Activists staging a protest in Euston Square Gardens say their lives are being endangered by the attempts of the eviction team one week into the protest against HS2.
HS2 Rebellion have camped out in central London and dug underground tunnels in order to stop their eviction, opposing the HS2 build, a high speed, new trainline costing £106bn. They say they“will destroy 108 ancient woodlands, countless wildlife habitats and communities”.
Protesters under the names of Larch, Viking and Lazer have been providing updates on the ongoing resistance through social media and have claimed bailiffs have been illegally breaking health and safety protocols by digging a parallel tunnel in order to forcefully remove them, possibly endangering their lives.
In one video provided on Instagram, self proclaimed eco-warrior Larch urged members of the public to support the cause by contacting health and safety and the police.
He can also be seen burrowed in the confined tunnel whilst diggers are heard working through the night to break through the rubble. He said the “unsafe digging” was causing the air to become dusty, further harming the protesters.
”The treatment of the activists has been appalling”
There has been a lot of support for the protest as well as concern for the safety of those at the helm of it. One defender of the cause who asked to remain anonymous said:
“The treatment of the activists has been appalling, with no regard for their safety. This is a clear example of the government prioritising their loss of money from the disruption rather than the lives of people”.
Larger organisation Extinction Rebellion has allied with the cause, with four protesters in orange jumpsuits having today scaled HS2 headquarters in London, holding a banner that read “Essential work should heal not harm”.
Further established camps have also already been set up further west of the potential trainline in Denham and support has been given by Green Party Politician Baroness Jenny Jones who visited the site earlier in the week.
— Jenny Jones (@GreenJennyJones) January 31, 2021
HS2 Ltd disputes this and said “activists have been spreading false claims of mistreatment by the diligent HS2 and emergency service personnel who are working around the clock to ensure their safety”.
They also highlighted their legal possession of the land and said the occupation has been “putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services during the covid pandemic”.