Issue 3

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Land and Liberty - A Letter From Scotland

We the last people on Earth; the last of the free;

Have been sheltered till this day by our very remoteness;
But now the boundary of Britain has been exposed;
Beyond us lies no nation, only rock and waves and the Romans more deadly still;
The pirates of this world, who have exhausted the land by plundering and now they ransack the sea;
They create desolation and call it peace;
Let us then unconquered as we are, ready to fight for freedom,
Prove what warriors Caledonia has been holding in reserve.
- Calgacus AD 83.

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Pollock Estate

- There’s going to be an outrage and we’re starting it!

Behind the media curtain, one of Strathclyde region’s motorways is attempting to devour the largest greenbelt in Europe (within a city boundary). Feeling among the neighbouring communities, which already bears the brunt of social injustice, runs against the motorway. Pollock estate was gifted to the citizens of Glasgow and as the communal property of the people, it represents one of the last places in Scotland where ordinary folk have fully legitimate rights. A fragment of non-feudal land on which we have traditionally known and cherished liberty. Protected by three separate layers of legislation, along with a host of cast iron conditions, carefully inserted into an important agreement created by the farsighted Maxwell family. This was the first conservation agreement ever entered into by the National Trust for Scotland. The trust founder and owner of the estate, Sir John Stirling Maxwell, wished to secure the amenity of the woodland FOR EVER... - for the benefit of the citizens of Glasgow (conservation agreement 1939). The Maxwells couldn’t foresee that the official guardians (THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND) would prove incapable of doing their job. Spinelessly they wavered the conditions allowing Strathclyde regional council to buy off a vast area of the estate on which to build a motorway extension and private houses.

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News from Somerset

 

The Rover 620’s posh unveiling ceremony at Vincents showroom in Yeovil was going terribly well, that was until of course Boiler Suit Bob of South Somerset EF! sabotaged the event. Walking into the showroom through a crowd of suited modem day Romans, armed with his ‘I’m a rich executive disguise’, and his strangely acquired invitation card, he went straight over to the new £19,000 planet killing monster and pretended that he wanted to check the comfy leather seats inside. He gently sat down and then immediately handcuffed himself to the steering wheel, shouting slogans along the lines of ‘millions inhale poison in under a global Autoreich’. Police were baffled when their superdooper skeleton keys failed to unlock his cuffs - it was quite a while before they realised that they were dealing with a toy set bought for £7.95 at the nearby joke shop. Eventually the local magician was called in to unlock our Bob. The police couldn’t bring themselves to arrest someone in a suit so our Bob runs free.

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Hillforts and Revenge

 

EF!ers from the South Downs have been more or less scattered around the globe the last couple of months. One activist has been to Ireland to link up with groups there, more details in the next issue. Another has been witnessing climate change and the effects of mega-buck irrigation schemes, as vast areas of Asia continue to suffer from flooding.

Meanwhile back in the bioregion, EF!ers are getting their shit together over the A27 Folkestone to Honiton Trunk road (AKA the South Coast Motorway). The DoT has concealed the road by pretending it is over four dozen bypasses. If you’re campaigning against one of these bypasses/widening/relief roads, link up with the other groups c/o Arun EF! in Littlehampton.

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Faslane Peace Camp

 

EF! needs to build stronger links with the peace movement. There are the obvious reasons: the possibility of global annihilation through nuclear weapons, the increasing dangers posed by nuclear waste and irradiated areas, the folly of escalating our ‘deterrent capability’ through the incredibly expensive Trident programme, and last but not least, the military’s instrumental role in propping up the insane, corrupt and rapacious New World Order. But consider the following relatively little known facts as well:

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Damn That Barrage!

 

The British government is about to make environmental history. If everything goes according to plan, very soon the Cardiff Bay Barrage Bill will receive Royal Assent. When this happens, it will be the first time a government-sponsored bill has aimed to destroy an ENTIRE SSSI. Oh yes, we all know that they’ve dug them up, bulldozed through them and polluted them to hell and back, but this time the Welsh Office is determined to permanently flood the Taff/Ely Estuary in Cardiff - covering the mudflats and destroying homes and feeding grounds for thousands of birds. Why are they doing this? I hear you cry - surely there must be some reason. Surely this must be because they want to generate lots of tidal power, save the city from drowning or something? But there are no such reasons. If you were to ask the Governor General (sorry, I mean Secretary of State) for Wales he would explain in the following terms:

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M11 and A11

The Wymondham Bypass is a section of the upgrading of the A11 into a dual carriageway all the way from Norwich to London. It passes through 8km of open countryside and will mean the end of countless mature stands and the destruction of a local conservation area. The road is being justified on the grounds that it will speed up traffic and reduce congestion in Wymondham. In reality Wymondham has already been bypassed twice.

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Oil Drilling off the Welsh Coastline

Now, one would have thought that after the recent spate of oil spills that any new exploration of oil in this country would have been put on the shelf, at least for a couple of years. Nope. The Department of Trade and Industry has given a licence to Hamilton Oil to start testing etc off the Pembrokeshire coast.

What is at stake is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of Welsh coastline which include the islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skokholm and Skomer (a marine nature reserve). The DTI has also stated that their environmental advisers’ (what advisers?) advice about the potential effects of oil drilling in the Celtic Sea should remain confidential. But since the disaster in the Shetlands, we all know what likely effects can emerge, so what the hell is the purpose of clamming up? Why don’t they just admit that the government only has mega-bucks on its mind?

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Carmaggedon

 

The Climate Alliance International Day of Traffic Action on May 15th this year was the biggest ever with actions taking place in Birmingham, Bury St. Edmunds, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Brighton, Winchester and Worthing. Actions [don't you get bored with this word? Alternatives on the back of a postcard to DoD – Ed], ranged from scores of cyclists blocking the road to a straightforward anti-car march in London. Some people in Cardiff simply vented their anger by pouring a gallon of petrol over a sports car and setting light to the damn thing - by petrol was it born and by petrol will it die! Demos took place in over 50 countries including Bangladesh, Sweden, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, Uganda.... Further details from Reclaim the Streets.

- Little Blonde Boy.

Skye Campaign Soaked in Sea of Anger

On the west coast of Scotland an experiment in privatised road building is underway. A private consortium of destruction companies: Miller (based in Scotland), Dywidag (based in Germany) and the Bank of AmeriKKKa are clearcutting woodland, dynamiting shorelines and decimating one of the largest otter populations in Europe. What they are replacing the otters with is a tollbridge from the mainland to the Isle of Skye, a completely useless enterprise even if you do believe in economics. The bridge will bisect Eilean Ban, where the author of ‘Ring of Bright Water’, Gavin Maxwell lived and worked.

 

It was cold. I was wet, my wellies were too big and... I was ready to sneer at a bunch of dreadlocked professional environmentalists from England

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Golden Hill Shines Again

The battle against Tesco's continues at Bristol’s Golden Hill. Local opposition has mobilised thousands of people in the city to oppose the building of a store on a cherished area of green space and delayed construction for four months. The store was opened a day earlier than advertised to try and catch opposition on 24th May, with staff from Wiltshire and leafletters drawn from Birmingham and 200 (yes 200!) Group 4 security guards to look after the monster from enraged local shoppers. This did not prevent locals from picketing the store, carrying out trolley runs and other such antics. Numbers were further swelled by the arrival fresh from Twyford and Timbnet of over 40 mad eco-rads, who at one stage attempted to bury the store under manure and soil.

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Newcastle Tree-Sits

The Cradlewell bypass is an insane piece of inner-city road planning perpetrated by the utterly corrupt (details available ON request) Newcastle City Council. Only a mile in length, but managing to cram in a raised stretch of road on thirty foot stilts and a cut-and-cover tunnel, the proposed route will enable motorists to hurtle towards the next set of traffic lights an amazing 30 seconds faster, if it’s eventually finished circa 1995.

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Avon Gorge

This deep, narrow gorge has long been famous for its unique biology. Steep limestone cliffs harbour woods which contain species found nowhere else in the world such as the Bristol Whitebeam. There are many exceptionally rare species, including Bristol rock-cress and some rare sedges. These plants have evolved in the isolation of the gorge, relatively secure from the changes around. Man’s influence has been present but was limited to an Iron Age hillfort, a now abandoned railway track and a small amount of coppicing. In June the bus firm Badgerline announced plans to use the abandoned railway as a bus lane. More tarmac and concrete. If you live in the Bristol area please get in contact with BEAN (See contact list).

Partners in Crime

John Major loses his voice in Partners in Crime horror

‘Partnerships for Change’ was a government-sponsored conference in Manchester from the 20th-22nd of September, as a follow up to the ‘Earth (Rapists’) Summit’, last year. It was yet another attempt to portray the crisis as something that can be fixed with high levels of technology, economic growth and increasingly centralised power structures. Not surprisingly grassroots groups were not invited.

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Target Tarmac

On the 23rd of August Tarmac plc had a bit of trouble. About forty people decided that with due reflection they didn’t hold Tarmac very dear to their hearts. So it’s 7.30 am in Wolverhampton and they can be seen obstructing the entrances, hanging out of windows and generally having a whale of a time, at one of Tarmac’s head offices. The police arrived to add to the Grope 4 already in evidence and proceeded to search the building. Meanwhile our heroes had locked themselves into an office and were making use of the office coffee machine’s hospitality. Eventually the boys in blue got the door open and promptly arrested the activists for BURGLARY.

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Car chases, Sabotage and Arthur Dent

Twyford Diary – Part Two

Twyford Down has become a symbol of resistance, a training ground, a life changer and a kick up the arse to the British green movement! Below is a brief chronology of events at Twyford since 22 March. The reports of actions dating from mid-February to March 22nd can be found in ‘The Twyford Diary Part One’ - Do or Die Issue 2. To avoid security fuck ups mentions of monkeywrenching will be limited to quotes from DoT affidavits. Action at Twyford may seem hectic but what I cannot put to text was one of the greatest things to come out of Twyford. That is the camp, the community.

The last diary finished off on March 20th with the Arch Druid of Wessex cursing companies at Twyford. This is a transcript of the conversion he had with Mr. Chapman the Mott MacDonald officer. It is taken from DoT evidence in the Twyford 76 High Court case.

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News from the other islands

Border Dispute

The Native Forest Network, Earth First!ers from Vermont and the IWW blocked US/Canadian Border on the Interstate 89 highway. The blockade was finally broke up heavy handedly by US Border police. Actions were also held at the Arizona-Mexico border. Similar to ‘free’ trade legislation in Europe, NAFTA ( the North American Free Trade Agreement), is quite simply an attempt to legitimise the multi and transnational corporations ability to suck up the wealth from the rest of the world while simultaneously denigrating environmental regulations. For More info on these subjects read recent issues of the The Ecologist and contact American EF!ers. In the words of a participating activist, ‘The multinationals have formed puppet governments... so it’s up to us to rise up and give a clear message to the multinationals, “Go to Hell!”’

Source - Alarm

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TIMBNET

It may seem disproportionate, carrying such a large article on one action. However Timbnet 3 well demonstrated the problems of the way we relate to each other on actions. - editors.

On Monday 24 May, 150 to 200 people occupied the yard of Timbmet Ltd and stopped the yards work for the day. Timbmet was chosen because they are the largest supplier of Brazilian mahogany in the South of England. They deal with three of the worst Brazilian logging companies, whose names are stamped across all their mahogany. They know what they are doing and do not intend to change voluntarily. They have been caught red-handed with illegal timber twice, an almost impossible feat, considering the corrupt system they operate in.

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Not Guilty

 

This guide is intended to cover many different situations, use your head and decide what is appropriate for your situation. Learn something about the law as the police are easily intimidated by someone who looks as if they know what they’re doing and hardly ever do anything strictly by the book. At too many actions the police are grabbing a few people trumping up some ridiculous charge and getting away with it because people aren’t aware of the law or their rights. Remember if you plead not guilty and say nothing you can change your plea and sort your case out later with proper advice and time to think.

Q: IF I KEEP WITHIN THE LAW I WON’T GET ARRESTED, RIGHT?

Wrong, if you are going on actions you take a risk of being arrested. Don’t be naive, a lot of prison population is innocent. Watch the news - they lock innocent people up every day. Prisons aren’t there to protect the public, they are there to control the public.

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MENSTRUATION IN THE MODERN WORLD

In the late 19th and early 20th century, hysterectomies were advocated as a means of curing / controlling hysteria, diagnosed as a female complaint. How far have we come?

Today women are frequently defined as neurotic, psychotic and idiotic when they suffer with pre menstrual syndrome or menopausal symptoms. Common clinical explanations and strategies include hormone imbalance, HRT, anti-depressants, tranquillisers and still, finally, hysterectomy and ovarectomy.

The Western medical model seems to largely view the problem in terms of either physical, based on hormone imbalance, or ‘mental’ and in need of tranquilising! This approach takes little account of the confused and alienated female psyche on the physical female body. It also takes little stock of nutritional factors, herbs and traditional ways of dealing with menstruation such as food taboos, retreats and womens’ rituals which may in fact have a very sound basis.

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Out on the Streets

Towns such as Liverpool were built on the slave trade and the use of Africans as slave labour. The fortunes that started Lloyd’s and Barclays’ were made from the trade, infact the whole of this countries ‘wealth’ is based on the stolen land of millions of Africans, Indians, Aborigines, American Natives and even Irish, Welsh, Cornish and Scots.

Even after the end of the empire the English Government and Business sector are exploiting the poor south. Their resources are taken at insulting prices fixed by the Buyers who, as we saw in the Gulf war are prepared to go to war to keep prices down. British companies then sell massive amounts of weapons to people such as Saddam in the full knowledge that they will be used to kill civilians and ‘uncivilised peoples’.

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Move - They Kill vegetarians

THEY KILL VEGETARIANS!

MOVE is short for movement. Like Earth First! they believe in the Liberation of all life. They advocate vegetarianism, disrupt circuses and start communes. They do where others preach. They have been continually harassed by the authorities and have suffered beatings and deaths including the death of a baby dragged from the arms of it’s mother Janine Africa and trampled to death by the police until it’s head was crushed. On the 13th of May 1985 a MOVE commune in Philadelphia was destroyed by a bomb dropped from a helicopter by Lieutenant Frank Powell, commander of the Philadelphia Bomb Disposal Unit. 11 men, women and children died. Why ?

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Government

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by people who have neither the right nor the knowledge or the virtue. To be governed means to be at each operation, at each transaction, at each movement, noted, registered, controlled, taxed, stamped, measured, valued, assessed, patented, licensed, authorised, endorsed, admonished, hampered, reformed, rebuked and arrested.

It is to be, on the pretext of the general interest, taxed, drilled, held to ransom, exploited, monopolised, extorted, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the least resistance, at the first word of complaint, to be repressed, beaten, disarmed, garrotted, imprisoned, machine gunned, judged, condemned, deported, flayed, sold, betrayed and finally mocked ridiculed, insulted and dishonoured. That’s justice, that’s morality!

- Proudhon, 1851

The Wilderness!

After being inspired by a trip to see Alan Watson and the Trees for Life project in Scotland (see DoD 2), a few EF!ers from the South Downs set themselves up to buy back land for the wilderness. ‘The Wilderness!’ now has people working away from the Hebrides to Hastings. This article seeks to explain why some EF!ers are doing something they pledged never to do - go fund-raising.

The Great Taiga forest is being pushed out of Scotland. The Oak woodlands are now but tiny islands, zoos for day trippers. All that is left of Caladon is a few sparse patches and the mountains are near soil-less. The rivers are either being systematically damned so that their energy be diverted into toasters and powerlines or used as holding tanks to irrigate the cities’ ever more demanding population. British Man killed off the Brown bears in the 10th century, Beavers in the 13th, the wild boar in the 16th and the wolf lost its last strongholds in the wilds of Scotland in the 18th. We live in one of the biggest ecological disasters in the world!

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The Wilderness!

After being inspired by a trip to see Alan Watson and the Trees for Life project in Scotland (see DoD 2), a few EF!ers from the South Downs set themselves up to buy back land for the wilderness. ‘The Wilderness!’ now has people working away from the Hebrides to Hastings. This article seeks to explain why some EF!ers are doing something they pledged never to do - go fund-raising.

The Great Taiga forest is being pushed out of Scotland. The Oak woodlands are now but tiny islands, zoos for day trippers. All that is left of Caladon is a few sparse patches and the mountains are near soil-less. The rivers are either being systematically damned so that their energy be diverted into toasters and powerlines or used as holding tanks to irrigate the cities’ ever more demanding population. British Man killed off the Brown bears in the 10th century, Beavers in the 13th, the wild boar in the 16th and the wolf lost its last strongholds in the wilds of Scotland in the 18th. We live in one of the biggest ecological disasters in the world!

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Paranoia.. noia.. noia... noia BOO!

- To be or not to be paranoid

Richard and I have just sat through our four week trial, and hope to pass onto everyone some of the information we have come across. This is not intended to be a scare story, but to help us better understand the way that the police treat Animal Rights. (Although many EF!ers may have difficulties with ‘Animal Rights’ tendency to put certain lifeforms above others, never the less the police will view us as AR activists - ed.)

There is a special unit working out of Scotland Yard, called the Animal Rights National Index (ARNI). Their task is to gather large amounts of information on individuals. When, during our trial, it became clear that they were doing a much better job than we had ever imagined, I decided to try and establish their sources of information and how they use it.

So far the police have indexes on people, addresses, vehicles and telephone numbers. It is quite shocking to find they have 21,000 names on the index. Each person’s sheet runs like this. Name, address, d.o.b., schooling, job, phone number, other numbers used such as passport and bank accounts, aliases used, physical description with updates if it changes ie haircuts, contact with police, sightings on demos, people standing next to the subject or travelling together, vehicles registered to subject and other vehicles driven, associates and friends, memberships of organisations and past record of convictions.

Obviously, the more contact the police have had with you the larger the file. But the more active you are, for instance sabbing, actions, demos and friends involved in campaigning the more likely is the chance of them having something on your file.

They use this information to build up an idea of who knows who and how strong their involvement is. So the areas we should be keenly aware of being careful about are address books and vehicles. Perhaps go through your address book and rewrite without using surnames and area (STD) codes. That will confuse them if they ever get their hands on it. If you can, use hired vehicles on demos and register your car at a different address, or better still get everyone in your group to use the same address.

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Welsh trial exposes MI5

At the end of a two month trial in Caernarfon, Wales, two men were acquitted of charges of conspiracy to cause explosions while a third, Sion Roberts was jailed for 12 years for possessing explosives and sending letter bombs. The Gwynedd 3 conspiracy trial was the outcome of the latest unsuccessful attempt by the English state to catch members of the Welsh Meibion Glyndwr.

The trial was significant in that it brought to light some of the activities of MI5. For the first time M15 agents gave evidence in open court about their operations, which included bugging, burgling, and following suspects. In one incidence it emerged that 38 MI5 agents were used to follow Sion on a small demonstration in Caernarfon.

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NEWS FROM THE ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT

A conspiracy of silence has once more been introduced by the State/Establishment in an attempt to convince people that the ALF is not as active as it was, that it is a spent force, that new activists are not taking up the struggle. Nothing could be further from the truth. To quote an ALF Supporters Group newsletter from the mid 1980s it’s still going .... still growing.

One example of ruthless censorship was a contamination of Boots products in March of this year. I was on my way to Scotland by rail when a call came on my phone that a package containing a bottle of Boots anti-dandruff shampoo, contaminated with see-through polish, had been left at the Manchester office of the Daily Mail, marked for the attention of their news desk. Other various types of Boots shampoo had been similarly contaminated and placed, unmarked, on shelves of Boots throughout the Northwest.

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Prisoners of War

Annette Tibbles & Richard Duriez.

Annette and Richard were found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson. Both have been sentenced to four years (See Paranoia..noia...noia..boo!). Annette Tibbles, 112215, HMP Holloway, Parkhurst Road, Holloway, London, N7 0NU. Richard Duriez, 7B1807, HMP Bullingdon, P.O Box 50, ArnicottBicester, Oxfordshire, OX6 0PR

 

Rik Scarce.

Rik was author of ‘Eco-Warriors: understanding the radical eco-movement’. He refused to reveal his sources from EF! and ALF interviews. Rik Scarce, SpokaneCountyJail, 1100 West Mallon, Spokane, WA99260, USA

 

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Lettuce To The Cabbage

Dear Cabbage,

When Earth First! came to this country the environment movement was dying, the established groups becoming increasingly establishment and the numbers of people fighting for this planet were dwindling. Nearly the only place you would see the word ‘environment’ was on an ICI aerosol. Earth First! set out to wake it up, and I think we can claim it’s done pretty well.

Over the last months I have seen Earth First!ers especially at Twyford Down, become increasingly prevalent in the media. I have seen the front pages of tabloids run sympathetic stories, tories pledging allegiance to anti road campaigning, the Labour and Liberal Democrats increasingly acting like dongaphiles and newspapers doting when once they called us ‘eco-fascists’, ‘world extremists’ and ‘eco-terrorists’. I read in Friends of the Earth’s magazine, EF!ers at Twyford being described as ‘heroic individuals’, when only a year and a half back we were, ‘anti-environmental activists’.

I hear that Greenpeace are allowing there local groups to partake in and organise direct action, until recently they were ‘fund-raising groups’, not even allowed to run conventional campaigns. The Green Party is starting to organise direct action. Anti-road groups are springing up everywhere. The Council for the Protection of Rural England are advising there members about going on site. Even Militant Labour - not known for ecological ethics - are telling there members to get involved.

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Resources

‘... One days exposure to mountains is better than a cartloads of books’.

John Muir (1838-1914)

‘Ancient Futures - Learning from Ladakh’

by Helena Norberg-Hodge, pub. Rider Books 1992.

This one is for those unfortunate individuals who still, against all the evidence, retains some faith in Western style development and mass society. The author was present in Ladakh (in the Indian Himalayas) both before and after the onset of tourism and so called development, which was designed to break the traditional subsistence culture and force integration into the wider Indian, and global, money economy. Norberg-Hodge had the perfect opportunity, in ‘one of the last subsistence economies to survive virtually intact to the present day’, to witness what development does to an indigenous culture and its environment.

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