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Anti-HS2 campers ‘forcefully’ removed longest-running protest camp

CLIMATE change activists at the longest-running protest camp against the HS2 development at Harvil Road in the Colne Valley said they were forcefully removed in the middle of the night.

The campsite had been in place since October 2017 but was cleared by the National Eviction Team (NET) in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Some activists had built hammocks in trees while others were camped on the ground.

A campaigner, who is known in the group as “the other Sarah,” told the Star that three people were evicted in the freezing cold at midnight with nowhere to go with at least 30 authorities rough handling them.

She said that one was a 19-year-old who was pinned to the ground and “kicked with steel toe caps.” The activist has reported the assault. 

Another two women remained in the trees overnight and were arrested in the morning. 

The women are being held in custody ahead of a court hearing on Monday. 

“They were given no time to gather their things, [authorities] just burst in and grabbed at them,” the other Sarah said. 

“At about 3pm, we heard the woodchipper. The roadside trees were the last remaining on a long stretch of Harvil Road, which used to wind between the woodland and green field as you approached Harefield, the last village in London.”

The NET has been approached for comment.

An HS2 spokesperson said: “[The possession] was carried out with support of a warrant and involved the safe removal of a small number of illegal trespassers, who had put themselves and our team at risk.

“Protesters are always given the opportunity to remove themselves from sites that they illegally occupy.”

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