(Almost) every day from Friday 11th to Thursday 24th February, a post (sometimes two) will appear on this site, to celebrate the Republic of Newtonia – a brief occupation of a site in Hulme in defence of Abbey Pond (near the Old Abbey Taphouse). In 1994, local people and environmental activists tried to stop the Council and the Science Park from filling in the much-loved pond. If you were there, and want to share your memories (and any photos or other material) please do get in touch via mcmonthly@manchesterclimatemonthly or on Twitter – @mcr_climate
Also, on Thurs 24th, the 28th anniversary of the Pond’s destruction, there is an online meeting, from 7.30pm, bringing together people who were at the Republic of Newtonia with campaigners defending green spaces now. You can book here (it’s free).
Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing someone who was at the camp, as a student (the pond was within walking distance – even for idle students – of the University of Manchester Students’ Union). The interview will appear in longer form soonish, but for now, just this excerpt, about Isaac Newt and his appearance at the Friends Meeting House, on 15 February 1994.
“I remember helping make the newt. Yeah, I mean, such a long time ago and such much has happened… But yeah, I mean that that was kind of important to us that whole kind of linking the two things [the defence of the Pond and the soaring rhetoric being deployed by the Council about the upcoming ‘Global Forum’]. And I think like for this event, about lessons and stuff, linking that hypocrisy, you know, the rhetoric and the reality. I mean, even then, for us, it was like, “What the fuck? You know, if you can’t get this right, then what are you going to get right?” …. I think with the camp, it was like, it was so chilled. And like, there’s like, there’s quite a lot of creativity. And now like people were, and it was really light hearted. And, yeah, there was also like, always, like, “what prop can we make next? How can we embarrass these fuckers?” “