When the Euston Tree Protectors Camp was established on 28 August 2020, High Speed 2 Ltd were planning to cut down the trees in Euston Square Gardens East to make a parking area for taxis in September. We had negotiated that the two biggest trees should be left, in the north and east of the gardens, and the House of Lords told them to leave the trees along the south side next to Euston Road, but they were still intent on felling the trees in the middle and the west. They postponed this to January, then February, but on 27th January they sent in the black-shirted National Eviction Team (NET) to occupy the gardens.
We have used the money that has been kindly donated to this fund for supporting the camp and the aftermath of eviction. Really appreciated. If there’s anyone out there able to make a donation, we would really appreciate that now too. Small or Large, it’s all good. Not everyone can join a camp, but we can all support the people who do.
There are still ongoing replacement expenses - for items “lost” in the eviction, and reimbursing the people who stepped up and bought things for the camp when they were needed. Also travel to court appearances, of course!
Around twenty of the tree protectors went up onto the tree platforms that had been built high in the trees, around seven occupied the roof-towers of “Buckingham Pallets” as the palisade was called, and a very brave and determined group of nine went down the tunnels. We are so very grateful to these amazing young people for coming to defend our trees. Rest assured we had exhausted every path of the democratic processes this last decade, but were just brushed off and ignored.
Finally attention was being paid to the destruction the HS2 project was causing the environment, the sheer waste of money being borrowed when improvements were so urgently needed to regional railways in the north, the massive reduction in rail travel due to the pandemic, and the terrible impact on the survival of humans and other species if we continue to treat the planet so appallingly. If the average temperature continues to increase it would be 4 degrees warmer in a decade, with melting glaciers and polar ice and people fleeing floods and famine.
So over the next few days, NET brought in cherry pickers to pluck tents and sleeping bags from the tree platforms and roof towers, but the nine in the tunnels held out. It is hard to believe that HS2 didn’t notice the tunnels being built, with their office windows overlooking the gardens, but that is what they say. And a month later now, the last of the “Bradlys” has, like their fellows, voluntarily left the tunnels, and HS2 have rushed to fell the trees.
You might be wondering about the money - we have an accountable and transparent system of spreadsheet and receipts, to show how the money from this go fund me has been spent as we have gone along. We have needed equipment for climbing, tools and materials for building, and of course digging implements and supplies. This has been administered by the camp finance representative Dorothea Hackman and team, and the money you have donated has come to them for distribution for purchases for all the Bradley Eustons in our camp.
Now we are sorting out reimbursing people from the camp for the rush of purchases in the run up to eviction, as they hunt out their receipts. Then we need to replace all the personal things that NET has trashed during eviction - like sleeping bags and power packs. And finally there will be expenses relating to arrest and court appearances. We will hold discussions, and see where resistance at Euston goes next, but there will be a need for the groups co-operating as HS2Rebellion to continue to seek for HS2 to be dropped.
Keep visiting Euston Square and make sure NET does not cut down the two big trees, nor those on the pavement outside. Mourn our lost trees and green spaces, and celebrate the achievement of our tree protectors: 31 days underground, and important media attention to alert the public to the atrocity of HS2.
Euston Tree Protectors were saving trees and green spaces from High Speed 2 who will destroy this last green space near Euston and cut down 11 more of our trees to build a temporary taxi parking area, just as they have done already to the west half of the gardens, and they will damage the wider environment.
We are part of HS2Rebellion, an alliance of the groups opposed to the destruction and expense of HS2, including the tree protector camps, StopHS2, extinction rebellion and local community organisations. We need a steady flow of money for the camp for expenses like climbing equipment, warm clothes, printing and food, so please donate if you can.
We increased our target to accommodate needing more money, as High Speed 2 have postponed destroying Euston Square Gardens East until January 2021, so we need to make the camp secure and warm for winter for many months yet.
Please visit our camp in Euston Square Gardens when you can, we used to have welcome afternoons on Sundays from 12 noon where you could do block printing and tree climbing. “Bring a picnic – wear a mask & keep a safe distance - avoid mingling!”
HS2 is one of the largest and most damaging infrastructure projects in our country.
HS2 will not be carbon neutral for over 120 years – if people are even still around to travel by then.
HS2 will not reduce flights - 4 major airports want it for aviation expansion HS2 will need 67% of the entire UK rail network electricity.
HS2 has destroyed or is threatening all the trees and local parks around Euston station, 693 wildlife sites, 33 sites of special scientific interest, 21 designated local nature reserves, & 108 ancient woodlands.
Our grandchildren will be paying the cost of the money borrowed for HS2, while the profit goes to the billionaire developers.
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