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Legal victory for Diggers Camp at Runnymede

A partial legal victory is being celebrated around the campfires at Runnymede tonight. The case related to the handful of occupants who make up the Diggers 2012 community, who are holding the land under the banner “We: peaceful people, declare our intention to go and cultivate the disused land of this island; to build dwellings and live together in common by the sweat of our brows.”

They've been there since June, building a wattle and daub hut, doing green woodwork and generally 'making the wastelands grow'. The situation is slightly complicated as they're simultaneously occupying sites owned by the National Trust and a body weirdly identifying itself as 'Oracle Runnymede' – this has given them a certain amount of leeway as over the last few months they've been able to engage in a series of deft Dukes of Hazzard style manouevers – evading justice by continual crossing of the county line.

However it looked like the game was up this Thursday as in Slough County Court the National Trust were seeking a blanket anti-tresspass injunction on 200 acres of land surrounding the Magna Carta monument. Crucially as well being taken out against three named individuals the injunction was aimed at 'persons unknown' I.e you and me and would have allowed the National Trust to use 'reasonable force' to remove tresspassers. It was also accompanied by a possession order. The judge granted the possesion order – but as one Runnymede camper told us “We took the last of the tents down on Saturday anyway so it was a moot point”. However he struck out the 'persons unknown' clause and didn't grant an interim injunction leaving Phoenix, James and Simon to fight their case in five weeks time.

One of the occupiers told SchNEWS “The National Trust is gearing itself up for the 800 year anniversary of the Magna Carta – they want a high profile event and have got the Queen on board. They're petrified that the rabble are going to turn up”


The Runnymede crew are determined to stay in place and welcome all visitors.


For more http://diggers2012.wordpress.com/


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Twitter: @SchNEWS