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January 25, 2006

Eco-warriors win Camp Bling fight

SAFE: Eco warrior Ollie Hornbeam at Camp Bling
SAFE: Eco warrior Ollie Hornbeam at Camp Bling

ATTEMPTS to force eco-warriors from their camp at Southend failed on Friday.

Southend Council officers tried to dismantle a fence at the site next to Priory Park just after 9am.

Protesters at Camp Bling - an ancient burial ground thought to be the resting place of a Saxon King - challenged council staff and they eventually left. The dispute remained peaceful.

Council leader Anna Waite said the authority had taken advice from police before moving in. She said the campaign to stop a road over the tomb was misguided.

"If they want to spend the winter in cold it's up to them," she said. "But we can't allow any damage to the site. We wanted to indicate we're not happy about them being there."

The protesters moved on site in September insisting they wanted to save more than 100 trees from being cut down, while safeguarding the future of the tomb.

A spokesman dismissed claims of damage and insisted the whole purpose for being there was to protect the ground.

Southend Council aims to concrete over the ground after backing plans to dual Priory Crescent.

The decision was supported by a government inspector last year after hundreds of people challenged the move. [Two years ago; 20,000+ people - PPPS editor]

The Tory-led authority insists road widening is the only way of solving traffic congestion.

Work on the multi million pound scheme is expected to begin once the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister releases funds, which have already been approved.

  • Parklife - the official protest group at Camp Bling - occupied the Cambridge based regional Government Office for the East of England GO-East on Monday.

    Six people chained themselves to areas inside of the building from 9am to 4pm in an attempt to encourage Government not to fund the £27m scheme.

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