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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Beanfield,
This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)An excellent book. It brought back the memories, as I was involved in this, as a serving Police Officer. This was NOT the proudest day for the British Police.
The Police were agents of an unethical and unprincipled government, this is not an excuse, for the service should have stood its ground, and not blindly followed the orders of Westminster by participating in the wholesale destruction, of people's homes and livelihoods.
The historical context, should not be forgotten, for this followed on from the Service, being used by the then Tory Government, to 'break' the Mining Unions, that had been fighting to save their collieries, and their members way of life over the previous year.
The Police Service, should be guardians of human rights, and not the instrument of oppression. Its members would well benefit from remembering the words of Edmund Burke "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing". In the case of those of us that were involved, we did worse than nothing.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and thorough book about "The Battle of the Beanfield",
This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)I recently spent a weekend within walking distance of the site where the "Battle of the Beanfield" took place. Having read Andy Worthington's book, I decided to have a look at the historic location. There's no historic plaque, in fact the fields have now got a dual-carriage road driven through them. If I hadn't read Andy Worthington's book, there would have been no way for me to understand the events that took place, nor even to locate the site of the events.
This book tells the story of how free festivals and anarchic solstice gatherings in the vicinity of Stonehenge led to increased tensions between police and new-age travellers. As the popularity and sustainability of the new-age travellers culture grew to an all time high, the Thatcher government actively sought to oppose this counter-culture. Just as the travellers became more active within the anti-nuclear movement, the British police constabularies used increasingly repressive measures to deter the traveller convoys/camps.
As to the "Battle of the Beanfield" event itself, the police acted with what witnesses have described as extraordinary violence against the convoy of nearly 100 vehicles. Many of the travellers were injured during the final confrontation, and a later jury trial found the police guilty of many unlawful behaviours. The viscious and lawless behaviour of the police succeeded in undermining the growth of the traveller scene and festival culture. This book has many eyewitness accounts, photographs, and even a police log. Worthington's work as an editor is excellent, and his own essays are very accessible and well written. For those who want to piece together the story of the Battle of the Beanfield, there are only three ways to find out what happened - talk to someone who was there, read this book, or watch the film "Operation Solstice".
If you like this book, I highly recommend Andy Worthington's other book Stonehenge which is very readable and facinating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beanfield location,
This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)Hi
I am a Police Officer currently and at present looking after New Age Travellers who are on my area. Initially we were wary of each other however, after what is now 9 months, I would like to think that we (myself & them) are now friends and we have built a considerable amount of mutual trust.
I recently bought them two copies of this book and had them signed by the author, they were overjoyed. I did this with my own money and presented them off duty. I think this event needs to be remembered and hope i have gone some way to heal the wounds.
I was told about the "Beanfield" shortly after meeting them and decided to do some research. Although this was a different era I was shocked and sickened by what i saw on "youtube" etc. There can be no excuse & i am glad prosecutions were brought.
I have yet to read the book but am assured it is an excellent one. I do have a question? Can anyone actually tell me exactly where the Beanfield is? A grid ref or google earth co-ords would be good.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the real deal,
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This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)This book is honest view of the 1980's 1990's hippy traveler (peace convoy) troubles. I was at some of the disturbances and saw 1st hand the bullying tactics used, this book is very accurate. the old bill really did batter the poor folk, snatch there kids and laughed out loud as they smashed there traveling homes to bits, then prosecuted some of them, sad days! BUT i'm glad the truth is now in print.
4.0 out of 5 stars The battle.,
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This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)Being in the position of actually being present at this disgraceful display of public order policing, I can only say that it is a good read from a different perspective. Fortunately communications are far better these days.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never forget,
This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)I saw this unfold on the TV news in 1985 and was horrified. Now that I have researched more deeply into this era, it is evident that Thatcher waged a war on those who were not her 'ordinary people' whom she tried to mould into a nation of Tory voters and she was determined to stamp out any alternative lifestyles. The police were clearly being used, as in the case of the miners, to experiment with their newly-formed riot squads on people they didn't like. All credit to Andy Worthington for compiling this book on an episode that should never be forgotten in the shameful recent history of degradation of civil liberties in this country. Now that, in the wake of the reinvestigation of Hillsborough, the events of Orgreave have been referred to the IPCC, Operation Solstice should be referred to the IPCC too. It is a pity that this has been remembered as the Battle of the Beanfield, as it was clearly an assault and not a battle.
5.0 out of 5 stars The darker side of Thatchers England,
This review is from: The Battle of the Beanfield (Paperback)The Battle of the Beanfield would not have happened today. It was allowed to happen because there were only 1 or 2 people there to record it. ITN subsequently lost the tapes in their archives.
The Battle itself was short and sickening in its brutality and indiscriminate in its use of state violence but the journey here was written in Thatchers edict to take apart any opposition to the state.
This was Pre Poll Tax, Pre Criminal Justice Bill, Pre Anti Terror Legislation. This book is excellent, from the build up to the aftermath and should be compulsory reading for all.
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The Battle of the Beanfield by Alan Lodge (Paperback - 21 Jun 2005)
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