This small, but perfectly-formed, Welsh festival is a fixture for many in the UK environmental protest movement, and always attracts a strong mix of campaigners from Wales, the South West, and beyond. We were part of the campaigns field, manning a book stall and Radical Wales info point, and spent a few days in the company of some truly inspiring, erudite, and committed activists with bags of knowledge, understanding, and interesting stories to tell.
Throughout the weekend we pootled about, talked to people, and recorded video and audio interviews which we then uploaded to YouTube and AudioBoo, tweeting under the Green Gathering #GG_2012 hashtag as we went along.
The result was the following multimedia extravaganza:
First up we spoke to Gerald Miles, a farmer from St Davids who has been a key figure in the Take the Flour back protests against the development of experimental GM wheat trial in Rothamsted, near Luton. But we didn't speak to him about his activism around GM food. We hope Gerald will write a piece about that for the site soon.
We asked him about his experience of running his farm as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, essentially as a partnership between his farm and those who live around it. We were struck by the similarities between Gerald's views about food sustainability, localism, and co-operative structures involving food producers and consumers, and similar initiatives promoted in Leanne Wood's highly interesting Green Print for the Valleys.
We began by asking Gerald about his own experience of CSA:
Then we went on to ask him about the possible barriers which may be stopping farmers taking the plunge, and what might be done to foster and promote this kind of farming:
We visited the UK-wide climate justice group The Campaign Against Climate Change (CaCC - yes, I know) who've been central to some of the big protests around climate change in recent years.
listen to ‘Fiona from the Campaign Against Climate Change, Green Gathering 2012, Radical Wales interview’ on Audioboo
Hinckley Point campaign
Another campaign group present at the Gathering was South West Against Nuclear who are protesting against the development of Hinckley Point power station just across the Severn. Last February they occupied part of the station in protest against energy behemoth EDF starting work on the new £10billion power station without first getting permission to build. They're currently planning further direct action about the same issue in the form of a mass trespass on the site in October.
listen to ‘Radical Wales interview with Nikki from South West Against Nuclear, Radical Wales interview, Green Gathering 2012 #gg_2012’ on Audioboo
Occupy a field in Chepstow
The Occupy tent was a focal point of the campaigns field, with protestors from London offering a tent, a stall, and cosy campfire for chat and debate. We caught up with Saskia, who's been a part of the Occupy movement since the Occupy LSX protests. She gave us her take on where things stand at the moment.
We also spoke with Tim Shaw, who was spreading the word about the alarming plans to massively increase hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", for natural gas in the UK.
And if you're still with us at the end of that monster article then you can treat yourself to a rousing ditty from the excellent Glitzy Bag Hags, who played on the Saturday Night. Nobody else could rhyme Hasselhoff with Rachmaninoff.
I did take a ropey recording on AudioBoo, but here's a much nicer version: