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from SchNEWS, Issue 526 - 6th Jan 2006

Newbury reunion - demo and vigil - 7th January 2006



Remember when we were young and had flowers in our hair? Dig out yer climbing harness and dust off yer silly name 'cos this weekend there's a reunion to commemorate a decade since the beginning of the 'Third Battle Of Newbury' - the biggest road protest of the lot (See SchNEWS 56 to 66…and wonder where all those years went).

The Newbury bypass was a £101 million, 13km trail of destruction which saw the felling of 10,000 trees, trashed 3 Sites of Special Scientific Interests, damaging the habitat of numerous animals and destroying the last remaining colony of the Desmoulin Whorf snail. If that wasn't enough it also ruined twelve archaeological sites, including two civil war battle sites and an ancient stone-age settlement. Occupied for nearly two years, the eviction became an 85 day battle which involved 29 camps along the route with hundreds of treehouses. Over 700 arrests were made, and the security bill topped £1.5million. Thousands of bailiffs and police were defied. Although this road was eventually built, the resistance put up along with that at many other sites around the country caused the government to shelve its £23 billion road programme.

The first Reunion Rampage, a year after the final eviction, ended with a mass site invasion and the torching of caravans and machines belonging to the contractors (for more see SchNEWS 103).

There will be a gathering and demonstration this Saturday (7th January) at 2pm meeting at Middle Oak (A4/A34 junction), followed by a candle lit vigil at Donnington Castle. Bring everything you will need from camping gear to food.

For more info contact 07963 648762.

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