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Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 10:55:31 +0000
From: Cornerstone Resource Centre (cornerstone@gn.apc.org)
Subject: EF! Action Update no.54

OFF THE RAILS IN OXFORD

Recently Railtrack began work piling up ballast mountains at their new 'virtual quarry' (storage depot), in New Hinskey, South Oxford. John Prescott has still not decided whether to grant an Article 4 Direction, which would mean that Railtrack would be brought under council planning laws. As a decision could not be retrospective, Railtrack made sure they went ahead and started the quarry as fast as possible.

Local residents have shown that they value the natural environment of South Oxford by preparing a Community Nature Plan (August 1998) with the support of the City Council. Recent surveys recorded 54 species of birds around Hinskey Lake, and 42 species around the allotments, both next to the Quarry site. Local residents, furious about the development, bringing noise, pollution, and water run-off that may be toxic, have taken to direct action. On the 2nd day of work the gates were pad-locked shut, the one digger on site was trashed and the railway points were locked shut, preventing deliveries.

On 7th November, 130 people, most of whom have never done direct action took over the site, spelling the message 'STOP THE QUARRY' in 10ft high letters. Others have been to Railtrackís bossís house. As one said: 'he has made his presence felt in my life, so I will make my presence felt in his'!

Further info on the web - http://www.oxquarry.co.uk


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