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.
Eight arrests - two people being held for 23 hours for obstructing a road for 20 seconds! The police had decided to break resistance with arrests and hold individuals until the action was over but this did little to stem the protest of ordinary Bristol people.
Tesco’s launched a propaganda offensive which cost £10,000s, including two page colour ads for the store in the local paper and numerous glossy green leaflets. Tesco’s were supported by the Evening Post who claimed the demonstrators had fought with police and anarchists had organised the protest. The foul local freebie claimed that protesters had grubbed up trees to use to batter property and police!
Despite all the lies and arrests the actions over two days worked well. One friend who took part in a trolley run said it was the only time that he had seen a supermarket without queues. The car park, even when swelled by security, staff and press, remained empty. The vast majority of people in North Bristol are boycotting the store. An arresting officer claimed that Tesco’s were prepared to run the store at a loss for two years to prove their point - protesters have actively fought them for ten years and cost them £100,000s in increased costs (security, policing and propaganda) - they will certainly continue until the store has closed, been demolished and the land restored.
The fight against Tesco’s, far from being purely local, has implications outside its region. In Britain supermarkets compete. Where Sainsburys has a store, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose etc follow. Tesco is spearheading the construction of new superstores with hundreds planned over the country.
From the Hills Gablonga! to Earth Warriors
* Blockade your local Tesco’s
* Look out for billboards!
* Grow some of your own food. Eat organic and buy locally in bulk.
* Let Tesco’s know that you are on to them and out to restore Golden Hill.
- For more info read “Store Wars”, DoD 1 and contact: NSSA, 210 Kelloway Ave, Golden Hill, Bristol.