Greenpeace Action in Norfolk (24 or 25th July 1999)

Greenpeace Norfolk GM actionThe following weekend, Greenpeace activists, including its executive director Lord Melchett, decontaminated a GM maize farm-scale trial in Lyng, Norfolk.

This action, in which 28 people were arrested, could have turned into a tragedy when the farmer who owned the land, William Brigham, became violent, driving a tractor into the mower which was driven onto the field to destroy the maize, as well as chasing the activists around the field. Of those arrested, only Lord Melchett was remanded, and his treatment ignited a long-awaited debate in the press regarding direct action and whether it is the action of a small unrepresentative minority who want to derail the democratic process. The government would say that, wouldn't it! Unfortunately, much of the press debate focused on 'establishment maverick' Melchett, rather than the validity of farm-scale trials or why ordinary people take action. Because the police arrived before the site was completely destroyed, the trial remains valid.

No-one fancied going back to finish off the job and possibly meeting rabid farmer Brigham again! Those arrested await a court date for a crown court trial.