Yesterday was fairly quiet for the early part of the day. Spirits were still high inside after the previous evening’s march and rally and the deliveries by tennis ball of tobacco, papers and most importantly the equipment needed to get them internet access inside. The police and security are a bit more relaxed now and the tennis balls that fell short were thrown up to the workers by some of the security guards. No one is being arrested as yet for trespassing on the waste ground next to the factory where the balls are slung in from.
Food continues to be a problem. Breakfast arrived and was a choice of a half sandwich – either peanut butter, cheese or paste – a bit of fruit and some milk. The milk was most welcome as some teabags had made it in during the mass trespass and it meant their first cup of tea all week. The rations remain pitifully short however and they are fed only twice a day. Just barely enough to keep them alive for now.
A volunteers committee was formed and met early in the afternoon consisting of people from the various groups present to support the workers committee and the issue of food was discussed and some ideas fed back to the workers committee. There is a big push on now to get organized for Wednesday’s court hearing and to have good attendance outside the court.
The families are now beginning to co-ordinate and support each other and messages from inside on much needed support on personal issues, like rent and bills that need to be paid, have come out and are being attended to. The campaign funds for this occupation are much needed due to the nature of this occupation as although they have been paid they can’t get out to access the money they have for day to day support of their families and homes. Mobile phone bills are huge as they have had to rely on them for communication.
During the afternoon they built a kite and tried to fly that out to get a line in for supplies to be winched up to them but the wind was against them. Several of the crowd went off to B&Q and got a load of waste pipe and connectors to build a line in. The workers committee asked them not to put it in as it was not likely to work and might have threatened the tennis ball deliveries which are working.
Towards the end of the 6pm rally a protestor got over the fence and tried to make a dash with a bag of food but didn’t make it more than a few yards before being wrestled to the ground by security. The crowd responded instantly by rushing to the barriers, banging on them and shouting for the food to be let in. It showed the amount of tension surrounding the food issue and the workers committee did a good job of getting the situation back under control.
About a half hour later a hot meal was finally delivered inside – spaghetti bolognese and pitta bread.
They have been going through all of the messages of support and that, along with the continued presence outside, is keeping them going and keeping their determination to win strong.