Sebastian Seeney, Bethnal Green’sNetwork Coordinator is lookingforward to working at Glastonburyagain this year.
How did you get involvedwith Greenpeace?
I drifted in and out of involvement for a few years. Then, when I moved to London afteruniversity, I decided that I should get morepermanently involved. So I joined my localnetwork, which at the time was Islington, andhave never looked back. Last year I became areanetworker for North East London and I’m now thearea networker for Bethnal Green.
What have been the best moments?
Getting people to sign up to Give Coal the Bootat festivals and London fairs last summer wasgreat fun. People are so much more relaxedand up for talking in a festival environment.And, of course, everyone showed lots of enthusiasm when it came to making bootprintsin paint. Glastonbury is always an annualhighlight which I think everyone involved looksforward to.
What campaign success would you mostlike to see?
I’d love to see an end to the government beingobsessed with the idea of developing coal andnuclear. They need to realise that alternativesalready exist and that this is where the time andmoney should be going.
What’s new with the Bethnal Greennetwork?
We’ll be celebrating our first year in Augustwhich is great. The first year has been really good,the network has been growing nicely and we’vebeen pretty active. We’re all hoping that oursecond year will be even better. There’s so muchenthusiasm within the network that I’m sureit will be!
Sebastian in the garden at Canonbury Villas.
Sipson… the new Chelsea?
Anna Jones, climate campaign
The Airplot allotment launched at the beginning of May with celebrity guests andgardening experts. Richard Briers, the man who brought allotments to the attentionof millions in 70s TV sensation The Good Life joined Gardeners World presenter, AlysFowler and Garden Organic, to officially open the Airplot allotment. Richard Briersplanted carrots, saying he would send one to each cabinet member every year untilthe ‘daft’ plans for expansion are dropped. Alys and Garden Organic planted twobeautiful Bright Future apple trees, to symbolise a more sustainable future world. AndB&Q, one of a growing number of major UK businesses publicly opposing the thirdrunway, showed their support by donating all the equipment.Following this, on Bank Holiday Monday, we transported hundreds of plants from theChelsea Flower Show to Heathrow villages, teaming up with top Chelsea gardendesigner Tom Hoblyn, guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds, activists from Plane Stupidand local residents. Four beautiful guerrilla gardens sprung up in the sunshine, incolourful defiance of BAA’s plans. Local resident Linda described them as ‘symbols of the life and the resilience in our communities that will eventually defeat BAA and thegovernment who have pushed this expansion.’But it’s not only plants that have been growing. Resistance to the runway continuesto increase. Over 45,000 people have now signed up to become beneficial owners of the Airplot, including around 50 MPs from all parties. As well as business leadersvoicing their opposition, Sir Nicholas Stern, one of the government’s top advisors,indicated that he thought the the government had made the wrong decision onHeathrow. Speaking at the Hay Festival, he said the decision was not in line with theGovernment’s wider climate and transport policy.
Write and ask your MP to become a beneficial owner of Airplot.
Don’t forget to let your local network coordinator know if you get a response.Visit www.greenpeace.org.uk/airplotmp to write to your MP.
Contact your local gardening/allotment society.
Ask them to twin their allotments with the Airplot allotment, give Airplot a mentionin their newsletter or even send carrots to the cabinet to demand a stop to Heathrowexpansion now.
The plants used by gardeners at the Chelsea Flower Show are usually destroyed. By replanting them in villages around the proposed third runway site at Heathrow, activists and local residents are highlighting the destruction airport expansion would cause.