Injunction Threat To Protest Rights
Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pg. 55.
TEMPORARY injunctions were served on nine Newbury protestors at the High Court in August, preventing them from trespassing on Highway Agency’s land or interfering with property.
A tenth injunction prevented one protestor from trespassing. It is believed another 40 applications for injunctions have been lined up by the Highways Agency and Newbury bypass contractors, Costain.
A High Court judge will decide in January whether or not the injunctions will become permanent. The protestors intend to fight the applications and are seeking witnesses of malpractice by contractors or security guards at Newbury to help their case.
Chris Wolffe, one of the ten, told Squall the injunctions will prevent the protestors from entering any Highway Agency land that has any connection with the bypass and not interfere with work on that land. They will also prevent the protestors from interfering with Costain’s equipment going to and from that land.
If the injunctions are breached by the protestors they could be imprisoned for two years.
Scott Tomes, another of the ten, added that the legal documentation was two inches thick and mostly made up of information supplied by Brays Detective Agency. The documentation contains photographs of the protests on site, sworn statements by Brays’ Detective Agency staff and copies of all the leaflets produced for the Newbury protest.
“They have nothing on my record to prove I do anything other than peacefully protest,” Tomes told Squall. “There is nothing to suggest I have acted with violence, threatening behaviour or caused criminal damage. If they succeed they will have stopped my democratic right to peacefully protest.”
“Between now and next year we have to get together as many statements as possible to show that the Highway’s Agency is not squeaky clean,” Wolffe said. Any witness or anybody with any evidence of official malpractice should contact Chris Wolffe at the Third Battle of Newbury campaign. See contacts for details.
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