An ex-Swansea Uni lecturer is living in an underground tunnel to protest HS2

The remaining protesters are expected to be forcibly removed this Wednesday

A former Swansea University Geography lecturer is living in a tunnel built underneath Euston square in London to protest HS2, the high-speed railway planning to link London to cities in the midlands and the north.

Dr Larch Maxey, along with at least five other protesters, entered the tunnel network under Euston Square Gardens station in London at 4am last Wednesday, in an act of protest against the construction of the new railway.

Maxey, who has previously worked as a Geography lecturer at Swansea University, is one of the few remaining activists at the site, with protesters above ground in Euston Square Gardens being removed throughout last week. Despite the protesters presence, work on HS2 has been continuing all week with heavy machinery being used 24 hours a day, to which Dr Larch revealed the activists have not slept at all. He stated “sleep deprivation is a form of torture”.

HS2 is expected to risk or destroy numerous wildlife site in the UK, with 693 local wildlife sites and 108 ancient woodlands being in the path of the new railway. Also, the price of HS2 is continually rising and now is expected to cost the UK taxpayer over £98 billion.

Those remaining in the tunnel have now completed their sixth day underground. Maxey has been documenting his experience in the tunnel on Twitter:

He opens the video in surprisingly good spirits, jokingly saying “Day 6 in the big tunnel house…”. Additionally, despite there only being a “small handful” left of protesters in the tunnel, there are thousands of people reaching out and supporting the protesters.

National Eviction Team (NET) enforcement agents have been disposed to remove Dr Larch and the other protestors from the tunnel. However, the methods being used have been described by the HS2 Rebellion group as breaking the right to protest (Article 11) of The Human Rights Act. There have also been reports of essential supplies being restricted from the protesters as to force them to vacate the tunnel. All of those left in the tunnel expect to be forcibly removed this Wednesday.

A Swansea University representative told The Cardiff Tab, “Dr Maxey was a lecturer here but left several years ago” and declined to comment any further on the lecturer’s involvement.

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