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Extinction Rebellion plan Bucks HS2 protest

Extinction Rebellion plan Bucks HS2 protest

Published by Dan Gooding at 7:25am 16th January 2020.

Campaigners fighting HS2 are planning a weekend of action against the high-speed line in South Buckinghamshire.

Save Colne Valley, Extinction Rebellion and Stop HS2 are joining forces to save the trees that HS2 plans to fell along Harvil Road and along the Chiltern Trainline (UB9 6JW).  

This follows a failed attempt in April 2019 by HS2 to remove the trees stopped by an earlier joint action on a smaller scale, when protesters took to the trees.

Last week, HS2 bailiffs evicted the field part of Harvil Road Wildlife Protection camp - without a high court eviction notice.

The camp has been monitoring, highlighting and stalling HS2 destruction since October 2017, and are opposing the eviction claiming HS2 and the bailiffs are acting unlawfully.  

The evictions are in preparation for planned felling and chipping of road and trackside trees to clear space for road building. [2] Despite the high winds and rain, environmental activists have taken to the trees, and will stay until forced down to deter HS2s ongoing eviction attempts which are particularly focused on a remaining camp in the nearby woodland, while there is also another camp along the roadside on Harvil Road.

HS2 officials are saying they can evict the camp under Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, despite protesters having legal occupation of the land under the Criminal Law Act.

Last week's eviction was carried out without giving protesters the chance to contest the eviction.

A call to action

The camp is calling for immediate support to go and join the resistance effort with food, blankets and camping equipment welcome.  

For those that can't make it there now, people are invited this weekend to come for an hour, a day or even to camp - in this area of natural beauty as an act of creative nonviolent resistance.

There are planned workshops, music and civil discobedience, where rebels can join the rebellion through disco. Plus walks around the beautiful lakes and woods to highlight what could be lost if HS2 plans go ahead.

HS2 Viaduct CGI (4)
HS2 is planned to cut through Buckinghamshire

The news comes as the Wildlife Trust this week published a new report revealing that the environmental damage of HS2 will be far worse than expected, and urging the government to stop and rethink the project as it will "damage the very ecosystems that provide a natural solution to the climate emergency".

It is claimed the rail project will destroy or damage 693 Classified Local Wildlife Sites, 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and 18 Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves threatened.

Some have already been damaged, despite the project still being under review.

Sarah Green of Save Colne Valley said:

"While Australia is burning, HS2 is destroying our nature right here in the heart of the UK.

"At this time of Climate and Ecological Emergency, it is essential to safeguard our sources of drinking water and protect the wetland nature reserves, woodlands and wildlife of the Mid Colne Valley.

"To do this the HS2 project must be stopped - come join us this weekend and save the trees."

Freeman, environmental protector, who is camping in a tree day and night to deter eviction at the Harvil Road woodland camp said:

"I have been protecting this patch of nature since August and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't do all that I could. If we the few can slow down HS2, imagine what more people can do?

"Together, we all have the power to stop this tragedy. If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Joe Rukin of Stop HS2 said:

"Due to an incomprehensible decision to have a 250mph running speed, HS2 has been designed from the outset to have a greater land-take and deal more damage to the natural environment than any single railway or motorway project in UK history.

"Not only will HS2 still be a net carbon contributor 120 years into the future but as is being shown it is wreaking an unprecedented level of damage on the natural environment which inexplicably has continued during this supposed review period. This Government must stand up to the vested interests who continue to lobby for this fraudulent white elephant and have the guts to cancel HS2 before it is too late. 

"There are alternatives - more benefits could be delivered to more people, more quickly by investing in sustainable local transport in areas away from London that suffer from poor connectivity."

HS2 Limited have argued they are creating new wildlife habitats and planting 7 million new trees as part of the project.

We are still waiting for the outcome of a review into the project.

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