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Mayday Weekend in The Woods, Ecotopia, Co. Clare.
Report on CELT training from a participant.
From the newswire (with minor editing) While protesters were gathering in Dublin amid the clouds of fake media hysteria, 80-100 people were in the woods in Co. Clare participating in 14 different courses in environmental and ecological trades run by CELT (Centre for Environmental Living and Training).
Saturday and Sunday last, May first and second, saw this year's first Weekend In The Woods, in Bealkeally, Scarrif, County Clare. The Weekend in The Woods.
Many of same people I had seen before in various actions and protests. Here though they were to be seen learning about river ecology, native woodlands, herbal lore, wood carving, blacksmithing, coppersmithing; building yurts, wattle and daub walls; making tipis rustic furniture, baskets, long bows, dry stone walls….. Others were there just to float about and soak up the beauty and energy of the birds, plants and animals of the woods and lake.
Image: from photoalbum documenting Ecotopia2002 in Co.Clare
I had forgotten the beauty of the place. Such a richness and diversity of life pouring out its healing to all there. One person told me she was happy to be there, that Mayday in Dublin wasn't a priority for her that day but June 25 in Shannon was. Another said she'd been a bit burned out by activism in the last 2 years, that she was currently growing a garden and getting involved locally in Clare.
I was there to make a tipi, following a tip from someone I'd met on The Tree Walk early April. It is going to be for my nieces to play in. I was also curious to see just what the WITW was about and eager to visit again the site of Ecotopia, after almost 3 years. A group of 7 of us made 7 tipis over 2 days. Some of us were making children's tipis for family, others were hoping to create something bigger to live in. We spend the weekend sewing canvas with those hand-operated singer sewing machines, like a work group, everyone helping eachother out.
The at night we had the quiet of the night, the stars, and the fire for company and warmth. We even had the odd song to soothe hearts: a man called Stuart sang a song by George Winstanley about the Diggers, and how they opposed the enclosures of common land, squatted on St. Georges Hill only to be burned out of it by Cromwell's Army.
Weekend In The Woods started over 2 years ago in the wake of the Ecotopia Gathering on the same site. (Remember the Ecotopia Gathering? W.O.W. It's happening in the Netherlands this year http://www.eyfa.org/ecotopia2004intro.htm)
The camp was run on consensus, non-hierarchical principles. The work in maintaining a sustainable, semi-self sufficient camp was shared and every day workshops were held on everything from non-violent direct action techniques, independent media, mediation, yoga, tai chi, herbal medicine, ecology, permaculture etc etc.
Everyone was amazed at the interest and diversity of peoples attending. Finally a serious political event in Ireland that wasn't being hijacked by the Socialist Workers Ideologues. The event took on a life of its own as prejudices and barriers between people faded away. From hard core punks to fluffy tree huggers, from university lecturers to anarchists, from middle class hurlers on the ditch to committed activists.
Each day brought new faces. Over the course of the last week, many of the English brigade in Ireland started to arrive. You know the ones, or at least the stereo type: the english 'travellers', 'hippies' 'drop outs', 'blow-ins'. The people from Coole Mountain in West Cork, and other places.
Having come to Ireland to flee Thatcher's privatised market-driven Nightmare of the 80s, what can have been their horror to have to lived through hectic, money-fenzied 'CelticTiger' Ireland, to see slow-paced rural un-developed Ireland becoming a thing of the past.
Yet here in Scarrif County Clare were these Irish-English people finally meeting up with young Irish sharing many of their beliefs and willing to put their necks on the line.
The success of the Workshops at Ecotopia ( gave inspiration among many/many other things:eg Shannon Peace Camp)to the people at CELT (Centre for Environmental Living and Training) to stage their 'Weekend in The Woods'.
If the people on the Streets of Dublin are Reclaiming The Streets, the people down in Scarrif are reclaiming crafts, lore and folk knowledge from the poison of TV/media fakeimage-distraction irreality.
Its good to have positive news stories of what people are doing for themselves and their communities. Not just what we are opposing and how.
Well I should have written about The Tree Walk for Indymedia (so should you Anthony you naughty boy)……
But I didn’t. So now I've written about The Weekend In The Woods, in Bealkeally County Clare, last weekend.
((((((In case anybody hasn't heard of The Tree Walk for Peace, it involves people walking around Ireland in the springtime planting trees in National Schools, talking with kids about trees and Nature, camping out, cooking and drinking from local wells! It's been going the last few years after being started in 1998 (I think) by John Crossan from Leitrim (I think). I know a couple of people who had been on it so I decided to do it this year, the last week in March. It is a great idea, is an brilliant practical action, but need people to come with fresh ideas of how to carry it forward.))))))bye now,
nar laige Dia sibh,
The Diggers' Song The World Turned Upside Down In 1649, to Saint George's Hill A ragged band they called The Diggers came to show the people's will They defied the landlords, they defied the law They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs 'We come in peace' they said, 'to dig and sow We come to work the land in common and to make the waste-land grow This earth divided, we will make whole So it can be a common treasury for all' 'The sin of property, we do disdain No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain By theft and murder, they took the land Now everywhere the walls spring up at their command' 'They make the laws, to chain us well The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell We will not worship the god they serve The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor men starve We work, we eat together, we need no swords We will not bow to the masters nor pay rent to the lords We are free men, though we are poor You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now From the men of property The orders came They sent the hired men and troopers To wipe out the Diggers claim Tear down their cottages Destroy their corn They were dispersed - But still the vision lingers on 'You poor take courage You rich take care The earth was made a common treasury For everyone to share All things in common All people one We come in peace' - The order came to cut them down 'We come in peace' - The order came to cut them down.
Lets report whats happening. Lets tell eachother what's going on.