[imc-scotland-discussion] Friday - people needed at Dalkeith
mike77 at macunlimited.net
Thu Jan 19 15:09:04 PST 2006
(apologies cross posting...)
The anti roads people are appealling for people to get to Dalkeith on Friday 20th, transport will be available from the Forest Cafe from noon, or even better get out there in the morning , buses 3 and 3a go to Dalkeith , directions below...
Friday - road eviction fight at vital stage
Indymedia Scotland reports:
More people are set to join the anti road resistance in Dalkeith Country Park, south of Edinburgh on Friday. The National Eviction Team and police are expected to start an assault on the main protest site, the bottom camp by the River Esk on Friday 20th. This main protest site, with all its tree houses, is still intact.
"Now is the time to join us," a protestor told Indymedia. "We urge everyone who cares about the destruction of this beautiful park - and the destruction of this beautiful planet - to do whatever they can. The Scottish Executive aren't listening to reason, so we need to take direct action. If you can, join us in the trees, or show your solidarity on the ground."
Despite four days of eviction attempts by the police and the National Eviction Team from Wales, protestors are still in the trees and holding out. Latest news is that the main site, with its truly impressive tree houses and aerial net constructions, is still intact. It appears that protestors are still in one of the holes on middle site. The other two camps - top site and Camp Five - have been evicted. Several people have been arrested.
A protestor told Indymedia : " We are organising transport from central Edinburgh to the site on Friday. Come to the Forest Café on Bristo Place at noon. Bring anything that will make a noise, if you can. An infopoint has been set-up in there with directions (for taking the bus, walking, maps) and so on. People who want someone to go with them who knows where they're going may want to meet up with friendly people there. The bus journey is also pretty simple and goes on all day, with rides leaving the Cafe from around noon."
"The police are currently employing riot police to attempt to prevent people from getting back to site, and have been taking pictures and have even arrested someone they recognized as having not paid their fines from a G8 protest! However, there is a legal and safe "viewing area", and it is currently still possible to get into the trees to join the protest, and to get closer to show your support! The earlier you can come the better!!"
Even if all the sites are evicted this does not mean the end of the struggle - the opposition to the building of the M77 through Glasgow in the nineties saw months of daily guerrilla opposition to the tree felling and road building.
The first of the four protest sites at Dalkeith Country Park was established on the 31 October 2005 due to information that tree felling for the A68 bypass (to be constructed during the summer of 2006) was to proceed immediately. Since that time, all areas in around the park where tree felling is necessary for the proposed bypass have seen the establishment of protest sites to defend against this large-scale habitat destruction.
The number of people involved in protesting the routing of the A68 Bypass through the country park has increased significantly since the establishment of the first protest site and includes strong support from many people local to the Dalkeith area.
Campaigners are adamant that before construction on the A68 bypass continues, a new Public Inquiry needs to occur. Since planning permission was granted for the bypass in 1993, all information regarding the need for its construction is dated from 1992 or earlier. A proper Environmental Impact Assessment has never been completed, the last Public Inquiry was in 1992, and the need for this bypass has not properly been reassessed since major changes to the transport infrastructure of the area (the dualling of the A1, the building of the A7 Dalkeith bypass, and the potential reopening of the Borders Rail Link). In 1999, the Strategic Road Review stated that the A68 Northern bypass should be held in abeyance until the completion of the Multi-Modal Transport study (to be completed in 2006) which would consider the need for the bypass with regards to these change.
Activists believe this struggle also needs to be considered in the global context of the catastrophic process of global warming. A protestor told Indymedia :"By approving this road the Scottish Executive reveal the hypocrisy of their environmental rhetoric. If the planet is to be saved people need to take action to transform society ourselves,from the grass-roots - we cannot rely on politicians, they always put the demands of the profit-driven economy first."
TRANSPORT TO DALKEITH COUNTRY PARK
Transport is being arranged from the Forest Café, Bristo Place, near George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, which is also acting as an info point in Edinburgh. More info 077532 80009
You can also make your way there independently, by Lothian bus 3 and 3a from Edinburgh, directions below.
Dalkeith Protest Site Phone: 07783904369
DIRECTIONS to the main Protest Site
Please bear in mind the police may be obstructing access, and it may be necessary to vary your route, which is possible to do.
The site is in a stand of pines on the north side of the River Esk after the two branches have joined and near the cut for the overhead electric lines.
Enter Dalkeith Country Park at the north end- entrance off of the A6094 at Smeaton Lodge (between Dalkeith and Whitecraig). Go past Home Farm towards the River Esk, after crossing the bridge the protest site can be accessed by the first farm track on the left (note the site is not accessible for vehicles).
Alternatively, enter Dalkeith Country Park from the main entrance off of the High Street in Dalkeith. Straight ahead after you go through the gates, then stay on the road leading to the right past the adventure playground, shop and cafeteria. Pass the grazing fields and pass under three power lines. (At the first power line you can turn right towards the woodland and access Middle Camp.) After a short distance the road will split. There is a prominent Scots pine here in front of you. Take the left fork towards the River Esk. After a short distance, again take the left fork when the road splits and go down the hill. After crossing the bridge, the protest site can be accessed by the first farm track on the left. This is around 35-40 minutes walk.
>From Edinburgh, Lothian Buses 3 and 3a go along Princes St, up the Bridges and on to Dalkeith, you can use a day ticket for this journey.
For more information on the campaign to Save Dalkeith Country Park, visit www.save-dalkeith-park.org.uk/
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