CamdenNewJournal

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HS2 bailiffs ‘scratching’ at the door of Euston tunnel as protest enters sixth day

Barrier into tunnel expected to be breached 'soon'

01 February, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Dr Larch Maxey speaking from inside the tunnel today 

HS2 bailiffs are within touching distance of underground tunnel protesters.

The HS2 Rebellion group say they heard “scratching” at the door to their bunker this afternoon and expect for the barrier to be broken-down “soon”.

It is the sixth day of the dramatic protest against the £106billion railway beneath Euston Square Gardens.

Speaking from the tunnel today (Monday), Dr Larch Maxey said: “We can hear the bailiffs scratching at the door now. They are down to the down-shaft and almost to the level of ours.

“At some point soon we expect them to try and break through this hoarding into the tunnel.

“We are managing to keep our spirits up. We just really appreciate this opportunity to try and make a difference on the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.

“We urge you to contact your MP and ask them to support the CCE  [Climate and Ecological Emergency] bill before parliament. This is a chance to really address this crisis.”

HS2 Rebellion is backing the Climate and Ecological Emergency private members bill that has yet to win full support from the Labour Party.

If passed the bill would compel future government to act faster to tackle the environmental crisis. HS2 Rebellion believes time is running out to prevent an irreversible environmental disaster.


SEE ALSO HS2 PROTESTERS: WE’LL LEAVE WHEN THE PUBS REOPEN


Dr Maxey said: “We need to get ordinary people like you are I to inform decisions on how to get out of this crisis, rather than elites and bureaucrats.

“HS2 is a few elite fat cats trying to line their pockets at our expense. £7000 each taxpayers will pay for the privilege of destroying nature.”

He added: “A massive thanks for all the support so far.”

The group dug the tunnel over the last two months without authorities realising.

At least five protesters moved down into it from the camp above ahead of an attempt to evict the group last week.

HS2 has caused upheaval across Camden for several years, demolishing homes and businesses, parks and a secondary school.

In recent months, residents have been driven to despair by round the clock construction noise. The council says some homes have been left “virtually uninhabitable” because of the sound levels.

Campaigners set up the camp to stop trees being cut down in Euston Square Gardens to make way for a new taxi rank and to draw attention to the ecological damage of the project nationally.

Several arrests of ‘tree protectors’ above ground were made yesterday (Sunday).

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould has called for the group to come out of the tunnel voluntarily.

In a statement, an HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “The safety of people trespassing and the safety of HS2 staff and agents in this operation is of paramount importance.

“We are doing all we can to end this illegal action quickly and safely, including providing those underground with air – despite claims to the contrary.

“HS2 has legal possession of this land, therefore the High Court Enforcement Officers are lawfully empowered to remove illegal trespassers using minimum force at this time. Our message is however that those in the tunnels should come out now for their own safety.”

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