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From: "Jo Makepeace" (
Subject: SchNEWS 578, 2nd March, 2007
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 16:09:54 -0000

Augustov Bypass Protest (Poland)

The Rospuda Valley in the north east of Poland is a primeval forest and swamp land that's home to many rare species including bison and lynx. It's under immediate threat of being bulldozed into history. Apparently what's needed is not a nice set of 'green lungs' for Europe, but "smooth and dense infrastructure". i.e. roads. The Augustov bypass faced no rigorous appraisal procedure or public inquiry. Worse still there's a decent alternative route and European regulations say if it means less environmental destruction it should be used instead. Failure to meet this requirement and the fact that politicians are planning to rip through a 'Nature 2000' heritage site could mean big EU fines. The government's plans have steam-rollered on, however - presumably they'll be happy to just pass any bill on to tax payers. The road must be built!

In response, and despite the rather nippy weather (-20c), an anti-road camp has been established and is thriving, but more help is needed now. And, taking opposition into the city, some autonomous groups have been busy picketing the HQ of Budimex, the company that's picked up the juicy contract to build the road. Warsaw residents have started a daily action at the Ministry of the Environment and another big demo is promised for next Friday (9th) outside the Polish embassy in London (47 Portland Place, W1N 3AG). 4.30pm start. Bring banners and make some noise.

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