Skip to comments.Country park arrests mark final stages of tree dwellers' protest (Scot wackos in tree tops)
Posted on 01/24/2006 7:20:34 AM PST by SittinYonder
EIGHT tree-dwelling demonstrators, including a topless woman, were arrested yesterday in Dalkeith Park as the £600,000 operation to evict bypass protesters there entered its final phase.
The National Eviction Team began work yesterday morning to move on the army of demonstrators living in the largest of four tree-top camps. It is believed to be the last camp left to clear.
Eight of the 'eco-warriors' left voluntarily after the eviction notice was read out at the Pickle Dirt woods.
But, four people chained themselves on the ground and another four fastened themselves to a 20-foot high cargo net and had to be removed by force by the eviction team.
One female protestor, who refused to put her clothes back on, was arrested by police.
However, about 12 campaigners are still in treetop hammocks and tents, one of which has been suspended above a river.
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: "The process of evicting the rest of the protestors is expected to take up most of the rest of the week.
"The NET must take into account a number of safety issues and it is a slow process bringing down the protestors from the cargo nets."
The group have been living in the trees since November last year as a protest against plans to build a £40 million bypass road through the country park.
The eviction began on Monday and has cost the Scottish Executive £600,000 so far, or £100,000 per day.
A total of 23 protesters have been arrested since the process to remove them from the site began last week.
The trees are to be cut down to make way for the bypass and protestors claim it is ruining the popular park and threatening the wildlife that live there.
Save Dalkeith Park members are campaigning to stop the road which will link the A720 and the A68, by disecting the park and altering the natural environment.
They are convinced that building the road will damage a significant portion of Dalkeith Park - an area which provides more than 1,000 acres of farmland and woodland just outside Edinburgh.
The park has long been used as a venue for a host of outdoor activities and hobbies. Activists argue that it provides a place for bird and wildlife watchers, cyclists, anglers, horse-riders, walkers and others and that it is visited by as many as 50,000 people every year.
The tree protesters say that if the bypass cuts the park in two it will endanger the wildlife there by destroying their natural habitat.
Campaigners from Save Dalkeith Park have been offered the services of a city QC free of charge to see if there is any way of seeking a judicial review of the Scottish Executive's decision to go-ahead with the A68 bypass.
However, officials are arguing that the new road is worth building and has been designed to ease traffic congestion in Dalkeith.
Both the Scottish Socialists and the Scottish Green Party have called on the Executive to re-route the bypass.
Tree surgeons started cutting down the woods at the end of November but had to stop work on safety grounds after the protesters moved in and wait to obtain an eviction order from the courts.
Plans for the single-carriageway A68 bypass took ten years to approve and were not passed by the Executive until July last year.
Obviously, if they just cut down the trees the protesters would come out pretty quick. In fact, if they'd fire up the chain saws, they'd probably come out voluntarily. But £100,000 per day seems unreasonably high.
Theres a great joke here somewhere...
I'm sure the joke would involve the topless protester. Isn't it cold in Scotland this time of year?
You have the same idea I do. Just cut. Worse that'll happen is they become a Rachel Corrie-like martyr.
Ping from the top of the trees. (GET IT?? Ping? Peeing? Get it?)
Amen. I read the Scotsman religously, and the overwhelming size of government in the UK is frightening. Particularly with regards to their national healthcare system, I like to post stories as a warning of where I see our country heading.
LOL. With the socialism in the UK, I would suspect they wouldn't have to have very many to form a government agency to deal with them.
Look at that natural skill in the treetops. And they say we aren't descended from monkeys. But who would have suspected that the Scotts would come along and prove them wrong?
FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!
Why not send a team to fog them out!
Set up some nets below; tell them to get down. If they don't budge, snipe 'em with tranquilizer darts.
It's the only humane thing to do. :)
ROFLOL. If it's good enough for the bears, it's too good for the envirowackos!
Best idea yet!!!! That might give them something to really protest!
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