by Adam Ford
It was an oddly relaxed mid-afternoon on the seventh day of the Vestas wind turbine factory occupation yesterday [Tuesday 27th July], as demonstrators in the roundabout solidarity camp listened to a couple of musicians in the Isle of Wight sunshine.
With Vestas going to court on Wednesday in an attempt to get legal backing for an eviction, it was very much a case of the calm before the storm. In the meantime there was apparently little for people to do except lounge around in their tents, and occasionally shout their support to the occupiers when they came out on the balcony.
The two-strong police presence looked quite bored, faced by a small but diverse gaggle of campers. There seemed to be little interaction within the camp, as representatives from the RMT sat quietly next to timid elderly green protesters and younger climate activists. More importantly, there was no organised practical way in which casual visitors could contribute.
Certainly, it could be argued that a ‘do it yourself’ ethic could form part of the way forward, but the absence of even a collection bucket for the solidarity fund illustrates a disconnect between the various groups of experienced activists present (all of whom have their own agendas to push), and a general public which will be looking for an entrance point to radical politics in the months and years ahead.
There can be no doubting the significance of the red/green alliance on the Isle, but Monday’s evidence suggests it is still very much an uneasy one.