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(en) Freedom 6404 22 Feb, 2003 - Right royal visit

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 29 Mar 2003 08:02:22 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

It's not every day you get a member of the 'Royal
Family' visiting your place of residence and it's not
usual for a council official accompanied by a police
sergeant to call at your flat a few days before asking
whether you're planning to hold a demonstration.
"Actually I wasn't going to, but I might just hang a
'stuff the monarchy' banner and a black flag outside
my window" I told them and, after a brief dialogue,
they departed.

Why was Princess Anne visiting Fairview Court, our
'60s tower block? Our local council, Torfaen, were
celebrating the fact that they'd actually done some
repairs to the property by revealing a plaque, laying on
a buffet and planting a tree. A nice publicity stunt to
hide the fact that millions of pounds needs to be spent
on the borough's housing stock to bring it up to
standard. At the moment, many houses are boarded up
because of the lack of maintenance.

As a rent and council tax payer I found it perverse that
a member of a privileged elite, whose leisured
aristocratic lifestyle depends on the public purse, was
invited along to the 'celebrations'. After all, the
tenants provided the funds for the council to carry out
repairs and for Princess Anne to live in luxury!

In the event, accompanied by her bodyguards and
various sycophantic council 'suits', the Royal Princess
was directed to a 'show flat' (which is kept empty), but
didn't visit any of the residents' homes. I suppose she
wasn't interested in seeing how the other half live, or
what it's like trying to live on poverty wages or the

Some of the residents used her visit to highlight
defects in their own flats, such as the damp that
results from inadequate electric storage heaters. As
the council had just announced they were putting up
the council tax by 19%, some people went further too.
'Fuck royalty' stickers were put up and a member of
the Anarchist Federation put out a press release
(which the council refused to display on the tenants'

Then came news that the local health centre, a
valuable community resource, had been covered in
paint by vandals. And guess who got the blame? Local
anarchist Terry Banfield denied any involvement, but
was still charged under Section 4a of the Public Order
Act for his part in the alleged stickering.
Bryn Bach
Terry is in court soon. He needs help with his legal
costs. Write to him c/o PO Box 7, Pont-y-Pwl, Gwent,
Cymru NP4 8YB

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