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Roads to Nowhere

Evictions on the road to nowhere

Sian Berry's picture

16 January 2013: I was in Crowhurst today as the second of the protest camps in the Combe Haven valley was evicted. I brought down our big 'No new roads' banner but was held at the top of the lane and prevented from reaching the site by security guards and police who were supervising the removals.

Photo by @tomdruitt - the view from the trees todayProtestors weren't making the evictions easy - peacefully resisting by locking themselves together inside improvised barricades and up in the trees, so that the eviction was still going well into the afternoon. [Update 6pm: As the bailiffs and police pack up for the day, two treehouses and a tunnel are reported to be still occupied at the base camp site.]

After the three oaks camp was evicted last week the main 'base camp' was today's target, while a third camp nearby remains in place (and has our banner!) at time of writing.

From the top of the track leading down to the camp my view was mainly of vans full of security guards and police in vans and on foot heading down the lane. I spoke with activists in the trees and the trickle of evicted campers emerging from the lane. It seems that only two official campaign legal observers and two activists working hard to take away the camp's possessions have been allowed down since early this morning.

TV crews, photographers and journalists also arrived and departed at regular intervals and were allowed to approach the site of the base camp, and there should be extensive coverage this evening on BBC South East Today. One of their three crews talked to me about the wider political threat of a revival of road-building, and it seems like almost their whole programme today will be dedicated to this issue (to be broadcast at 6.30 this evening).

To follow developments in the valley, see the Combe Haven Defenders site.

And if you have a road proposed for your area, we can support you in getting it stopped.