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Security guards drag HS2 protesters out of Euston Square Gardens

HS2 has today shut Euston Square Gardens – between Euston Station and Euston Road – to use as a compound for its construction work.

15 January, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Jo Hurford is removed from Euston Square Gardens while Sarah Brown watches 

HIGH Speed 2 security guards carried environmental protesters out of a public green by their hands and legs after a sit in protest today (Monday).

The three campaigners – Jo Hurford, Ursula Brown and Sarah Brown – had gone for “a picnic” in Euston Square Gardens shortly before half of the public green was fenced off by managers of the £57 billion project, a rail link from London to Birmingham.

The direct action follows a similar protest on Friday that saw the St Pancras Church priest Rev Anne Stevens chain herself to a tree, also in Euston Square Gardens. HS2 is axing dozens of mature trees in Euston to make way for its new station.

The protesters unfurled a banner in Euston Road today 

Ms Hurford said: “We went down before they fenced it off and put bin liners down, because it is was soaking wet. We told them we were having a picnic, and linked arms. First they came over and gave us a warning. They put up plastic barriers around us, they said for our own safety. The Camden liaison manager came over, but we wouldn’t go.  Then they came back took us away, grabbing one leg and arm each. They put me down in a puddle.”

She added: “I’ve never done anything like this before but it’s like what we were saying on Friday: The democratic process has let us down. We’ve tried everything in Parliament, there have been meetings every night of the week in Camden. What has it got us?”

Jo Hurford and the Rev Anne Stevens in Euston Square Gardens on Friday

HS2 has today shut Euston Square Gardens – between Euston Station and Euston Road – to use as a compound for its construction work. It has already closed St James Gardens in Cardington Street. HS2 Ltd said the footpath leading out of the station would stay open and, when the station is complete, an underpass will be built linking Euston and Euston Square underground stations.

Construction of the project in Euston is due to be complete in 2033.

HS2 said: “We recognised the importance of the trees and gardens around Euston to people living and working near the station and we are working with London Borough of Camden to ensure that all trees lost during construction are replaced and other open spaces in the local community are enhanced. Supporting the natural environment is just as important to us as building stations, regenerating city centres and supporting the economy.”

The project’s managers, HS2 Ltd, are under-fire for awarding a consortium including Carillion a £1.4billion contract to build a section of the railway between High Wycomobe and Leamington Spa.  Carillion has gone into liquidation. The construction companies that won the contract for the Camden  works is Skanska Construction UKLtd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG.


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