THE National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) has organised a Protest Picnic in Hackney, continuing its campaign against what it describes as a cull of the number of casual moorings across London.
The picnic will be held on Sunday June 26 from 12 noon on Walthamstow Marshes, opposite the Anchor and Hope pub.
Marcus Trower, NBTA London branch secretary and one of the event’s organisers, said the current Water ‘Safety’ Zones planned by the Canal & River Trust would drastically restrict boaters’ ability to live and work around the River Lea.
“This Protest Picnic is an opportunity to not only draw attention to the issues that boaters are facing from the CRT, but to also celebrate our unique community, way of life and contribution to Hackney’s own rich public life.
“Those of us that have moored in Hackney consider spending time here to be an essential part of London’s boating culture and one of the joys of making our lives on water; we’re looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible to Walthamstow Marshes to celebrate that fact with good food, music, conversation and continued solidarity for our fight.”
The Protest Picnic is the latest in a series of events demonstrating the strength and vibrancy of the liveaboard community whose lives these plans could negatively impact. In June 2021 a flotilla protest through Hackney drew boaters and supporters alike and in March this year, boaters and supporters marched on CRT’s Little Venice office to explain how these policy changes are threatening people’s livelihoods and pricing boaters out of their homes.
Ian McDowell, chair of the London branch of NBTA explained some of the reasons behind boaters continuing resistance to the CRT’s plans which he said showed a disregard for the people who live and work in these new ‘no mooring’ and proposed paid-for mooring areas.
The Protest Picnic, which is open to all – whether boater or land-based – is an opportunity for liveaboards to come together and celebrate their contribution to London’s rich and diverse community, not only in Hackney but across the whole capital.
The event will be completely free to attend and family friendly, with live music from Erawan, Harry Mold, Liam Bokser, CeCe and Donal Denver as well as a vegan BBQ and refreshments.
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