Save the Ribble enjoyed a wonderful Mayday on the Preston Flagmarket this year.
In contrast to the 'Preston FM I Care Day'
we did not need to hold the stalls down against the force of a huge gale, and the ink on our posters did not bleed as the rain pelted down against them.
Instead we gently warmed ourselves in balmy Lancashire sunshine and gave out leaflets to hundreds of people, who were overwhelmingly supportive of our cause.
We were buoyed up by the poll result on the Ribble Riverworks Barrage in today's Lancashire Evening Post which showed that 81% were opposed to any barrage across the Ribble, with only 19% in favour.
We made a special poster to remind Preston City Council of exactly what Preston people think:
The day was supplied with socially conscious music by Independent Labour Councillor Terry Cartwright's suppporters.
Save the Ribble Campaign explained the magnitude of the threat to wildlife posed by the Ribble Barrage and Housing proposals to a number of interested residents, and throughout the whole day we only met one person who was initially in favour as he felt it was a shame that there were no longer so many boats on the Ribble - but who had not realised the impact a barrage would have...
And it is course the case that boats CAN use the Ribble - they either have to wait for the tide or be prepared to wait for it to come back in if they don't want the hard work of rowing when having a lazy day on the river...
No barrage in Broadgate... Spring 2007
The Save The Ribble stall was busy all day...
Jane Brunning, Spokesperson for Save The Ribble Campaign, talked at length with Councillor Terry Cartwright. Terry said he was very worried about the implications of the Riverworks proposals to local residents and would be asking lots of questions about the democracy of the Vision Board.
Jane also discussed the threat that the Ribble Barrage poses to local residents with Riversway Councillor Jack Davenport, who said he was deeply concerned about the Riverworks proposals, and the Ribble Barrage, and that he would be organising consultation meetings very soon with residents of both Broadgate and Middleforth.
We also had the pleasure of seeing a number of local residents who have been emailing us and sending in their thoughts and pictures, including Barbara (hi Barbara!) and Bob, who has already shared his fascinating story of his Ribble connections
with Save The Ribble blog readers, and who brought with him more of his beautiful pictures - he has been taking photos of the Ribble from Penwortham Old Bridge for many years on the first Tuesday of every month...
The Ribble in glorious Spring on May Day - thanks Bob, it's great to meet at last!
Other groups at the Mayday celebration included the National Union of Teachers, who were campaigning againts SATS, and all unneccessary testing of children:
Also there were Greenpeace, raising public consciousness about global warming and the threat to the seas:
Lots of people were signing up to the Greenpeace petitions:
Also present at the Mayday were supporters of Falun Gong, a religious group suffering vicious repression in China:
They put on a demonstration of their meditation techniques - the spiritual disciplines that have led to the persecution of their followers in China:
The Socialist Party were there, this group was campaigning against the presence of British Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, against the privatisation of the NHS and for a New Mass Party of the Working Class.
The Socialist Party members said that Preston City Council should not be kowtowing to rich property developers, but should defend ordinary people and the environment, and certainly should not barrage the Ribble. They said that capitalism was the biggest danger to our environment, and that socialism was the only way to save the planet from the disaster of global warming.
The Free Tibet campaign
was there, raising the issue of a country occupied by foreign troops.
The Hunt Saboteurs
had a presence, fighting to ensure that Fox Hunting never comes back.Fairtrade
were there, calling for justice for primary producers in the ex-colonial countries:
as were the Solidarity Federation
, calling for a return to the real traditions of Mayday
- workers solidarity and independence from any form of hierarchy or exploitation,
The message of Mayday is that 'Another world is possible' - we do not have to have a world where big business calls the shots. Ordinary people should have power, and be listened to. Save The Ribble believes that this is true about Preston, and the River Ribble too.
We feel that another Preston is possible, one where the wishes of local people matter more than the pockets of greedy property developers, one where our environment is seen as more precious than the portfolios of speculators. The message of Mayday is that when ordinary people unite together
, they can achieve amazing things, this could include the defeat of Preston City Council's Riverworks Ribble Barrage proposals and the defence of local people's homes and environment from the depradations of profit-hungry developers, and their friends on the firstname.lastname@example.org
BTW: Click here for some great images of 52 arctic terns
spotted by Bill Aspin on the Ribble near Warton on 2nd May, he also saw: 2 Common Tern, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover and a Greenshank, a bonus was seeing a female Hen Harrier heading NE over fields near Naze Farm.
Labels: direct action, mayday