AntiRoads, then & now (taken from last week's Schnews)

Mark mark at
Wed Jan 11 14:02:58 GMT 2006

SchNEWS - Carry on Camping
taken from Friday 6th January 2006 | Issue 526
(click weblink for great image adapted from artwork of St George's Hill 1649)

Remember when we were young and had flowers in our hair? Dig out yer
climbing harness and dust off yer silly name 'cos this weekend there's a
reunion to commemorate a decade since the beginning of the 'Third Battle
Of Newbury' - the biggest road protest of the lot (See SchNEWS 56 to
and wonder where all those years went).

The Newbury bypass was a £101 million, 13km trail of destruction which saw
the felling of 10,000 trees, trashed 3 Sites of Special Scientific
Interests, damaging the habitat of numerous animals and destroying the
last remaining colony of the Desmoulin Whorf snail. If that wasn't enough
it also ruined twelve archaeological sites, including two civil war battle
sites and an ancient stone-age settlement. Occupied for nearly two years,
the eviction became an 85 day battle which involved 29 camps along the
route with hundreds of treehouses. Over 700 arrests were made, and the
security bill topped £1.5million. Thousands of bailiffs and police were
defied. Although this road was eventually built, the resistance put up
along with that at many other sites around the country caused the
government to shelve its £23 billion road programme.

The first Reunion Rampage, a year after the final eviction, ended with a
mass site invasion and the torching of caravans and machines belonging to
the contractors (for more see SchNEWS 103).

There will be a gathering and demonstration this Saturday (7th) at 2pm
meeting at Middle Oak (A4/A34 junction), followed by a candle lit vigil at
Donnington Castle. Bring everything you will need from camping gear to
food. For more info contact 07963 648762.
Carry On CampingAnd Now Back To The Future...

Protest camps stopping a road cutting through Dalkeith Country Park face
imminent eviction. Today (Fri 6th Jan) there is a safety meeting between
bailiffs and protesters at the Dalkeith Park protest site, near Edinburgh
(See SchNEWS 522). The eviction company (Richard Turner, who gained infamy
at Newbury and Stanworth Valley for providing climbers to evict tree
dwellers) have come up from Wales and could be eager to start work - the
protesters fear that the site could get 48 hours notice making next Monday
an eviction red alert day. In early December several protest camps were
set up along the proposed route of the northern bypass cutting through the
middle of the 850 acre park, and there was a reprieve because Conservation
laws protected trees with bats entered their hibernating season. Despite
this more trees were cut, turning a blind eye to the bats. Camps are
protecting further damage and urgently need more people - this could be a
matter of days not weeks. Site mobile 07743 495582 and see

* Also in Scotland, JAM74 - stopping the building of the M74 northern
extension - a 6 lane motorway on concrete stilts - which is to cut
straight through Glasgow's southern suburbs, and recently won the 'Pock
Award' for worst planning decision of the year. (See SchNEWS 501 for more)
Donations are currently needed to mount a legal challenge to the Scottish

* Bilston Glen camp is going into its fifth year - protecting an ancient
SSSI woodland just south of Edinburgh they want to re-route the A701 road
through. For more see

* Camp Bling protest camp was set up in opposition to a road being built
on Priory Park in Southend, Essex. It's now heading for its fourth month.
As part of their campaign to stop the F5 (A127/A1159) road scheme,
activists have constructed and occupied a tree camp right in the heart of
town (See SchNEWS 519). Road work starts this year and eviction could be
pending as soon as the council get enough dosh. A visitors centre is being
planned for people to check out the site. Informal meetings with Parklife
on third Wednesday of month starting 18th January 7.30pm upstairs at The
Spread Eagle, Victoria Avenue, Prittlewell. The first of regular informal
meetings with Parklife. Camp Bling line 07817 182394


Meanwhile over in Holland, there is an expected eviction on Monday 9th Jan
as a protest camp with treehouses and tunnels faces up to 1000 military
and police in the Schinveld Forest in south east Holland near Maastricht.
The camp - under the banner of GroenFront! (Dutch Earth First) - was set
up on December 4th to protect six hectares of woodland being flattened to
be used by NATO for AWACS military radar planes to land. GroenFront! are
urging people to get there - but bring everything you'll need.

Keep one eye on the road at...


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