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Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 15:37:08 +0000
Subject: -ALLSORTS-mixed news 27th March


From: "Peat Alert"

Hatfield Moor - peat action reportback from day 1 (25th March 2002)

By excellent fortune, the ministry of defence had sold up its prison dog training land the day before Peat Alert squatted it. The landlord resisted pressure from the police to have the squatters removed. Banners and flags were strung from the top of the radar towers, and drivers by beeped their approval. Scotts seemed very worried, and had contacted campaign groups beforehand asking if there was anything they could do to stop this blockade.

Police had attempted to intimidate the pub we were leaving from in advance, telling the landlady we would barricade ourselves in to the carpark which she obviously didnt believe. Most people living in the area seemed very supportive of the 100 or so protesters. Many were angered by the large police presence.

People arriving at the site were filmed by evidence gatherers and a constant police presence was kept. By 11 am the crossroads by the peat works was busy with police activity, 6 vans and a couple of cars. The helicopter was out, the horses were out, the landrovers were out. Police had made thorough and regular searches of ditches and found some of the equipment stashed there. Roadsigns were put up stating: 'Assembly Start' (about 300 yards from the crossroads ) and 'Point A' ( 100 yards from the crossroads). We were told this was the area we were allowed in. A section 14 order meant if we stepped outside the allocated area we could be arrested. We were also only allowed in the area between 6 and 6. Night time was a no-go zone. That bit of road being unsuitable for a blockade, in that it wouldn't stop the lorrys, 100 people made their way to the crossroads. Pink flags were followed to direct people in case of a sudden change of plan, masks were worn, music was played, and after a hard walk to the crossroads there stood lines of police plus vans behind them.

Taking the easier option than storming the lines, people sped across country, wheelchairs and buggys being carried or pushed by extra people. The police were too slow to stop this, despite the landrovers and the horses. A section 60 was granted, (stop and search) and some were searched. New police lines were formed quite a way in front of the works. We got the road we wanted and for a couple of hours lorries were stuck and stationary behind our lines. The cops got back up and more vans turned up, with cops in riot gear. By the end there were 18 vans parked along rural roads. 36 arrests were made in total, and some escaped cross-country. Snatch squads seemingly targetted those in black and masked, and those with arm tubes or other equipment.

By 4 in the morning all but 2 of the arrested had been released. The bail conditions meant they could not go within 2 miles of the works. Cops were gutted to realise this condition completely neglected to include the site which is 2 and a quarter miles from the works. It also fails to include the South Moors where most of the work Scotts is doing occurs.

3 more days to go.

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