Activists around the UK staged actions against the construction of High Speed 2 on October 9.
Activists blocked the Chiltern Tunnel compound at West Hyde Hertfordshire, the largest HS2 work site, from seven o’clock in the morning until dusk with high bamboo structures placed in front of the entrance.
Twenty-one activists were arrested at the site.
One Extinction Rebellion activist said: “Arrested people were charged with wilfully stopping lawful workers”.
This charge is in accordance with Section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. This law has historically been used against fracking protestors, workers striking in their workplace and various types of environmental protestors.
Activists argue that if the construction HS2 is completed, it will cause widespread damage to the environment.
Phase 2b of the planned high-speed railway will see the construction of a new station near Manchester Airport and the expansion of Manchester Piccadilly, as well as the construction of a new railway.
Woodland Trust, UK’s largest conservatory charity, reports that HS2 is a direct threat to ancient woods, with 108 woods at risk of loss or damage.
HS2 also puts some animal species under threat of local extinction. These animals include Willow Tit bird, White-Clawed Crayfish and the Dingy Skipper Butterfly.
On top of being a threat to the environment, HS2 also has impacts on social life. According to HS2 Ltd., the company behind the project, around 888 homes and 985 businesses are being demolished to make way for the project. Some people were thrown out of their historic family homes and communities.
Activists pledge that they will not stop staging actions until HS2 is halted.