There are people living in trees for the Stop HS2 protest
Extinction Rebellion and Stop HS2 protests have been happening at Euston and various other locations.
Extinction Rebellion and Stop HS2 have organised and been carrying out protests this week in London titled “Extinction is Forever”, taken from Boris Johnson’s own words.
Protests have been taking place outside the main Euston Station which is directly opposite UCL campus, with many protestors walking and chanting down other roads. There are also major protests taking place on Hampstead Road where the main entrance to the construction site for HS2 is and where many UCL students live either in halls or student accommodation. Protests have also been taking place across the country in Colne Valley, Maple Cross and St Albans.
The protests have disrupted and stopped work on HS2 at multiple sites. An entrance to a HS2 tunnelling site in West Hyde has even been blocked by protestors blocking gates and standing on top of the tunnel.
According to the event page on the Extinction Rebellion website, on 1st October 2020, just one day after Boris Johnson announced he would “protect in law 30% of UK land for biodiversity” and “remove deforestation from our own supply chains” at the UN’s first biodiversity summit on 30th September 2020:
“Tree protectors were once again forcibly removed from our ancient woodlands to make way for HS2 chainsaws, continuing the largest deforestation project in Europe”.
“The continuation of projects like HS2 show that the government isn’t serious about acting now… And so we rise up in nonviolent direct action to remind those whose responsibility it is to protect us, to keep their word. We are disrupting HS2 because it is a huge example of a destructive industry, founded by our government, funded by the people, that represents the lies and greenwashing our Government feeds us”.
In the most recent Stop HS2 press release the stated that because of coronavirus:
Protestors have been seen at Euston and on Hampstead Road camping in trees. Those who cannot camp in the trees are doing as best to camp near them in Euston Square Gardens. This is also a symbol of how precious the trees are to the UK’s biodiversity, particularly in London where green spaces are often far more restricted than other areas of the UK.
There have also been various signs displayed saying: “Protect London’s drinking water” and “We are nature defending itself” as shown by the images shared below:
In the procession itself, individuals from Extinction Rebellion were seen getting involved and banging drums and waving extinction Rebellion Flags. This is the first time that Extinction Rebellion has been seen out so openly near campus since they were banned from London in 2019.
These protests were ultimately organised to serve as a reminder to Boris Johnson that “Extinction is Forever” and that action should be taken, rather than just making empty statements.