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(en) Freedom 6319 5th Oct. 2002 - Palaver in the park

From FreedomCopy@aol.com
Date Wed, 23 Oct 2002 05:40:41 -0400 (EDT)


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Around two hundred people turned out with candles and banners
on 21st September, to protest at Bromley Borough Council's
decision to enclose the crest of Crystal Palace Park. The crowd
soon got the bit between their teeth and started to pull down the
fencing which the council had hoped would keep them out. In no
time at all, long stretches of it lay on the ground and demonstrators
walked on to the site and sat down.

The police response was slow and minimal. About six of them
turned up in total, and by the time they came it was all over, leaving
nothing for them to do. There was no attempt to move people from
the site. Many demonstrators remained, playing music and
socialising inside and outside the fence for the rest of the evening.
More of the fence was pulled down overnight, and the next
morning saw local people enjoying the open space and exercising
their right of way across it once more. Let's hope the council now
takes note of the strength of local feeling and respects the wishes of
the community by reinstating it as a green open space.

Ironically, on the same day local people could use the crest again,
campaigners learned of a decision by Bromley Borough Council
and Sport England to completely rebuild the athletics centre lower
down in the park, rather than just refurbish it as they'd been
expected to do. It now seems the real reason for fencing off the high
ground is that the council are planning some kind of associated
development on the site. They may face stiff opposition.

Anyone who remembers the history of the original campaign to
save Crystal Palace Park Ğ the eviction of the protest camp three
years ago, the massive police operation surrounding it, the huge
policing presence at every single one of the demonstrations Ğ will
remember how much local campaigners are a force to be reckoned
with.

Ruby Crystal

For more background or to get involved with the campaign to save
this beautiful open space, email
savecrystalpalacepark@yahoo.co.uk







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