Sunday, 10 June 2012

Today's People's Picnic On Wanstead Flats

The rain held off this afternoon for the People's Picnic marking both the end of the "Save Wanstead Flats" campaign after almost two years and the continued local rejection of an Olympics policing base on the Flats.

Overlooked by the missile launch point on the top of Fred Wigg Tower, around 60 people dropped by over the course of almost three hours to celebrate why we value our common land so much and to catch up with others who have campaigned to protect it. There were residents from Leytonstone, Forest Gate and Wanstead sharing food today and we were joined by a contingent from the Save Leyton Marsh campaign who came over to show their solidarity

Over the next few months, there will be regular monitoring of the construction of the police base and of the impact it has on local people when it is operational. Evidence gathered will support further pressure on the City of London Corporation to ensure that, after the Games are over, their promises that the base is a 'one-off' enclosure are kept. However, everyone I spoke to today remains convinced that the precedent set by the Olympics will have long-term and damaging implications for Wanstead Flats and other parts of Epping Forest. This is the 'Games legacy' that has been imposed upon us and somehow I expect that the battle to defend the Flats is far from over

Meanwhile, here are a few photos. There are more on Flickr.
All photos have a a Creative Commons license - please feel free to use them, but please attribute them to 'Kevin Blowe'.

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