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Lewes locals set on restoring Harveys

By Joe Lutrurio , 29-Mar-2007

Lewes residents are still conducting anti-Greene King

protests outside the Lewes Arms, East Sussex, four months after the brewer stopped serving the local Harveys beer.

The Friends of the Lewes Arms, formed to fight the ban, are still conducting frequent vigils outside the pub at peak times to ask customers to drink elsewhere.

"It's completely non-threatening. We stand there and ask people whether they'd consider going somewhere else," explains group member Andy Gammon.

"A lot of people that don't know what's happened do go somewhere else."

The boycott, which was the subject of a three-page article in the Guardian last Friday, is now being extended beyond the Lewes Arms to cover all the company's products. Campaigners have produced "dis-loyalty" cards, which are stamped by Lewes licensees whenever the cardholder buys a non-Greene King drink.

"Anyone that wants to avoid drinking Greene King beer goes and drinks something else somewhere else, and gets the landlord to endorse it," said Gammon.

"People are now migrating around the town. They set a whole can of worms open here by doing this."

The campaigners show no sign of giving up. "We want our pub back," says Gammon. "It's a fairly emotional thing against a huge conglomerate like Greene King. We want to drink the local beer because we think it's good."

Greene King insists that, at present, there are no plans to reinstate Harveys but have not ruled out the possibility of stocking it as an occasional guest beer.

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