Activism and... Mud

IssueApril 2013

I do find that quite a lot of people think that to ‘get back to nature’ we should spend our time wallowing in mud. The practical problems of that [anti-roads] camp in Combe Haven [East Sussex]…. I’m quite glad I only turned up the day before the evictions happened, otherwise I would have had to spend days living in all that mud.

The thing I enjoyed most about being in a tree for three days [during the evictions] was being out of the mud for three days.

One of the things about being taken out of the tree [by the police] was not just the inevitable feelings you have when you are taken by the state, it was also: ‘Oh no, they’re going to take me back down into the mud again...’.

I realise it is a tactic for delaying eviction, but living in a tree also has an element of escapism in it as well.

I guess I find it difficult that quite a lot of people kind of at the hippier end of activism seem to idolise mud and I think: ‘Actually, while I am quite sceptical about the benefits of civilisation, there is quite a lot to be said for the fact that we don’t have to spend our whole time wading through mud’.

While I’ve spent quite a bit of time protesting about the laying of tarmac, I think there is also something to be said for it – in some places.

Male activist, West Sussex


Hmmm. I’m thinking.... I think, by and large, that it’s something I’ve managed to avoid.

I recommend the purchase and retention of a reliable pair of Wellington boots.

Profound stuff. I’ll let you use that for free.

Male activist, East Sussex

Topics: Activism
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