1st March, 2007
Unnoticed by most of the media, New Labour has embarked on a roadbuilding scheme just as large as the one the Tories bragged was ‘the biggest since the Romans’. All over the UK, however, ordinary people have noticed, and everyone – from doctors and teachers, to old-style road protestors – are once again saying: enough is enough. Paul Kingsnorth reports
Time blurs the memory. It was 10 years ago now, but I can’t quite remember where. I can remember the small, thin birch tree, and the ring of yellow-jacketed security men that surrounded it. I can remember the size of the great, snorting bulldozer that threatened it; its oily pistons and the greasy smoke it belched into the woodland air. I remember running for the tree and scaling it, clinging on perhaps three-quarters of the way up, perhaps 10 foot off the ground.
I recall thinking how under-prepared I was, and how I should have brought a lock with me and how the trunk was too small for that anyway; almost too small to hold my weight. I could feel it sway under me as I clung on.
Finally, I can remember two yellowjackets approaching me and, without much effort, dragging me from the tree. I remember them manhandling me back towards the arm-linked lines of their colleagues, as the bulldozer snorted again and churned up the ground, its last obstacle removed. I remember thinking how we had lost here. But I remember thinking that we were winning, too.
This happened in one of...
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