It was a great learning experience to interview Helen Beynon for E.T. YouTube, regarding her book Twyford Rising. Twyford Rising is about the Twyford Down direct action road protest that kick-started the road protest movement of the 90’s in Britain. This was a movement which, although many don’t know this, had a pivotal influence on environmental campaigning thereafter, in the UK and further afield.
Helen also has other books in the pipeline, including Faultlines, an exploration of communities and landscapes affected by fracking and The Unbounded Land, a book about common land in Britain today. Visit Helen’s main website here.
High points for me of our chat include:
- Learning about the largest acts of mass civil disobedience in British history (no, it’s not Extinction Rebellion)
- Learning about the importance of knowing your history, when it comes to protest and rebellion!
- Finding out about the solidarity between the Twyford Down protest and the women of Greenham Common
- Discovering that consensus based decision making can be used, and has been used, in the rapidly changing context of a street protest or march
Helen is not just a writer and recorder of significant recent history regarding environmental activism in the UK; she is a frontline activist who has been arrested many times by the police. She’s also easy-going and down to earth.
If you are a serious activist in the UK, let me strongly suggest that you learn about Twyford Rising.