Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sid Rawle: death of a free festival veteran

Sid Rawle, a key figure in the free festival movement in the UK, died last month aged 64. His activism encompassed the Hyde Park Diggers in the late 1960s, the People’s Free Festival in Windsor Great Park (1972-4), the Stonehenge Free Festival (1976-84), the Peace Convoy and the Rainbow Village camp outside the planned cruise missiles base at RAF Molesworth (1984-5).

There's a very informative post by Andy Worthington at his site about Sid's life and times. As Andy says:

'Sid played a major part in the British counter-culture from the 1960s until his death, although he is, of course, best known for his involvement in the free festival movement, first at Windsor, from 1972 to 1974, and then at Stonehenge, until the violent suppression of the festival in 1985. The author and activist Jeremy Sandford (who died in 2003) described him as “the squatter to end them all, having squatted flats, houses, commons, forests, a village, boats, an island, an army camp, Windsor Great Park".'

Read Andy's full post, RIP Sid Rawle, Land Reformer, Free Festival Pioneer, Stonehenge Stalwart. See also Ian Bone, Turn Left at the Bridge. Not an uncontroversial figure, he was identified by the media as a leader of the hippies and his role in attempting to mediate with the authorities earned him criticism from some quarters - stilll, nobody can say he didn't try and make the world a more interesting place.

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