During February, two dedicated campaigners who knew The Warehouse well passed away.
Pat Knowles was a stalwart and tenacious peace, justice and environmental campaigner. She took us all to task on many an occasion and put many of us to shame by her incisive analysis and passion, with which she would urge us to take on the impossible and work outside of the boundaries of agreed priorities and strategies. If no one stood up for this or that issue NOW then it would be too late!
Her celebration in Selly Oak on March 6th brought together numerous people who had worked with her over the years. A private person, who never talked about herself but always of issues and events that affected the most vulnerable in society both at home and abroad.
Peter Sturgeon first popped into the Warehouse during the campaign against the Kidderminster, Blakedown and Hagley (KBH) Bypass. He was then coordinator of Go for Green: a bunch of folks who were taking on the Government and the tarmac laying business community over the Western Orbital Motorway (WOM).
It was due to Peter and others that FoE local groups from around the conurbation established our West Midlands Transport Campaign (WMTC). He was a longstanding supporter of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and helped ensure close working relations between anti-roads campaigners across the region. Peter became ever more annoyed with the road-building leviathan within the DfT that he persuaded many on the route of the WOM to move from a position of supporting an alternative route to the DfT proposals to outright objecting to the principle of a road to the West of the conurbation. His great legacy is that so far neither the KBH nor the WOM have been built.
His celebration was held in Stourbridge and at his home in Belbroughton on February 25th.
Being able to know and work with these two inspiring and dedicated campaigners was a privilege. It just proves the importance of The Warehouse in providing us with a place at which we can talk through the threats to our combined survival on this fragile planet, as well as to plan and roll out campaigns.