But not this year. Because the BGG has been cancelled on the instructions of the police:
Following threatened injunction proceedings in High Court by Mendip District Council supported by Somerset & Avon Police and having taken extensive advice from a prominent QC and other eminent lawyers, the directors of the Big Green Gathering have been left with no other option than to voluntarily surrender the license for the Big Green Gathering 2009.In a scene reminiscent of China or Zimbabwe, the police state has decided that environmentalists should no longer be allowed to gather together like this as it's "unsafe" - despite the fact that it's been happening for many years without incident.
The event will now not take place and the directors' advice and request is that no one intending to attend the event should attempt to do so, as the site is now closed and they are likely to be turned away by Somerset Police.
It is our intention to avoid any form of confrontation or public disorder in regard to this and it is our earnest hope that all those involved will follow this advice.
It is with great sadness that we have been forced into this position and we express our profound apologies to all those concerned.
"Safety" in this case was being used by the police as a paper-thin pretext for their real motive - which is that they wanted to prevent a gathering of environmental activists in advance of the Climate Camp next month.
Whether the police are acting on their own initiative and the government has effectively lost control of law enforcement, or whether they are being pressurised to take these kinds of actions against environmentalists by the more reactionary elements of Nu Labor, is as yet unknown. What is clear is that environmental activists are now being singled out for discrimination and victimisation by the state on a regular basis.
I probably won't bother writing to my MP about this as he's a complete waste of space Tory and probably wants to lock up all environmentalists. I will be writing to the Home Secretary Alan Johnson to lobby for controls on the police so that they can't go round doing this sort of thing. Once the Labour leadership changes hands after the 2010 debacle, it's absolutely vital that the new leader takes a much more democratic and anti-authoritarian stance on civil liberties. If not, then the Green Party represents the only way forward in terms of Westminster politics.
And if there is one silver lining to this whole episode, it's that the Big Green Gathering is now much more 'on the map' than it's ever been - whilst disastrous in the short run, this dose of publicity could be vital in the long run for growing the event. I'll certainly be going along in future years. That is, of course, assuming that environmental events of this type are ever allowed in the UK again.
This whole debacle should also boost attendance at Climate Camp - although the police will of course be out in force, intimidating and assaulting people whose only crime is to want the world to still be a liveable place in 50 to 100 years' time rather than an asphyxiated oven.