Crunch time for Grow Heathrow in land occupation case

Squatters at Transition Heathrow bordering the busy airport face a legal challenge today to stay on a previously derelict piece of land. The community’s aim is to show how resilient communities can salve the social injustices thrown up by global economic, ecological and democratic crises. Patrick Chalmers, our media correspondent, was there as the group and their supporters set off:

Transition Heathrow, which was planted on a squatted site as part of a successful campaign to halt plans for a third runway at the busy airport, is off to court this week to see whether it has a future.

The land it occupies, formerly a derelict dump, has become a beacon for the possibilities of community revival. The challenges it faces are not just from climate change and peak oil but also plain-old economic survival of its inhabitants. This has been, up until now, a hopeful story. Instead of the tarmac of a planned third runway, the site has greenhouses, raised beds for vegetable growing, bike workshops and much more.

The first video, featuring Joe, gives a perspective on how access to land makes this all possible. This is a big issue given the concentration of land ownership in Britain in the hands of a tiny few, as per this article (http://www.progress.org/revwob.htm).

The second video features Olive, one of the residents, who explains what’s at stake in the court action. A couple of years on from its beginnings, Grow Heathrow has woven its way into the local life of a community that had been threatened with obliteration. A court will now decide if it is to continue.

Photo by Patrick Chalmers

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4 Responses to Crunch time for Grow Heathrow in land occupation case

  1. The videos were shot by Rob, a friend of Grow Heathrow’s who’d never done this type of video report before.

    He followed visionOntv’s excellent template for smartphone video reporting, which you can find here: http://visionon.tv/wiki/-/wiki/Main/Votv01.5 That meant shooting the video “as live”, with an introduction and conclusion and five different shot types intercut to give the feel of an edited interview.

    The beauty of the approach is that it’s fast, both interviews were shot within the space of 20 minutes, and the files can then be quickly uploaded to the internet. They are decent quality visual and audio records of an event, raising the pressure on conventional media to more of this type of grassroots reporting and to get the Transition message out there.

    Transition Town Tooting will be hosting a donation-based “taster” training in visionOntv template-based reporting from 7pm-9pm on July 3.

    You can register or just find out more about the event here: http://visionon.tv/web/makingnews/transition-tooting

  2. Pingback: Transition Free Press: all the latest! « Transition Free Press

  3. Pingback: Grow Heathrow lives to fight another day « Transition Free Press

  4. Pingback: Fight to Save Grow Heathrow | Transition Free Press

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