Angry Iranians in Barnet have taken a leaf out of the book of Occupy London, learned the lessons of the successful occupation and re-opening of Friern Barnet Library, and announced that they will launch "Occupy Moat Mount" today, Monday.
The move is an angry response to the continued failure of Barnet Council to accommodate Iranains' age-old Sizdeh Be-dar ceremony, the last day of the 13-day Noruz (New Year) celebrations.
On the 13th day, it is traditional for Iranians - and Kurds and many Afghans - to take to the great outdoors, in fact, it is considered bad luck to stay indoors on this day. Picnics and barbecues are traditional, which has led to some conflicts with local authorities. In recent years, Barnet Council has gone so far as to ban Iranians from gathering in the parks that they most liked to use, including Moat Mount Open Space.
Now, this year, a small group of Iranian residents has vowed to "occupy" Moat Mount in protest and to assert their right to observe their traditional customs.
A young man identifying himself only as Faravahar said: "Barnet Council boast about their good relations with different sections of the community, but they can't come to an agreement with us over an annual barbecue. We have offered to bring our own binbags and even offered workshops in litter-picking, but still they won't talk to us. Well, we have had enough. This year we are going to take back our public space to celebrate this ancient festival."
Barnet Council have not yet responded to the activists' threat, but Hendon MP and former Council Cabinet member Matthew Offord has been sighted in recent days in the trees at the edges of Moat Mount wearing a balaclava and muttering about Camp Ashram... or it might have been wigwam.