Over the weekend the final act in the hopeless anti HS2 ‘rebellion’ (and I use that word very loosely indeed) came to a shambolic end when the last few squatters and protesters were evicted from their refugee camps in Staffordshire. The camps had been dying a slow death over the past three weeks, but the final act came quickly when bailiffs and security moved in and the few remaining protesters were dispersed. The farce was announced on the defunct Bluebell camps Facebook page thus:
Forget the attempt to play the homeless sympathy card. Most of these people do have real homes to go to – either back to their parents, or to the vans and caravans some of them lived in. They squatted and occupied this land, it’s not their home. In fact, the last squatters were damaging someone’s farmland as their own pictures show.
There’s now not a single camp left anywhere on the HS2 route. All that is left is two isolated protesters down tunnels at the Cash’s Pit site (aka Bluebell wood). Both are now in breach of High Court injunctions. It’s only a matter of time until they either give up or are dug out (having achieved the sum total of zilch). They will not be passing go or collecting £200 either. There’s only once place they’re likely to end up…
To make matters worse for the protesters the High Court in Birmingham spent 2 days (Thursday and Friday) hearing evidence for HS2 Ltd’s route wide injunction. Judgement has been reserved and is expected to be announced in several weeks time. Despite the scenes of bravado from the handful of protesters outside, it’s clear from the evidence offered by them that many hadn’t got a clue what was really going on. You can find all the legal documentation here – including witness statements and claims from the few protesters who asked to have their names removed from the injunction. In fact, only 2 of the 58 names were removed. Number 47 (Tom Dalton) and Number 56 (Libby Farbrother). Both will have had to sign legal undertakings not to interfere with HS2 property ever again. Other protesters had asked for their names to be removed as they were no longer involved in trying to stop HS2, having drifted away from the campaign over the past months and years. After the shenanigans from the protesters in Court, expect a revised list of names, with more added! The High Court is not to be treated with contempt but the protesters have a habit of doing so, as well as displaying weapons-grade misunderstanding and misinformation of law – which doesn’t endear them to the legal profession. I suspect the judgement (when it appears) is going to make interesting reading.
For reference, here’s a copy of the wording of one of the actual undertakings the defendants are asked to sign in order to have their names removed. The wording makes it clear that it does NOT bar them from public rights of way or the highway. It merely prohibits certain actions. But of course, the truth doesn’t fit the protesters narrative…
Another document deals with the protesters accusations of ‘wildlife crimes’ and completely skewers them. Firstly, it says;
“I understand from the Claimants’ legal representatives that a number of allegations were made in Court today by named defendants and other individuals that the First Claimant has been prosecuted / fined for “wildlife crimes”.
As the protesters haven’t defined what a wildlife crime the document helpfully says this:
“The Crown Prosecution Service says: “Wildlife crime can be defined as any action which contravenes current legislation governing the protection of wild animals and plants.”
Then comes the killer…
“I confirm that the First Claimant has never been prosecuted (whether by the police or any other relevant regulatory or other body such as the Environment Agency or Natural England) for a Wildlife Crime. It follows, but again I confirm for completeness, that the First Claimant has never been fined in relation to the commission of a Wildlife Crime”.
In the light of such simple legal facts, you can imagine what weight the Judge will be giving to the protesters ‘evidence’….
The hundreds and hundreds of evidence bundles made for voluminous and often tedious reading – especially the overlong and bombastic nonsense from Mark Keir. But there were a few interesting nuggets in some of it (such as the above) including statements from former StopHs2 ‘Campaign Manager’ Joe Rukin, who was forced to admit what we’ve all known for quite some time. StopHS2 is dead. It died several years ago.
Rukin’s evidence is hidden away in document No 50. Bundle D – Volume A. All 177 pages of it! Here’s a link just in case you’re suffering from insomnia at any time! The relevant parts of Rukin’s confession is reproduced here.
Rukin goes on to say…
There’s now no campaign to stop HS2 – just the remains of a rag-bag of baseless protesters, many of whom are now scattered to the four winds or gone to join other lost causes (two of the names on the injunction ‘Digger Down’ and Larch Maxey are now at an oil protest site in Surrey). It really is all over bar the moaning now. And, if the High Court grants HS2 Ltd their injunction (which is very likely, although their may be amendments), there won’t be any more camps either. No doubt their might be the odd protest and banner-waving here and there, but that’s meaningless. The only way HS2 was ever going to be stopped was by what never existed from day one – major political opposition to the project. The protests have never been anything more than a very expensive circus.
UPDATE: 25th June.
After 47 days of attracting hardly any publicity the tunnellers gave up and slinked off, claiming a ‘victory’ despite not having achieved a single thing other than being in contempt of court and facing jail time. This brings an end to the HS2 ‘rebellion’. There’s not a single camp left along the entire route of HS2, nor is there likely to be another as most of the tiny bunch of people who were involved have scattered to the four winds…
I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website – https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/
Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312
UPDATE: 19th June.
Today what’s left of the protesters are boasting that the two in the tunnels have been underground now for 40 days. Their problem is, no-one cares! The media lost interest weeks ago and so did most of their social media followers. Now all the camps have gone, so’s much of their attention.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the HS2 Phase 2B Hybrid Bill will fly through its second reading in Parliament. There’ll be no protests, because there’s no-one left to organise any and little interest if they did. Stop Hs2 is dead.