The Land and Freedom Camp arrived on Clapham Common in London this weekend – despite the best efforts of the rain, a cheerful and friendly group of activists have set up on a small patch of the common next to Holy Trinity Church. I went to visit them yesterday to see what was happening, and was greeted with hot tea and much interesting conversation about the reasoning behind and the necessity of this “open exhibition and demonstration”.
The idea behind the camp is an old – but still highly relevant – one, as the campers explain in their information leaflet:
We are common people, living here peacefully on Clapham Common [and] calling for a radical change in the economics of land ownership. We want redistribution of land in the UK and globally from the tiny few to the great many. We also seek reform of the laws which currently prevent reasonable access and usage of the land by the common people. We would like to see the re-establishment of common land for people to live on and grow sustainably.
In these days of economic downturn created by those in power, it is always the common people who suffer – all over the world. In Britain, despite our well-heeled Western ‘democracy’, artificially produced housing crises and the proposed criminalisation of squatting (which is, needless to say, often the final resort for the dispossessed, for those who would otherwise end up on the streets) have created the beginnings of a new awareness of the need for land redistribution.
And this is the point of the Land and Freedom Camp – they aim to raise this awareness further, by connecting and providing people with the information that can empower them to address this crucial issue of land distribution and allow them to understand just how important it is to our economic and cultural survival.
The Land and Freedom Camp hopes to be on the Clapham Common site until Sunday 25th September 2011, which gives you until the end of next weekend to get involved. If you’re interested in finding out more or have ideas you’d like to share, pop by and visit! For more information on what the Camp is up to (and more contact details), see here.
For more information on the land issue online, I highly recommend that you visit The Land Is Ours and the Land and Freedom website (both of which go into far more detail on this complex subject than I can here), or follow @freetheland on Twitter.