Following direct action from residents, HS2 Contractors Fusion have abandoned their compound in Steeple Claydon. After nine days of action, during which residents walked along public footpaths through farmland to place themselves in front of a tree-picking machine nicknamed “The Climate Changer”, the contractor has abandoned the site.
Following the occupation of trees on the Harvil Road in Harefield over the weekend of 27-27th April, this is the second time that peaceful direction action has successfully prevented HS2 contractors from removing trees along the proposed route.
Work had started near the Buckinghamshire village on 11th April to clear vegetation, with hedgerows and parts of a woodland plantation being cleared away. The residents dubbed the site a ‘crime scene’, due to the facts that the work was taking place during nesting season and HS2 still have not received final ‘Notice to Proceed’ from government.
As such, when the contractors attempted to start work again on 29th April, residents simply walked along a public footpath and blocked the progress of the ‘Climate Changer’, forcing it to return to the compound. A vigil continued for another week, until on 7th May, when contractors tried to use the machine for the last time, before a worked asked “You’re just going to stand in front of us wherever we go, aren’t you?”, and when he was told yes, they returned to the compound, after which the machinery was loaded onto lorries and the compound closed down. Where the machinery and workers have now been deployed is unknown.
Frank Mahon, who was one of the people who has taken part in the vigil and stood in front on the Climate Changer said:
“I believe the site has been shutdown. We’ve won the battle but we haven’t yet won the war.”
Video available on Twitter and Facebook.
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Well Done! A well deserved Victory. Hopefully the first of many.