Activists claim council “put our lives in danger”

ANTI-Link Road protestors have accused the council of putting their lives at risk by refusing to provide food, painkillers and respite to activists occupying trees in gale force winds.

On Monday evening, around a dozen activists occupied the treetops in Crowhurst as protests against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) continued.

The activists, who were locked-on to trees 40-feet up from the ground, asked East Sussex County Council for food, painkillers and respite from the violent wind shaking the treetops.

But ESCC refused the request for food and painkillers and said if protestors left the trees they would be cut down.

It added that any protestor leaving the site would not be allowed to return.

The protestors had hoped that ESCC would agree to a ‘truce’ to allow them to leave the trees temporarily because of the poor weather conditions.

Earlier this year the authorities agreed a temporary truce with campaigner Simon ‘Sitting Bull’ Medhurst, who was occupying a tunnel.

As the snow fell and temperatures plummeted below freezing, ESCC agreed to let the veteran campaigner out of the tunnel overnight to warm up and return the following day.

An ESCC spokesperson said: “The decision to allow him out of the tunnel was a medical decision based on his safety and welfare.

“This was based on the medical evidence and advice of the ambulance service who were on site as a precaution.

“We also had specialist people there to ensure he was taken from the tunnel safely.”

In response to the latest claims by protestors, Rupert Clubb, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment at ESCC said: “If protestors are hungry or thirsty or need other supplies they can leave the site at any time.

“If those that are up trees wish or need to leave we will help them do so safely and we have made this clear to them.

“They will not be allowed back on site.

“We do not wish to prolong this any longer and would ask the protestors not to put themselves at risk and come down from the trees.”

The eviction of the third anti-BHLR camp, just west of Upper Wilting Farm in Crowhurst, took place this week.