Anti-HS2 protesters take direct action near Steeple Claydon

Anti-HS2 campaign group, Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside) moved toward direct action on Monday morning at a HS2 works site near the village of Steeple Claydon.

Anti-HS2 campaign group, Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside) moved toward direct action on Monday morning at a HS2 works site near the village of Steeple Claydon.

Anti-HS2 protesters in stand-off with HS2 workers

Anti-HS2 protesters in stand-off with HS2 workers

Over the past few months this paper has been reporting on the group's activities.

At a HS2 community drop-in event in Calvert Green on 27 March they organised a mass demonstration of approximately 250 people.

A week later, they held a petition signing at another HS2 event in Steeple Claydon, ultimately gaining 2,543 signatures.

This petition was then hand-delivered to HS2 headquarters in Birmingham, although CEO Mark Thurston failed to meet the group as they had requested.

Protesters study works area map

Protesters study works area map

Now, as de-vegetation work begins in North Buckinghamshire, the group feel they have no choice but to take more drastic action.

Protester Frank Mahon said:

“We're here to slow down the de-veg work. We're not here to cause any violence or anything, it's a peaceful protest. We aim to stay here indefinitely.”

The group are essentially organising shifts so that there are always protesters on hand to block the workers for the controversial high speed rail project.

Protesters stand in the path of diggers

Protesters stand in the path of diggers

This reporter was on site with the campaigners as they began their protest on Monday and it did appear that after a lengthy stand-off work was stopped for the day.

HS2 workers that were present were approached for an interview but they declined to comment.

Speaking to Mr Mahon at the end of the day, he declared:

“Mission accomplished! It's been a great success – work was stopped as planned.”