Home | Friday 10th September 2010 | Issue 738
LEWES ROAD: FORKED OFF
Despite the hoardings having gone up and the plants, pots and garden furniture occupying a skip in the razed forecourt, the Lewes Road Community Garden leaves a lasting legacy for residents and the wider community and may even rise again – so claimed die-hard locals and guerrilla gardeners at a heavily policed demo outside the site on Wednesday (8th) night.
The day before (7th) at 2am – fifteen or more bailiffs backed by a dozen Sussex plod evicted the occupied site after the third time of trying. As well as it being a snide tactic, barging on site in the early hours, the High Court writ contained errors - wrong planning numbers - and the occupant, in the garden office, a legal squatter was forcibly removed. Which all adds up to an illegal eviction as far as we can work out m’Lud, leaving aside the obvious noise regulations shat on.
One local resident told SchNEWS: “I’ve never sworn so much at the police and not got arrested. The noise went on from 2-3am until 5. And what for? To make way for a Tesco – brilliant!”
On Wednesday Tesco bosses met up with Brighton MP Caroline Lucas. Nice one Caroline - ‘horse’ and ‘bolted’ come to mind. And no it’s not true she wasn’t spotted leaving the meeting with a Tesco halloumi cheese and rocket wrap in her pocket despite strong rumours. Apparently they - Tesco - are going to ‘mull it over for two weeks’ before deciding business as usual i.e let’s fuck up another community.
The Co-op employing more than 20 workers and standing bang next door faces certain closure while a Spar over the road and smaller Turkish shop and other African and Asian greengrocers further down are looking down the same barrel.
Meanwhile garden campaigners – who took over the site in May 2009 after it had lain derelict as a former Esso garage for five years (see SchNEWS 680) - have made an official complaint to Sussex Police about the eviction and are planning to take the case back to the High Court.
During it’s tenure the garden became a meeting space for residents without gardens, a play area for kids, a community compost centre and an outdoor venue for films, acoustic music and yoga among other things.