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!