Warmest wishes and motivational ‘Go Team Veggies!’
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th July
Peace in the Park – Oxfordshire
A Buddhist event at the Global Retreat Centre with a mix of music, talks and meditation pavilions. Events and activities will include ‘Mindset Talks’, new ‘One Question’ events, woodland activities for children and adults, story-telling from ancient lands, an open air chill-out meditation lounge, sacred music in the grounds, and the hugely popular ‘Meditation & Music for the World’ event.
Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th July
Northern Green Gathering
Derbyshire Dales, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire
A small volunteer-run environmental/educational gathering, a 4 day event on a beautiful new site, focussed around sustainable living and green campaigns. There will be environmental workshops & campaigns, permaculture, organic veggie cafes, stalls, healers & alternative therapies, kids space, theatre & circus workshops, and a showcase of environment living in action, including solar power and wind power.
Thursday 31st July to Sunday 3rd August
Green Gathering – Chepstow, Wales
At the Green Gathering you can rediscover ancient skills and explore
pathways to future sustainability; talk with key speakers from the Green movement and engage in lively debate at the Green Forum venue and inform yourselves about current issues and causes with groups in the Campaigns area, which will include a Co-ops Camp, co-ordinated by Radical Routes.
Thursday 31st July to Monday 4th August
Peace News Summer Camp 2014 – E.Suffolk
Event to help build a radical movement for the future by building a living community today, with local activists – top trainers – revolution – non-violence – learning from other movements – community – glorious countryside.
Thursday 14th to Wednesday 20th August
Reclaim The Power – location TBA
August will see thousands ‘Reclaim the Power’ and stand in solidarity with communities opposing fracking. Camp will be a hub for skillshares, workshops, entertainment and direct action. There will be a probable Veggies Cafe space & action catering.
Thursday 28th to Monday 1st September
Earth First Summer Gathering
The Earth First! Summer Gathering is the place where people involved in radical ecological direct action – or those who want to be involved – get together for five days of time and space to talk, walk, share skills, learn, play, rant, find out what’s going on, find out what’s next, live outside, strategise, hang out, incite, laugh and conspire. The workshops, networking and planning of actions at this low impact eco-living camp is organised non-hierarchically.
Daneshill Road,Sutton-cum-Lound,nr. Retford, same road as Daneshill lakes
*Come and see the Drill and site where they are drilling for coal bed methane
*Get information to make your own mind up.
*Have fun- bring family and friends
*Meet the campers trying to protect this lovely place
*Enjoy beautiful Daneshill Lakes and woodland
ACTIVITIES so far
Natural arts and crafts
Tree climbing with harness
Tight rope walking
Rebel Clown Army fun
Decorate the Gate with pictures of the future we want…happy children beautiful countryside etc,
BRING YOUR SKILLS. BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
… and bring
*food and drink to share,
*acoustic instruments, poems, songs, dances,
*all the things you need for any activities you want to run.
*water bottle (no running water at camp)
*camping gear if you want to stay
Our location enabled us to highlight other activities in the Green Futures Field, such as the Speakers Forum, which featured the Lush Charity Pot Slam, and the main Green Information Point further up the track:
A special mention too to Zia Solar Systems that helped with the power to keep the foods as chilled as the crew!
Pulp Friction Smoothies
We were delighted to have been loaned a Pulp Friction bike to add d-i-y smoothies to the low-tech, low energy activities at Veggies at Glastonbury.
Goody Good Stuff sweets combine the highest quality blend of ingredients including natural fruit juices and extracts which create a beautifully clear consistency and a superior taste experience. The entire line is vegetarian, fat-free, meat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Halal and Kosher certified.
Our crew are reflecting on ways to make this huge campaign outreach mission work even better in future. If you have and thought, please contact us.
- “Well, first and foremost, I think we should totally be giving ourselves a big pat of the back. Couldn’t really ask much more from a team. ”
- Campaign space worked better than it ever has.
- In spite of some fantastic contributions to the Veggies aesthetic, our frontage and customer lounge still looked like the practical marqueue of a not-for-profit, grass roots, campaigning organization, rather than a slick professional venue (IMHO).
- Campaigning: We need to have recurring activities to draw people in like the smoothy maker, taste testings and other good ideas. They need to be on all the time as well, we had a great campaign space and people came when they could interact in some way, but when there was nothing to interact with the space seemed pretty quiet apart from staff (its Glastonbury they’ll find other things to do). We need to properly brainstorm interactive things we can have inside the space and practice them before the event (maybe use at regular events as well) and have them running as long as the space is open and draw lots of people in and get them educated or at least give them a leaflet.
- One crew member in the multi-use space just didn’t really work in my opinion, you get pulled into a conversation about the badger cull, giving a milk taster round, prepping fruit for the pedal-smoothie, clearing up the space and sign-posting people to the trailer for their coffee. If you add to that trying to start a burger demo, re-organise the merchandise, checking the honesty pots, facepaint and clean up the relishes table, it makes it impossible for 1 person in a multi-use space to do any one of those things efficiently or effectively.
- People used the cafe space when trailer crew encouraged them to, same goes for campaign space. I think if trailer crew felt more joined up with the campaign space and had those quick conversations whilst burgers were waiting or coffee brewing, it would have got a masses more traffic. It’s the point of contact, if we miss that, we miss the person.
- Integrate not just the trailer into the campaign space but the crew and the whole approach – otherwise we really are just serving burgers to rich festival punters and raising funds for Veggies (which is valid but we can do more than just that):
- Trailer crew are resourced with whatever they need to make those conversations with customers possible
- The campaign period is shortened with 2 crew on it at all times or better seek funding or other support to be able to extend the campaigning for a full 12 hours each day.
- Much clearer continuity between the Veggies trailer and the ‘badger cafe’ – customers really didn’t get that it was the same space
- I also think we should have stayed open until 5am as between midnight and 4am everyone who normally camps out around the main stages is somewhere between Arcadia, Shangra La and the stone circle.
- An additional crew member might be be better used helping in kitchen rather than than trailer, so that more cake, bhajis, pizza, soups, meals etc could be made.
- Chrissy enjoyed cooking crew meals, and didn’t mind working through til 9pm most evenings. Surplus meals might be offered on an ad-hoc basis to customers, subject to availability.
- We absolutely should have had some frontage next to Groovy Movie. We were focussed so much on grabbing attention from the cross roads we were actually closing ourselves off from people coming back down from the stone circle, or in the Green Futures Field.
- We need to think about cake display – we should keep an eye out for a two or three tiered cake display with a cover. I also think we should have had cakes, pasties and cold drinks on a table in the marquee with an honestly pot for those who did come in asking.
- The Indian place down the track was already trading when we arrived so we must be open as early as possible. On the Tuesday evening we were the only people open and we were doing steady trade throughout.
- There were times before and after the main festival was running that crew were hungry and the conventional 3 meals a day hadn’t really been considered and planned in.
- I would have liked to have a daily meeting/briefing during which ideally all crew members get together to:
… communicate the ‘extra-tasks’ and priorities of the day, and designate people to action those so everybody knows what to do and how to help
… raise any relevant issues (concerns, worries, requests for help, big-ups…) in order to facilitate communication and relieve any tension amongst ourselves as well as celebrate our hard work
- The festival officially finished on Sunday night. Some of the team arrived home late on Tuesday evening.
In 1985 Veggies helped establish Nottingham’s Rainbow Centre, later taking on the co-ordination of the running of the space. In 2001 the support generated over the previous decades enabled the purchase of the Sumac Centre, a collectively owned space supporting a wide range of interconnected initiatives, including being the home of Veggies Catering Campaign.
On Satuday 8th December 2012 there is to be a discussion on the future of the Sumac Centre noting, amongst other things, its role as “a meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.”
This role hasn’t just happened in isolation.
It is due to Veggies and others being centrally involved in the running of Sumac from 15 years before it even existed. We may feel this role to be carved in stone, and this may well be the case.
However Sumac is simply the sum of its parts so we, as ‘vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners’ must continue to play our part.
If you are free on Saturday 8/12/12 (11am-6pm) please consider supporting the vegan status of the Sumac Centre and its role as a national resource for the animal rights movement.
This Saturday is a Sumac visioning day, a chance for all of you who come to the Sumac Center to bring your excitement, enthusiasm and inspiration in order to help shape the future of the Sumac Centre.
- How is the Sumac used?
Meeting place, tat storage, music venue, peoples kitchen, food bank, a base for lots of varied campaigns/alternative cultures, bike project, fundraiser events, information and awareness raising events, film screenings, autonomous DIY infrastructure, ABC letter writing, gardening club.
- Is this the kind of useage we want to continue?
- What is the current purpose of the Sumac?
A meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.
This will include a conversation about whether the sumac is there to engage with the local geographical community or the activist community. It’s a stable part of infrastructure for ‘our movement’.
- Is this the purpose we want to go forward with?
There will be lunch in the middle and we’ll all have a big ole delicous peoples kitchen at the end.
The Sumac Centre is an independent community and activist resource centre. It is made up of a community cafe, social club, library, exhibition space, veggie catering campaign, filmnights, talks, meeting spaces and the residents. The centre is used by various campaign groups and collectives working towards social change and justice for all. Come and visit us!
Well, not actually ours, but Growing with Grace is looking for investment to save their stock-free organic farm!
Former Sumac volunteer, Eleanor Fairbrother has recently become a grower at Growing With Grace, an organic farm in the Yorkshire Dales.
The farm is an amazing place, with 2 acres of glass houses. It supplies organic vegetables to local people via its shop, box scheme, and wholesale to other retail outlets. It is committed to its stock free status, with all its fertility coming from an onsite composting scheme of the local green waste.
Growing With Grace is also committed to environmental stewardship, using biodiesel made on site in its tractors and delivery vehicles, and promoting biodiversity in the greenhouses with permaculture techniques, including a spectacular forest garden under glass (with peaches, figs, and nectarines!). It is also committed to co-operation and non-hierarchy, having been a workers co-op since its inception, and now being a community co-op.
The farm has been in financial trouble for 2 years, after a failed take over by a larger social enterprise, but it now has a bunch of new directors who have changed it from a workers co-op to a community co-op, reorganised the business plan, and are now doing a share issue to raise funds to save the farm.
Growing with Grace needs around £60,000 to make it financially viable and has until the end of July to get it!
They are asking individuals / groups to buy a £100 share in the farm (or more if you want!). You will then be part owner of the farm, and able to vote at AGMs etc. The farm will be able to get back on its feet, and will be able to get back to full production and profitability. Copies of the share issue prospectus, and an application form are available in PDF form on our website.
It is essentially an ethical donation, but technically you could withdraw your money in a couple of years, and you can also expect to get a small dividend on your money from around the same time. Until they have raised enough money that they know they are financially viable, your money will be kept in a holding account, and if they don’t raise enough money to save the farm, we will return it.
As a ‘stock-free’ farm no animal products such as blood, bonemeal or slurry from factory farmed animals are used. More information on truely animal friendly farming can be obtained from the Vegan Organic Network.
The success of the day depended on the support of autonomous self-contained teams of volunteers, each with 3 people including one adult confident to explain the ‘political campaign’ status of their stall to anyone official that might ask.
On the Friday cakes, pizza and other food samples were prepared at the Sumac Centre, and each stall kit was sorted out with tables, literature and utensils.
We then gathered at Sumac from 10am on Saturday to tour around the City, dropping off each stall in turn and collecting each one back as and when time, crew or supplies run out. Base camp was at the Old Angel, Stoney Street off Hockley, opposite the end of Broad (Broadway) Street, with a sampling stall nearby.
Franny went on to direct the Climate Change blockbuster ‘Age of Stupid’, which Veggies was pleased to support as part of the Nottingham Not Stupid team that brought the film to Nottingham.
In producing ‘McLibel’, Franny’s Spanner Films invented a new concept of ‘Crowd Funding’, whereby hundreds of ordinary people made an affordable investment in the film.
Now the Crowd Funding concept is (hopefully) bringing a new kick-ass activist film to the screens:
It’s called Just Do It and it’s going to be a feature film about climate change activists, it’s going to be funny and inspiring. Who knows you might even spot Veggies at the now infamous G20 demonstrations in London or at the Great Climate Swoop at Nottm’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station.
They’re making it totally independently (ie no big backers) and planning to give it to us for free. But money doesn’t grow on trees, so they need our help.
The producers, all climate activists themselves, are seeking crowd funding and Lush are doubling donations. Having benefited from Lush support ourselves we have sent a small donation from the Samosas for Social Change fund, but others are encouraged to go over to their website, check it out, and make a donation.
Sadly we have hit a hitch with the potential 7th East Midlands Vegan Festival (EMVF).
Due to its success in bringing in some 2000 people each year, the Council will no longer allow the use of the Council House, due to the ‘wear and tear’ that the event is causing to the building.
We have been searching for other options, but are stuggling to find another venue immediately where the public pass by. We have always targetted the EMVF at the non-vegan general public by holding the event right where they are, rather than at a less prominent venue that would likely attract only those already committed to dietary change.
It may be possible to take it out onto Nottingham’s central Old Market Square (in front of the Council House), but this would take the budget over £2000 rather than the previously affordable £1000 – the event is self-funded, with the support of the Vegan Society and many small independent vegan traders, and organised by volunteers from Nottingham’s vegan community.
Taking the event outside would also necessitate a move from its prime pre-christmas Saturday date, and none of our shortlisted dates have found favour with the Council.
Other options include taking the event on the road, for example to Derby, Leicester or Lincoln, or taking it out of the city centre, for example to the Arboretum, the successful venue for Nottingham’s Green Festival.
So it is unlikely that there will be an EMVF in 2010.
However, never to be deterred, campaigning continues with the vegan outreach offered by the EMVF being replaced by monthly Vegan Free Food Give-Aways at various city centre locations, including on the doorstep of the Council House! Each of these events gives the opportunity to engage directly with a hundred members of the public, reaching a thousand during the year.
The EMVF team also hosted the world’s first Vegan Beer Festival at the Sumac Centre, Nottingham’s vegan social centre.