My Impression of Newbury-bypass protest
My impressions, which I know are shared by others, of the Newbury By-pass protest on 11 January seem relevant now.
The Protest was good natured, safe with mutual support. We chatted to the police and when the fence came down most of the 2-3000 people went through including camera crews and reporters. Unfortunately a private security guard through a fire extinguisher at a protester and broke his leg. The protest had been linked with a December 1982 Greenham protest ‘Embrace the Base’, and featured tying ribbons, poems, and personal things to the fence. I took an old poster it was of Auschwitz or Greenham Common with the watch tower and fence. It said Auschwitz 1944 Greenham Common 1984, in 1944 they took the people to the ovens 1984 they plan to take the ovens to the people. The poster attracted much interest. When you shake the fence the bolts come loose when you put your fingers through and spin the nuts they drop off and you are very soon through. To comment the security people appeared untrained should never have been put in that position without training by their employer. The broken leg incident may cause considerable anxiety for the private security people involved. I was disappointed though that people commissioned to advocate environmental concerns such as SSSI’s, or aggregate extraction were subsequently critical of the protest.