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.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:31 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:03 pm
Anti-HS2 protesters in stand-off with HS2 workers

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.

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.

Anti-HS2 protesters in stand-off with HS2 workers

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.

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:

Protesters study works area map

“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.

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.

Protesters stand in the path of diggers

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.”