Here (above left) is breakfast, a sourdough loaf from the Stokes Croft pop-up bakery (above right), just across the road from the famously-unwanted Tesco.
“A year ago these streets were the scene of riots following the bitterly opposed opening of a Tesco store. Twelve months on, Stokes Croft, Bristol’s most bohemian neighbourhood, is booming,” wrote Stephen Morris in the Guardian earlier this week.
In a debate in parliament on 17 January 2012, Stephen Williams MP said:
“I am probably the only Member in the Chamber who has experienced a riot in his constituency caused by the opening of a branch of Tesco. It took place over the Easter and royal wedding bank holidays in April last year. I certainly do not condone the antics of those constituents, but I very much share their frustration. Large businesses do not work with the grain of local opinion.”
- Squatters took over the proposed Tesco site and turned it into a community centre for a month
- Squatters were evicted. Thanks to their bravery, our planning permission campaign became international news
- Bristol City Council received over 2,500 postcards from locals asking for a meaningful consultation
- Over 90% of 500 people surveyed said “no” to Tesco in Stokes Croft
- 40 local traders asked Bristol City Council not to give planning permission for Tesco
- Council decided Tesco could open with full planning permission on 8 December 2010
- Tesco opened on 16 April 2011. A week later it was shut after being “trashed” following 160 riot police arriving to investigate a petrol bomb threat to Tesco
- Bristol City Council writes to the government asking for planning law to distinguish between a small shop and a huge multinational. Government says: No. (Note to social historians: current government is bent on deregulation and “who pays most wins”).
We lost – our court costs are £2,126.50.
Buy a limited-edition bone china “I Paid The Fine” mug produced by The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, and be part of social history.
Twelve of the 250 mugs will be accompanied by one of the original Banksy posters donated by the graffiti artist as a “commemorative souvenir poster.”
Every campaign, whether you win or lose, is worth its weight in gold for it raises awareness of the issues.
This month, Tesco withdrew its planning application from Herne in Kent after huge local protest.
Thus, I, like my fellow campaigners, remain
STOP PRESS 23 April 2012: Last Mug Sold!