The Stonehenge Peace Process has worked through both private meetings and
through a delegate meeting (English Heritage's "Round Table") and through
the public forum of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Stonehenge
which it helped to set up in 1998, to resolve the confrontation and the
practical issues of access to Stonehenge and the surrounding areas.
We would like to think this helped bring about the stage where Open Public Access was agreed for the Summer Solstice in 2000. The arrangement was for 11:30PM on Tuesday 20th June to 7:30AM on Wednesday 21st June. That no such gathering unrestricted as to numbers of persons had taken place at the Summer Solstice since 1984 meant that the event was very much an undiscovered country and what happened was very crucial. If it went well, access year after year was likely to ensue. But if there was violence and confrontation another fifteen years of banning orders might happen instead.
The Peace Stewards initiative was therefore devised to encourage by example the self-policing activities of the community, to see that the agreements under which the public access was allowed, were kept, and that we could come again in future years. The initiative was looked at somewhat askance at first by authorities but in practise they were soon asking our volunteers for assistance. Some (but not all) of the volunteers were able to come to a camp in Wiltshire the day before and attend Peace Training sessions.
Reports on what happened are appended here as it seems to us that the Peace Stewards concept is a powerful one that has application to other public events and festivals, maybe even football matches?
Please understand we are not volunteering to work at these events. Rather that our experience can help others use the good will of volunteers within those crowds to help keep peace and common sense on board at those other events.
Invitation to Peace Stewards Steward
Waiver form signed by Peace Stewards Waiver Form
Peace Stewards report compiled by Chris Hogan Chris
Solstice 2000 What Happened Solstice
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