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‘Being in occupation makes you feel alive’

This article is over 14 years, 8 months old
Ian Terry is one of the Vestas occupiers. He spoke to Socialist Worker from inside the plant
Issue 2162

‘The managers don’t want to make us comfortable. The food is getting better, but it’s still a bit crazy.

Yesterday we had a chicken and mushroom pie, pitta bread, processed cheese, some luncheon meat and about a quarter of a tomato.

It’s the media pressure and the pressure from all the supporters that is forcing them to feed us.

The crowd has had a big impact. The managing director, Paddy, has been bringing up the food. He looks rather tired and strung out. He says he’s got a lot of patience.

But we’re more driven than they are. We’ve come so far as a group. We’ve learned to deal with the emotional ups and downs. And we’ve weathered the storm with the more scary stuff like police raids.

Some of the banners we’ve had up have helped—“starving to save our green jobs” really hit home.  

After a week inside, things aren’t so frantic. We’ve found ourselves with pockets of time when we’re twiddling our thumbs.

We’re coming up with all sorts of things to try to kill the boredom and stress.


We’ve invented some games. We found a box full of stress balls and we’ve been going into the room and pummelling them. That’s “warball”.

Then there’s “hallball”, which is with two chairs with people trying to throw the stress balls back and forth and gradually moving the chairs further apart.

There are target areas to hit as well. I think it’ll take off when we get out.

Our partners out there are worrying about us. But we’re doing alright. The support we’ve had has kept us going.

Everybody who wants to support workers, and who wants a future for the island and the planet, should turn up here and support us.

Big numbers shows that it’s not just a small group of people taking over a factory. This is not a selfish act. It’s an act for a lot of other people.

We’re not comfortable in here. We’re feeling the emotional rollercoaster. We’re sleeping on the floor every night and eating rations—that’s not natural.

But the act itself feels completely natural. Occupying is so liberating, it makes you feel alive.

It isn’t as easy or as hard as it’s made out to be. It’s not all games and it’s not all stress.

It changes quite sharply all the time. But everyone’s adapting. Everyone knows what’s required to get to the end goal.’

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