Road Protests, Stories and Politics at Dark Mountain


An installation of slate signs by Tom Hirons commemorates protest sites against UK government’s road building programme in the 90s. The commemorative plaques mark the 20-year anniversary of the start of the road protest movement at Twyford Down. It was one of a number of activities focusing on the road protests movement at Dark Mountain’s Uncivlisation 2012 festival this weekend.


While many individual sites mentioned on these plaques where lost to roads, the protests did seriously damage the prospects for Thatcher’s road building programme, which was significantly reduced as a result of the forest occupations. The protests were, as described in the Uncivilisation 2012 programme; ‘a high-water mark in the history of the UK environmental movement’. Many of the people who were defending these forests, valleys and meadows were nothing short of heroic in their defense of the land. Living up in the trees and buried in the tunnels, winter and summer alike, these forest occupations worked to stop some of the proposed roads. Continue reading

Oil Painting Protest over BP sponsorship in Tate Modern Turbine Hall

In what was perhaps the most politically charged artistic action ever to take place at the Tate Modern, yesterday a group of artists demonstrated against using public institutions to legitimize the business of fossil fuel industries such as BP. Should the Tate behave as a pawn to the highest bidder? Its ‘neutral’ stance conceals the privileges gained by those corporations with the cash to invest (no matter what kind of damage is done in the process of obtaining this cash). Our public institutions should not take money from the oil industry – just as they can no longer be funded by tobacco, these cosy alliances must come to an end.

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