovial and there is nothing to fear… if you are spectator on the ground. Photos and videos about to be posted. Rising Up call for more people to come down to the site to show their solidarity and witness this spectacle
– COME & SHOW YOUR SUPPORT & SOLIDARITY TODAY! – It is something you will never forget and a story to tell for years to come!
10.30am update Many of the protestors, including legal observers on the ground have forcibly been removed – dragged off by heavy handed bailiffs , one on one, showing completely unreasonable force, one female protestor had her top pulled up whilst a bailiff smoking a fag dropped ash in her face. A bulldozer has started illegally demolishing buildings which have asbestos roofs and a digger has gone through a bird rich woodland area razing trees – despite it being bird nesting season – making this both a worrying and illegal act. Bristol Council “Green Capital” ..hold your head in shame! The world is watching.
8.38am Update: EVICTION IN PROCESS ( ABOUT 1 HR IN) around 70 bailiffs on site – have been very heavy handed dragging off legal observers and other people – 1 on 1 ( they should be 2 people). A climbing team is there and have set up a station and medical tent. Very few police on site – most on the road. They have brought in a digger and an amphibious vehicle and set up medical area…hope not to be needed. All of the tree sits are full and some people still on the ground! COME DOWN , BRING CAMERA, BANNERS, NOISE AND GOOD VIBES!
Possession is nine tenths of the law! Bristol City Council granted second Possession Order for Stapleton Allotments.
This afternoon Judge Denyer QC ruled in favour of Bristol City Council‘s application for an immediate Possession Order for land at Stapleton allotments currently occupied by Rising Up. Five members of the Rising Up collective stood in court to defend their right to temporarily be on land, without legal representation, due to a lack of legal aid.
The QC dismissed the arguments of human rights, the necessity to protect the land from destruction and potentially dangerous and unlawful development. The Rising Up spokespeople cited legislation, case law, public and political support as well evidence of potential breaches in planning and procedure and the need for time to mount a legal case. These were all dismissed in a distinct demonstration of how property rights take precedent over human rights and the rights of nature.
Food security, the rights to protest, the rights to home and family life and to subsist in a sustainable way have once against come into direct conflict with capitalism and short termism. The council have failed to hear, acknowledge and explore the concerns of many, and have prioritised the economic gains of a few private companies – under the guise of a “sustainable” public transport system.
Rising Up Spokesperson Danny Balla states: “Today was a clear indication that the system is broken and reflects why we are currently facing many serious environmental and social crises. In the courtroom we witnessed a failure of the judicial system to facilitate the rights of people to challenge contentious and potentially unlawful decisions. Judge Denyer even stated how the avenues “to judicially review local planning authorities “are a somewhat illusory right” due to costs involved.
We are once again forced into a position of ethically and morally sound, yet unlawful behaviour by continuing to defend this land. This planning and legal process has been a clear fabrication of any real space for alternative and sustainable thinking. Riding roughshod over the wants of needs of local people, nature and the future generations of Bristol.”
Today, justice has been obscured by the law, but our determination to resist has risen. Bristol is Rising up!
Today Rising Up is in the High Court defending the real Green Capital. Please sign & share our petition to remind our officials how broadly we are supported by the people of Bristol & beyond;https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/risingup
On Tuesday March 10th am – we are facing our second High Court Possession Order hearing. Despite some legal advice and support we do not anyone who can represent us in Court – again!
WE ARE CALLING OUT FOR ANY LEGAL HEADS / BARRISTERS / SOLICITORS WHO CAN SPARE SOME TIME TO STEP FORWARD & HELP OUR CAUSE !
If you missed the news – this request came about as there is a new section of land Bristol City Council want add to the potential eviction area – they made Feed Bristol give up ( temporarily) the land with the line of Conifer trees! They have also added another area on the adjoining smallholding to the land they want to possess!
PS – hello to the snoops from Burgess Salmon who represent Bristol City Council — we see you like our posts for the fact you have put them in your evidence against us. As official sponsors of Bristol Green Capital we wondered if you fancied defecting and coming to work for us in light of the fact that we are trying to stop or Real Green Capital from being destroyed for a commuter bus route…think it over!
Despite the huge challenges we face – this situation brings about the most amazing things! Latest : Massive gratitude and respect to the local MP Kerry McCarthy for stepping up and taking what is at the heart of Rising Up into the heart of Westminster! The response was somewhat disappointing but some very interesting points raised to be looked at further.
You can read the address here. Urban Food Growing at 4.28pm (you might need to scroll down)
Feedback your thoughts to Rising Up / Kerry McCarthy or your own MP! – See our 10 Things you can do page.
Tonight Rising Up activists continue to occupy the threatened land and trees in Stapleton whilst riding the waves of anticipated eviction! Yesterday afternoon a meeting took place between the Mayor George Ferguson and Director of Place of Bristol City Council Barra Mac Ruairi who stated that that there will be no change to the MetroBus bus-only Junction.
Rising Up activist Daniel Balla states: “We refuse to give in to the political injustices of the consultation and planning process, and cannot sanction the destruction of this immensely valuable land. We strongly feel that local opinions and concern for greater ecological and social sustainability has been ignored and we have been let down by a planning system not fit for purpose.
We also strongly believe that our council are being dictated to by short-term economic pressures – such as legal action by South Gloucestershire Council if Bristol were to change elements of the scheme. This week revealed an increase of £20mto the city-wide project, and these spiralling costs are not worth risking against the loss of our invaluable Green Capital – the valuable agricultural land, wildlife corridor and woodland habitat which make the site unique.”
Through Rising Up we want to show people that taking Direct Action is a valuable and vitally important way to both empower and stand up to unjust power structures and ecological destruction and we call for anyone in Bristol who shares our values and concerns to join us in support.
Rising Up have made several requests, including:-
 Bristol City Council 2015/16 Budget (revenue and capital budget) and 2015/16 – 2017/18 Medium Term Financial Strategy
We are on high alert for the coming week- anticipating an eviction at any time! Could be in the morning, noon, or next day- we just don’t know! Many folk think tomorrow! People on the ground / in the trees are asking you to
a) Come down and join in – numbers are needed, bailiffs or not!
b) Be on standby for an immediate call out
c) Get ur contacts / friends on board!
All or any of the above!
Though we have peaceful and non violent ways, are happy, friendly and sociable folk – we will not be leaving here quietly or quickly! We need squirrels, badgers and voles, climbers, diggers, lockers & observers! We are watching..we are waiting, we are Rising Up! Come on Bristol..all aboard!
Last night on the land a special night of community togetherness with land & tree activists and local folk. The only negative aspects were the roaring generators & massive flood lights ( 6 in total), flooding the whole of the Conservation area with bright lights and noise, causing the birds to sing all night & surely bemusing the bats, badgers & other wildlife . The harris fencing all around the site is also deemed as in contravention of badger laws and a danger to wildlife Calling any proactive people out there who want to take this on and report Bristol Green Capital Council for their appalling treatment of wildlife please do so asap!
Here is the letter local MP’s and councillors have written to the Mayor Of Bristol who so far has been as helpful as a wet fish, or maybe even less so! He thinks he has done something – but can’t seem to see the difference between a bus only road and a park & ride…
His response is the same (as it has been all along – ( one big advert for MetroBus!) and states very obviously that in depth work into alternatives HAS NOT been done! WHY IS THAT THEN? Surely an assessment including design work, surveys, consultation, economic assessment, safety audit etc should have been done BEFORE this valuable piece of land was chosen to be destroyed!
In relation to Planning conditions and lawful activity – George also fails to address the fact the tree felling was due to start the first week in February – when – IF the work comes under MetroBus NFHP Planning consent – many conditions including 2 – which state that no works INCLUDING SITE CLEARANCE can take place before the condition is met – which it had not been – as admitted by Planning Officers David Grattan and Director of Planning Zoe Willcox.
But hang on – suddenly David Grattan said that the tree works came not under MetroBus consent but under the consent given by the Secretary of State to decommission the allotments…mysteriously there is no evidence of this and consent documentation has no reference to Trees in a Conservation area being cut down…all requests for further evidence has been ignored including a FOI request – deadline now past!
All of the above and even the Councils plan to start the felling around 2 weeks ago was refuted in court by the Councils QC and her solicitors from Green Capital Sponsors Burgess Salmon…
BUT WE KNOW THE TRUTH!
George has also been overheard referring to our precious land in Stapleton as “insignificant”. Well guess it depends what your priorities are!
In regards to a democratic processes – a thought – George was voted in on his “Vision” which included a promise to “scrap” the BRT scheme ( MetroBus) and “Redesign the system of decision making in the city to help citizens and communities have real influence over what happens in their area, allowing for more devolution of power and resources in exchange for a commitment to helping the city achieve its priorities.” .
Leave that one for you to ponder over!
Possession Order granted (at 5pm after 1.5 days of painful hearings) so the Council can have “the quiet enjoyment” of their property!
The site are preparing for eviction, that could take place this evening or tomorrow morning. Lights have been put up on the allotments next door and could be used tonight.
IF YOU CAN GO DOWN TO THE SITE THIS EVE PLEASE DO OR GO EARLY IN THE MORNING FROM 6am- or BE ON STANDBY! Take food / drink / cameras and warm gear. It is vital that there are people there in numbers. Thanks
Rising up :Update
Bristol City Council call High Court hearing to claim “Possession of the land” at Stapleton Allotments and Small holdings.
Official papers pinned up near the Rising up Land action site in Stapleton have appeared stating that a High court hearing will take place on Weds 11th February with Bristol City Council claiming possession of the land whilst also accusing “unknown persons” of trespass and damage to property.
The people protecting the land and trees in Stapleton from destruction deny any damage has taken place and that the papers contain other errors. They wish to clarify that they are there principally to
– protect the trees and land from unnecessary and unjustified destruction which could be avoided if Bristol City Council / West of England Partnership chose to redesign the route to take out the M32 MetroBus only road system.
– raise serious concerns and questions over planning processes and potential breach in planning consent and control. Bristol City Council refuse to provide further information about this, including not responding to a Freedom of Information Request, which suggests wrongdoing and mischief.
Rising Up spokesperson states that “The Council and the West Of England Partnership talk about the benefits of MetroBus, however they do not talk about the harm it will cause nor the fact that they could still have a MetroBus route without the hugely damaging M32 Bus only junction. They will not talk about the fact that they have not meaningfully considered alternatives, nor tried to lessen the impact it will have on this immensely valuable piece of land. ( Note to Mayor – please listen when we state yet again that this is not about the Park & Ride!)
Rising Up tree and land activists are not in the wrong here – however the Councils actions are both ethically, environmentally and potentially legally wrong. Their disregard for civic involvement at every level has been appalling. People are here to stand up for the rights of nature and local people as well as insist on adherence to planning law. Rising Up take pride and motivation in knowing that thousands of people are supporting this action”
An amazing day today, so many fantastic people came down to show their support, get stuck in, be informed and enjoy this beautiful land. A day full of creation, construction, good food, songs, conversations and more! Waiting for pics from photographers – will post up asap.
The land and our cause need and thrive from the presence, action and love of good people! Come back/along, bring your friends, even if it is just a few hours, there is so much to be done and fun to be had! You can be a part of this.
Councillor Olly Mead
‘The only time BCC could have stopped it without the threat of legal action was at the August 27th planning meeting. We were told that it could not be amended or have conditions inserted, and there was a lot of bullying of Councillors who attended. Not all Greens are the same, and Martin Fodor voted with myself and Margaret Hickman (both Lab) to reject it. I provided my list of about 12 material planning reasons for rejecting it to the opponents, together with a briefing on how the meeting appeared to be biased, so that they could mount a legal challenge. Councilors were provided with no pictures of what was proposed until the actual day of the meeting, when we were on site visits, briefings, and at the meetings themselves for no less than 11 hours solid. I was shocked by what was proposed, and am glad that I ended up opposing it and speaking against it, but the ability of even councillors to scrutinise it was limited by interested parties higher up the food chain.’