AN all-night party involving 100 hardcore environmental activists at the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (Fern) site in Montreal Street has exposed a schism in the group.
Fern’s eight-member board condemned the party and is demanding that squatters leave, saying it breaches Fern’s rules for people to stay overnight or hold rowdy parties.
Fern members have used social media to attack about 12 hard-core activists, who call themselves The Lorax (after the Dr Seuss character who “speaks for the trees”).
“The Lorax group has taken over a corner of the site,” a board member complained. “They are not Fern and should leave.
“They are creating a bad reputation for us. We don’t want to carry them to our new site (Fern will soon move as a result of the High Street widening).”
The Lorax is led by Fern director and well-known local activist Simon Peterffy.
He says the party being complained about officially ended at 10pm and some people stayed on afterwards but everyone was well-behaved.
“It wasn’t the event it is being made out to be,” he says. “These accusations are being made by people stretching the truth.”
But neighbours say the party rocked on till 6am.
“We could hear the music from Fern loud when it started last night around 7pm, everyone loves a party. It continued however until about 6am. It screwed up our night’s sleep. This is a totally inappropriate use of Fern’s resource. I support Fern’s objectives, but will become an outspoken critic if Fern does not manage this resource better,” one said.
Environmental activist Christopher Irving writes it is not the first time The Lorax has been warned about behaviour.
“The fact that it has happened again demonstrates a ‘fuck you’ attitude towards the greater Fern community,” he writes.
Tony Carruthers writes the “duality of Fern is very off-putting”, and is one of the reasons his involvement has dropped off.
He adds it is not the sustainable garden’s responsibility to provide illegal free accommodation, “especially if doing so threatens Fern”.
by CARMELO AMALFI