July 4, 2022
The People's Republic of Frestonia, a countercultural micronation, was formed in three streets in North Kensington in the heady years of late seventies London.
*Long before the Occupy movement, a group of squatters, radicals, artists and activists decided to fight back against a local authority bent on evicting them from their homes and declared the area independent of the UK. Drawing huge media interest, some derision and lot of goodwill, they had their own passports, stamps and theatre and even applied to join the United Nations.
One of them, the psychotherapist Josefine Speyer, Frestonia's minister of Culture, comes to visit the Bureau for an hour or so to tell us what it was all about - and all about the countercultural journey she made to live there from her youth in Germany. We hear of communes in Berlin and Scotland, travelling in a gypsy caravan in Wales, home births and hash cookies in a cow shed and of some of the many alternative projects initiated by her radical activist husband Nicholas Albery.
*And we learn how they came to found the Natural Death Centre, blowing the lid on the secretive cabal that controlled the funeral industry and returning death and dying back to where it belongs - with the people..