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From: "SchNEWS" (
To: "SchNEWS Subscribers" (
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 16:09:33 +0000
Subject: SchNEWS 174/175, 10 July 1998


"We believe in non-violent action: this virtually accuses us of attempted murder." - Muppet Dave

The campaign to stop the Birmingham North Relief Road took another bizarre twist last week with a leaked memo that told firefighters not to respond to calls from road protesters. The document warns fire officers to 'expect ditches lined with spikes, arson attacks to lure fire appliances so the equipment can be stolen, buildings designed to collapse and home-made grenades filled with fleas and urine! (SchNEWS would be interested to see how you make a flea and urine bomb).

400 copies of the briefing paper were circulated to West Midlands Fire Service officers advising them to delay responding to emergency calls from road protesters and to tell the police when they receive a call.

The memo follows hot on the heels of a meeting called by West Midlands Police (see SchNEWS 169), attended by the bosses of both the fire brigade and the ambulance service. During the meeting they were told by police bigwigs that protesters were violent terrorists who had bobby trapped squatted buildings along the route to stop evictions.

The message obviously struck home with the Fire Service Chiefs, however, the Fire Brigades Union were furious and on Wednesday held a meeting with the protestors. One member commented; "I find it disgusting. How often do you see stories about heroic firefighters digging out a little Jack Russell -and they're telling us we shouldn't do the same thing for a human"

If the road schemes gets the go ahead twenty seven miles of farmland, woodland, green belt, water meadows, Special Sites of Scientific Interest and homes will be trashed to make way for Britain's first toll motorway. Privately built by Midland Expressway Ltd., construction is due to begin in January 1999 and is estimated to cost the taxpayer £415 million.

Directions: Catch 105/105A bus from Bull Street or Corporation Street, Birmingham City Centre toRoughley.Get out at the last stop (by a phone box) and directly ahead you will see a crossroads. Turn left down Weeford Road, straight on til you reach a sliproad up to the A38, follow this for about one and a half miles and you will see Greenwood Camp on the left, well illuminated with signs.

* Birmingham Friends of the Earth 0121 632 6909/Camp mobile 07970 932224


road protests 1998   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links