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Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Activist Eco Village in London

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Small Groups Of People Make The Changes

This video introduces us to the Kew Bridge Eco Village in London.

Activists inspired by the land rights group The Land is Ours, that holds that land should be free and accessible to all, occupied an undeveloped site on 6 July 2009, just across the river from The Royal Botanic Gardens.

They built homes of reclaimed materials -- everything from clay, hay, wooden planks, pallet wood, and tarps. Over 30 people lived there year round.

They figured out how to get and heat the water they needed. Structures included a shower, compost toilet, and kitchen. They grew food and held seed swaps. They recycled their waste. The local blacksmith was very impressed with their skills and resourcefulness.

They were trying to demonstrate that you can live quite comfortably without mortgages or being connected to public utilities. Some of the members had been homeless; others left houses and jobs in order to live out, on a daily basis, the principles of anti-consumerism.

"People know that something is wrong with the way that we're living and that we've got to do something. History shows us that small groups of people have always been the groups that have changed this." says one resident.

They were evicted in May of 2010, as the developers reclaimed the property.

From this video we get the sense that it was more of a success than a failure. We can only hope that the tent cities springing up in the US have some of this progressive vision, idealism, willingness to create new ways of doing things and sense of empowerment, while living on the edge in extreme conditions.

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by the BBC 1