The Diggers of Runnymede Eco Village are the Diggers2012 and I LOVE them. This is their statement dating 20th May 2012.
We: peaceful people, declare our intention to go and cultivate the disused land of this island; to build dwellings and live together in common by the sweat of our brows.We have one call: every person in this country and the world should have the right to live on the disused land, to grow food and to build a shelter. This right should apply whether you have money or not. We say that no country can be considered free, until this right is available to all.
With our current system in crisis we need a radically different way of growing our communities. We call on the government and all landowners to let those who are willing, make good use of the disused land. Land that is currently held from us by force. By our actions, we seek to show how we can live without destroying the planet or ourselves. Free from the yoke of debt and rent, our labors can be directed to the benefit of all.Though we may be oppressed for our actions, we will strive to remain peaceful. But we are committed to our cause and will not cease from our efforts until we have achieved our goal.
The second week anniversary in the last week of June was marked by these words:
Its two weeks today since we, a ragged band, moved into the gardens surrounding the old, disused Brunel University Runnymede Campus.
In the past it was a thriving university campus where sciences, design and technology, theatre and sport were taught and enjoyed until the site was sold to private property developers in 2007. For over five years it has remained largely vacant and disused (with the occassional film shoot or police dog training taking place in the buildings).Around the buildings we discovered acres of woodlands interspersed with fields and overgrown lawns. It is beautiful and on a hill with views overlooking Runnymede and the river Thames. The forest and fields, as well as being host to a variety of trees and fauna, are also our home and provide all the resources to grow food and build sustainable, low impact dwellings. Since moving in we have planted vegetables and begun building shelters and communal spaces (including a timber framed long house). Leaving the buildings to themselves, we have established our camp on the old lawns of the garden where we live together: cooking our meals on the fire and enjoying the environment. The security guards – whilst being largely friendly – have struggled to accept our presence on the site. It seems there is a conflict between what they may know is harmless, reasonable behaviour and what is required of them in order to keep their jobs. But we take no pleasure in causing anyone irritation. We simply wish to live on the land.
George Monbiot visited the Diggers2012 camp and penned a piece for the Guardian, these words stand out for me:
John Gurney, a scholar specializing in the Diggers has a nice article on the Diggers2012 in STIR magazine.The promise the old hold out to the young is a lifetime of rent, debt and insecurity. A rentier class holds the nation's children to ransom. Faced with these conditions, who can blame people for seeking an alternative?But the alternatives have also been shut down: you are excluded yet you cannot opt out. The land – even disused land – is guarded as fiercely as the rest of the economy.
Again: I love the Diggers2012! Occupy the Cryptoforest!!