Valentine's Day Battye Massacre

On Valentine's Day, about 15 members of Oldham Earth First held a demonstration at the home of Oldham Council Leader John Battye. The Earth Firsters played crazy golf in Battye's garden in protest over the Council's plans to destroy Beal Valley (one of Oldham's few remaining green areas), using it as a giant tip for M66 rubble and toxic waste, then turning it into a golf course.


Oldham Earth First give Battye (insert) something to think about

Although expecting some police presence, the protesters were shocked to find Mr. Battye had a copper inside the house. But more was to come.

A couple of days after the local press had covered the garden protest, Mr. Battye wrote to the Oldham Evening Chronicle (the Oldham equivalent of the MEN) slagging them off for not breaking the embargo on the press release. Mr. Battye thanked the MEN for breaking the embargo (not the first time the MEN have done this - be warned!) since it meant he could arrange for a police riot van outside his house, a copper inside, video surveillance and phone taps (his or Earth Firsts'?). A bit of an over-reaction if you ask me.

Battye then told the OEC, effectively, to piss off.

Big mistake!

Every issue of the OEC over the next two weeks had letters slagging off Battye either for his waste of police money, the Council's stance over Beal Valley, Battye's snobbish attitude to the press or pointing out other environmental destruction that the Council were responsible for. Oh, and there was one (and just one) letter in support of Battye.

As somebody said at a recent Beal Valley meeting,
"Earth First playing golf in Battye's garden has got the issue back in the public's eye and on the Council's agenda - something our letters over the years have failed to do".
We'd also like to thank John Battye himself for reaching rock bottom and continuing to dig - somebody throw that man a shovel!

Dun Diggin', Oldham EF (c/o [pls use email])


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