HS2 RESISTANCE groups are protesting in Cheshire today, Thursday, against what they are calling a ‘financial, social and environmental catastrophe’.
Protesters met at The Verdin Arms in Middlewich early this morning, near to a site where HS2 has been carrying out ground investigation works.
The protests and disruptive actions all the way along the proposed HS2 line – dubbed 999 National Action Day – is to ‘send a clear message’ in the run-up to the Parliamentary debate on September 13.
Parliament will debate the petition, ‘Stop work on HS2 immediately and hold a new vote to repeal the legislation’, which gained more than 155,000 signatures.
HS2 Rebellion, in conjunction with HS2 resistance groups including Stop HS2 and Stop HS2 North, will be taking part in a series of peaceful and disruptive actions, marches, speeches, presentations, and street theatre.
Nicky Mcara, a Cheshire-based protester, attended the protest in Middlewich this morning.
She explained how the protest took place near to an arable farm which will become a 100-acre rolling stock maintenance yard if HS2 goes ahead – green belt land.
Just down the road north of Crewe, there will also be the entrance to a large tunnel constructed, which will include eight train lines and have a ‘massive industrial impact’.
Nicky, who started protesting after looking into the impact of HS2 said: “You think ‘it’s just a train line’ but when you look into it and the impact, it’s really quite shocking.
“This is what this day of action is about, getting people to know what it’s about and talk about it.”
Fellow protester Alan Wood, who is also joining the demonstrations in Cheshire, added: “It’s not about a train line or saving 20 minutes to get to London, it’s about money.
“The more you look into it, the worse the whole thing is.”
A HS2 Rebellion spokesperson said: “By their own figures, HS2 will never be carbon neutral in 120 years.
“The recent IPCC report on climate change stated that we have until 2025 (at the latest) to reduce carbon emissions.
“But HS2 will not be finished until the late 2040s and, even in the mid-22nd century, HS2 will still not have helped us to reduce emissions. The maths does not add up.
“This week, the Government increased national insurance contributions by more than 10 per cent (from 12 per cent to 13.25 per cent) ostensibly to provide an extra £12bn a year for social care.
“By cancelling HS2 – a project which benefits only the rich – the Government could make immediate savings of approximately the same amount, without putting further strain on the finances of the working class.
“HS2 is a financial, social and environmental catastrophe.
“This is an emergency and we are calling on Parliament to pull the emergency brakes!”
For a full list of protests and more information, visit hs2rebellion.earth/9-9-9-national-action-day/.
A HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “The construction of HS2 is playing a vital role in Britain’s economic recovery from Covid-19, with more than 16,000 people already working on the project, and thousands more jobs supported through HS2’s UK-wide supply chain.
“By providing a cleaner, greener way to travel, HS2 will help cut the number of cars and lorries on our roads, cut demand for domestic flights, and help the country’s push to reduce carbon emissions.”