Falafel not Fracking!

I was standing in what can be best described as ‘pissing rain’, in the middle of Preston new road, wearing a ‘one size fits all’ incontinence nappy. But why? Had I taken a job as a traffic conductor or was I on a mandatory work scheme from the job centre? No. I was there to help block the road to prevent access to the fracking site, that Cuadrilla were still insisting on trying to use, despite literally having no support from anyone. Except from the government of course, and some big businesses, like banks. Anyone with children or like, hope for the future didn’t seem too pleased with the idea that they would soon have no drinking water and would suffer from earthquakes.

I suppose the nappy needs some explanation too, but we’ll get there, eventually.

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I admit I was a little disappointed. I’d gone up to the anti fracking camp to show my solidarity with the protectors up there, some of whom had been there for months, fearlessly stopping the convoys getting in by all means necessary. You’d think, however, that a fully functioning vegan kitchen would have some sort of falafel on offer for hardworking protesters, but shamefully, there was not even a whiff in sight. Not a trace!

My mind racing, tired from the travel up, I wracked my brains to think of an alternative way of accessing a falafel. I hadn’t brought any with me, assuming the situation would deal with itself. It was with this in mind that I offered my services as an ‘arrest-able’. You see, my friend had told me about this time that she got arrested in a group once and when she was released, she was presented with a hot, tasty falafel by the lovely activists of the Green and Black Cross. I’d be lying if i said that this tale didn’t influence my decision a little bit, to rise at 5am, don an adult nappy and ready myself to block the road- ‘locking on’ in arm tubes. (Hence the nappy, it can take hours to get cut off).

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a truck surfer – badass individuals who jump – or ‘surf’ onto a truck and just stay there for days, thus preventing the truck from entering the site!

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the plan changed as plans do and I was left waddling around in it all day, drenched to the skin from ludicrously insistent rain as I helped out others who had done the deed. This meant stopping them from being run over, and mainly being called a wanker by furious commuters who were so angry by the 30 second delay to their journeys, that revving up to potentially run us over seemed reasonabe. I did consider using the nappy (cos I could) at one point but I thought the novelty would soon wear off and I would lose the only part of my body not soaking wet.

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So I resisted the temptation to piss myself. And despite my best efforts, I didn’t get arrested either, thus eliminating the second potential falafel option. Must try harder next time!

New words learnt –  1 (Truck Surfer, very cool)

Falafels consumed- 0 (v disappointing)

Lorry’s stopped going in – dunno, but lots

Good news – L M T transport pulled out of working for Cuadrilla on ethical grounds

Bad news – scummy Cuadrilla snuck in a convoy in the middle of the night, illegally.

For some actual information on whats going on, see Reclaim the Power and Rising Up on Facebook and Twitter!

#WesaidNo #RollingResistance

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Freedom Falafel

As I bit into into Biblos’s ‘Veggie Challenge’ with a sigh of satisfaction on Friday,  I couldn’t help but ruminate on the last ‘meal’ I had had.

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Let me set the scene.  24 hours previous to the falafel I was waiting for my prison issue food. Yes, I’d been nicked, again. This time for the hideous crime of ‘chalking on the pavement’, which was almost as ridiculous as the time before when I had been arrested for standing near the police whilst owning a mobile phone.

I was starving. I’d eaten one crumpet with olive oil (the only food in the house) at 8 am,  after which I had worked on my essay for an hour, briefly attended a protest against Barclays (who fund fracking) and then been unnecessarily arrested in the process. Apparently writing in chalk in front of a bank is enough to get you manhandled by 3 cops and detained for 10 hours.

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it took 3 of them to take me away

Naturally, I was very hungry when they eventually gave us some food at 6.30pm. “It couldn’t be worse than the Spanish prison food” I’d thought, as I remembered that particular delight. I seem to remember a weird mushy green ‘energy’ bar and some dry crackers, 3 times a day. This time I was given the choice, ‘veggie chili’ or ‘beans, wedges and mushrooms’. I considered the question for a while then pumped for the beans, thinking that even prisons can’t get beans too badly wrong. Veggie chili has too many variables.

It was the most exciting thing that had happened in hours, having spent all bloody day in a cell with nothing to do and no-one to talk to and no food. It’s lucky I can see the funny side of things otherwise I would have been FURIOUS.

The ‘food’ was delivered to me through the slot without a word and I took it eagerly (minus points for service). I took my time, looking at it from various sides and taking it all in (there was really nothing else to do). The beans and ‘wedges’ came stacked up in 2 separate trays, served straight from the microwave. Nestled either side were 2 cereal bars. I opened up one of the trays, shaking slightly from the low blood sugar and poked around with the wooden cutlery to see what I could make out. A singular mushroom bobbed up at me and I lunged at it with a spoon, savouring the weird rubbery texture. “Probably one of my five a day there” I guessed and got stuck in to the rest of it, reluctantly sampling the wedges first and then finally the beans. The wedges were soggy as they had been boiled up with the beans, but at least the beans were OK. You really can’t mess up beans.

Other highlights from the day included when one of the policeman took my camera away and photographed his own crotch, and getting moved into a cell that didn’t have poo in the sink.

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all cops are idiots

So, as I sank my teeth into a real meal on Friday, the falafel flavoursome and warming, I couldn’t help but think to myself “this is what freedom tastes like”.

For more information  and a hilarious video see this Bristol Post article http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/three-arrested-after-four-hour-44459