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FRAW Updates

This page lists the latest updates to the Free Range Activism Website, extending over the last three calendar months.

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Jump to – 2020: January;   2019: December;   November;   October;   September;   August;   July.

January 2020

FRAW updates, 18th January 2020:

We have updated our index page to avoid any ambiguity

It has come to our attention that some aspects of the background to our site may be unclear. We apologise. In particular, to aid our most excellent security and public safety teams, we've updated our main index to reflect the background of our work on the environment and social action in order to avoid any foresaid ambiguity.

To see the specific reason why it has been necessary to update out index page, see this PDF information sheet.

Paul Mobbs/MEIR, January 2020 – The Land Magazine, Issue no.26:

The Invisible, and Growing Ecological Footprint of Digital Technology

The elements of our lifestyle which we most closely identify with tend to be off-limits to any critical discussion. This is one explanation as to why recent research on the impact of digital technology is missing from the popular ecological debate. But as 96% of British adults have a mobile device the footprint of digital technology can no longer be ignored. From electronic waste to carbon emissions, it’s taking on a life of its own.

To download a PDF of the article, click here.

FRAW updates, 6th January 2020:

A little New Year tidying…

As 2019 turns into 2020, there's been some necessary updating of the menus of the site. Over the next couple of months there's also a backlog of updates to come.

December 2019

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 22nd December 2019:

Yule 2019; marking the annual festival with a quick dash into the dusk

Work finished, for the year, there’s just enough time to do a circuit out into the damp dusk to see the sunset, and take-in the end of the shortest day.

Metrics: Distance, 8.3km/5⅙ miles; ascension 140m/455ft; duration, 1⅚ hours.

Free Range Network, 17th December 2019:

“We live in a democracy”: Can you show me some evidence of that?

It has become a well-worn trope to blame our disconnected politics on problems with political parties. What if, however, the problem isn’t simply that people are not supporting political parties; what if the deeper problem is that people no longer see politics as having agency in their lives? – and so are not voting.

The Free Range Network’s ‘UK Democracy Chart’ maps election statistics from the last century to show the growing mis-match between people and the politicians they elect – and can be downloaded as an A2 or A3 poster.

November 2019

Paul Mobbs/MEIR, 26th November 2019:

A response to the Welsh ‘National Development Framework 2020-2040’

A report commissioned for the Free Range Network by the Llandeilo Green House, it details the ecological case against the Welsh Government's ‘National Development Framework 2020-2040’. The report takes elements of the NDF’s policy objectives and shows – with reference to present-day data and research evidence – how we can easily invalidate the claims of the NDF when we look at their impact on ecological and social sustainability.

To download a PDF of the report directly, click here.

October 2019

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 29th October 2019:

Early Autumn Dawn Stroll

I have to pace myself these days. After a long day yesterday I can’t continue in the same vein today… time for a walk, to greet the new Autumn and take in the colours of the chill dawn.

Metrics: Distance, 9.6km/6 miles; ascension 65m/210ft; duration, 2 hours.

Ramblinactivist's videos 2019/03, Wednesday 9th October 2019:

To London… From midday to sunset, on the streets around Parliament and Whitehall with Extinction Rebellion

‘The Authorities’ really don’t know how to handle this; everyone dancing to the same tempo, in character or in their own right, facing down a concerted policing effort to keep them from the streets – official disruption of the organised programme can’t over-ride the unity of purpose.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video.

Free Range Network, 3rd October 2019:

A new Free Range Theme – ‘Weaponising Big Data’

Following recent successes with the CroughtonWatch project, the network is helping foster ‘Citizen’s Monitoring Groups’ at ‘kill chain’ sites across Britain. The Weaponising Big Data site has been established to support this effort.

The site is a directory to (currently) 24 sites involved in various aspects of cyber- or ‘algorithmic’-war, autonomous drones, and mass on-line surveillance. As the site develops it will work to support groups to taking-on responsibility for policing their own local site.

CroughtonWatch, 3rd October 2019:

How Donald Trump’s Border Wall Helped to Terminate the USAF Croughton ‘Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre’ (JIAC)

After five years of work and awareness-raising on Croughton’s role in the “War on Terror”, CroughtonWatch celebrates the demise of plans for an upgraded surveillance and intelligence centre, implicated in human rights abuses and war crimes.

Download press release, here.

September 2019

Ramblinactivist's videos 2019/02, Sunday 1st September 2019:

Blackberrying by the first Autumnal new crescent moon

A busy day, with so many twists and turns, my much-desired walk takes place in the gloom of dusk. I’d been given some wind-fall pairs; it seemed an obvious plan to try one of the blackberry-picking sites I’d scouted on recent walks to stew them with in a pie. More importantly though, with the first new moon of the Autumn, I wanted to cook-up something I hadn’t tried in a long time: a video.

Click here to go direct ot the YouTube video.

August 2019

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 17th August 2019:

“And it’s no small wonder”

I’m at the turnover point in my year, where traditionally one lot of work gets tidied away and another begins – with work trialled over the Summer in festival season being finalised to start new lectures and workshops for the next 9 months. This year, though, is radically different. I’m heading off on a different path, and that necessitates some reorganisation of the baggage I routinely carry with me… though I’m not sure how many “friends” will react to that.

Metrics: Distance, 6.1km/3⅘ miles; ascension 45m/150ft; duration, 1⅖ hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 10th August 2019:

“Wind blows, rain falls…”, but no time for a fire

A month of getting ready for the festival season, followed by a month of travelling around for talks and workshops, and returning to a couple of thousand unanswered emails and much else besides. Everything now squared away for another year I ponder what to do next, but first, my necessary remittance… time to go for a walk!

Metrics: Distance, 8.7km/5⅖ miles; ascension 155m/500ft; duration, 2½ hours.

Free Range Network, 5th August 2019:

The Green Gathering, 2019

Back once again from this year's Green Gathering, and we have put up this listing all the poster presentations from the Free Range Network’s ‘Fracking Truth’ stall. These are the ‘working drafts’. Final versions will be made available in the Autumn, via the ‘The Fracking Truth’ theme page, after we have considered feedback from the public on their content.

July 2019

The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.3, 3rd July 2019:

“I am calling you from BT’s technical department...”

Seeking distraction, I play ‘cat-n-psychopath’ with a cold-calling computer scammer.

Click here to download the PDF version.

CroughtonWatch, 1st July 2019:

USAF Croughton: ‘Keep Space for Peace’ –
March and Rally, 2019

Ahead of the march and rally at USAF Croughton on 5th October 2019, this short video has been produced to explain the issues behind the operation of Croughton today. More information to come, with details of speakers, in a few weeks.

To watch the video on YouTube, click here.

Ramblinactivist's videos no.1/19, Monday 1st July 2019:

‘What is USAF Croughton?’

A few years ago I made a short video about USAF Croughton, and its role in the conflict in Yemen. I’ve just got it out and polished it a little, and reissued as a publicity video for the ‘Keep Space for Peace’ March and Rally at Croughton on 5th October 2019.

For more information about the event I made this for, click here.

June 2019

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 30th June 2019:

“Well I’ll go to the foot of our garden!”

Our garden is ‘wild’ yet still productive. It’s full of insects, and birds, and a fox has been sighted every now and then. In early Summer though it does become a bit of a jungle. Irrespective of everything else in the world, the raspberries still need picking, and as it’s so beautiful right now I though I’d take my camera on an ‘expedition to the jungle’.

Route: Back door, end of garden, and return.

Metrics: Distance, 15 metres; 15 minutes.

Free Range Themes, 28th June 2019:

Free Range Themes: ‘CroughtonWatch’

The ‘CroughtonWatch’ site has moved and fallen under the umbrella of the Free Range Network. This new ‘theme’ contains a stripped down version of the old web site. Much of the original content has been preserved, and the ability to update in future has been added. In the meantime, put Saturday 5th October in your diary – the date of the next USAF Croughton March & Rally; starts at noon!

Free Range Activism Website, 26th June 2019:

‘The Irondowns’

A new section has been added to the Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal, entitled ‘The Irondowns’ – Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of the unique landscape of the Ironstone hills on the borders of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Warwickshire.

Free Range Themes, 26thth June 2019:

Free Range Themes: ‘The Free Range Activism Campaigns Kit (FRACK)’

In Summer 2017 we launched ‘The Protestagram’ and evaluated its use as part of some workshops we ran. It was always intended to be one of four similar-styled posters. Over the Summer of 2019 we’ll release the new posters and the web site that will go with them. Until then this page has been created as a place holder for that material.

Free Range Themes, 25th June 2019:

Free Range Themes: ‘Wild Camping’

The new ‘Wild Camping’ themes has been set up. This bundles up the old Stick Fire Cooking Grate materials, and brings back the decade-old ‘Great Outdoors’ work, to create a new project – focussing on learning the skills of low impact living through camping and cooking outdoors. More information will be added over the Summer.

Free Range Themes, 17th June 2019:

Free Range Themes: ‘Electrosmog’

In August the Free Range Network will be launching some new materials on the theme of ‘Electrosmog’ – the ecological and human health impacts of mobile phones, wifi, and ‘wireless’ technology in general. This new theme will carry-over some of the content of the Free Range Library's ‘Esmog’ category, and supplement that with new resources. Until August this page has been created as a place holder for that material.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Sunday 16th June 2019:

To Adderbury Gathering

I skirt the town centre to Banbury Quaker Meeting House, and after checking for walkers it's time to head-off cross-country to Adderbury – via the ‘alternative route’. Flooding prevents use of the shorter, prettier route (pretty precisely because it crosses the flat, wildflower-rich flood meadows). There's a brisk wind and the animated cloudscape promise heavy rain. I'm going to get wet!

Route: Banbury Meeting House, Bodicote, East Adderbury, Adderbury Meeting House; East Adderbury, Twyford, Oxford Canal, Banbury.

Metrics: Distance, 15.6km/9¾ miles; ascension, 145m/475ft; duration, 3¼ hours.

Free Range Themes, 15th June 2019:

Free Range Themes: ‘Energy – The Fracking Truth’

Each year, near the end of July, the Free Range Network produces a set of graphs and diagrams that illustrate Britain's energy system – which we then take on tour to festivals and events. We have set-up this new theme to house this information ready for when we produce this year's ‘infographics’ in a few weeks time.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Thursday 13th June 2019:

‘For the rain it raineth every day’; exploring the route of a guided walk I must lead, in the floods

This Sunday I'm leading a walk to Adderbury Meeting House; across two brooks that are likely to be flooded. I set out to assess which route it will be possible to use – finding mud, floods, dramatic cloudscapes, and, inevitably, rain showers. However, I've also got a few things to do in my head along the way, the results of which, if all goes right, you should be looking at right now.

Route: Adderbury Meeting House, Milton, ‘The Groves’, Bodicote, Banbury.

Metrics: Distance, 11.5km/7⅙ miles; ascension, 135m/450ft; duration, 2¼ hours.

The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.2, 12th June 2019:

‘All property is theft; all intellectual property, however, is mind control’

Trying to write a new piece on the iniquities of intellectual property law for the first time in ten years, I find my opinions on the matter have hardened somewhat

Click here to download the PDF version.

Free Range Themes, 12th June 2019:

The Free Network’s new site

We’ve regenerated! As part of the reorganisation of FRAW the old web site has been deleted and a new one has been created from scratch: Some of the old stuff has gone; the Free Range Library has been deleted (mostly); and some of the new stuff isn’t finished yet – hence what we’ve created is a place holder for what is to come. We hope you enjoy the new site.

The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.1, 1st June 2019:

‘The problem is there's too much ‘information’, but not enough ‘facts’…’

It started as just a short piece for the 'about' page of the new blog; it eventually morphed into an article. In this ‘hard-thought’ first post of my new blog, I concentrate on the reasons why I need a new blog. Spoiler alert! Many earnest members of the environment movement might find what follows objectionable!

Click here to download the PDF version.