News, Culture & Society

Veteran eco-warrior ‘Swampy’ is hauled from treehouse by police at HS2 protest

Police in riot gear today clambered up a treehouse to arrest eco-warrior Swampy where he had been protesting against the HS2 high-speed rail line with eight other activists.

The activist, real name Daniel Hooper, was handcuffed and led away by five officers this afternoon before being put into a police van at Jones’ Hill Wood, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

Swampy fought off officers as they tried to grab hold of him, with brawls breaking out between the protesters and the police as they were forced out of the camp which has dubbed the ‘Bean Can’.

Another demonstrator, called Satchel, was left dangling from a rope after he broke free from being bundled into the police cherry picker. A total of seven activists were brought down and arrested.

The other five were known as Scrap, Peahead, Pigeon, Sky and Biscuit, while a further two people on the ground were also arrested. The group were trying to protect an area of ancient woodland marked for destruction. 

The activist Swampy, real name Daniel Hooper, was handcuffed and led away by police officers in Buckinghamshire today

Swampy was arrested by police this afternoon while protesting against the destruction of woodland in Buckinghamshire

Swampy was arrested by police this afternoon while protesting against the destruction of woodland in Buckinghamshire

Swampy is moved into a police van following his arrest at Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

Swampy is moved into a police van following his arrest at Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

HS2 protesters were occupying the treehouse within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon

HS2 protesters were occupying the treehouse within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon

Police officers in riot gear block public access as they facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters in Buckinghamshire today

Police officers in riot gear block public access as they facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters in Buckinghamshire today

HS2 protesters are removed from a tree by members of the eviction team in Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon

HS2 protesters are removed from a tree by members of the eviction team in Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon

Parts of the Chiltern countryside including Jones' Hill Wood are under threat from the controversial HS2 project

Parts of the Chiltern countryside including Jones’ Hill Wood are under threat from the controversial HS2 project

HS2 protesters are removed from a tree in Buckinghamshire this afternoon during their demonstration

HS2 protesters are removed from a tree in Buckinghamshire this afternoon during their demonstration

However at about midday, police officers clambered up to the treehouse – where the activists have been staying since Thursday last week – and began taking it apart.

Yesterday, Swampy’s 16-year-old son Rory joined him in the treetop protest, but he was not believed to have been there today.

The son of middle-class Berkshire parents, Swampy became the poster boy for environmentalism after he became involved in the protests against the A34 Newbury by-pass in 1996.

He later spent seven days and nights living in a tunnel dug by campaigners attempting to stop the A30 dual carriageway in Devon in 1997.

Today, the specially trained climbing officers from Thames Valley Police urged Swampy and his friends to come down from the tree quietly.

One officer said: ‘I suggest you come with us. We will put you in a safe harness and lower you down.’ 

At about midday today, police officers clambered up to the treehouse in the Buckinghamshire and began taking it apart

At about midday today, police officers clambered up to the treehouse in the Buckinghamshire and began taking it apart 

The specially trained climbing officers from Thames Valley Police urged the protesters to come down from the tree quietly

The specially trained climbing officers from Thames Valley Police urged the protesters to come down from the tree quietly

Police wearing riot gear attended the scene in Jones' Hill Wood today as they took the protesters down from the treehouse

Police wearing riot gear attended the scene in Jones’ Hill Wood today as they took the protesters down from the treehouse

Police block public access as they facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

Police block public access as they facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

One of the HS2 protesters is removed by police wearing riot gear in Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

One of the HS2 protesters is removed by police wearing riot gear in Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

An HS2 protester is removed by police at Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon as the demonstration is brought to an end

An HS2 protester is removed by police at Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon as the demonstration is brought to an end

Teams of police officers were on scene in Buckinghamshire today to facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters

Teams of police officers were on scene in Buckinghamshire today to facilitate the eviction of the HS2 protesters

However as the police and the protesters embarked on bad tempered exchanges as they grappled high in the treetops. One activist accused an officer of threatening to kick her in the head.

The officer claimed he was protecting his colleague as the activist was attempting to tamper with his safety ropes, which would have caused him to cascade down to the ground.

But the activists maintained that ‘none of us is going to put anyone in danger’. A spokesman for the HS2 Rebellion group confirmed that Swampy and his fellow activists had been arrested.

She told MailOnline: ‘Everyone in the tree is out now including Swampy and Councillor Steve Masters from West Berkshire Green Party.

‘There were seven protesters in total – nicknames are Satchel, Scrap, Peahead, Pigeon, Sky, Biscuit and Dan (Swampy). They were taken from the wood and put in police vans.’

It is understood the protesters were told before they came down from the tree that that they would be arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass. 

An HS2 protester is removed by police from the area in Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon as the demonstration is concluded

An HS2 protester is removed by police from the area in Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon as the demonstration is concluded

Police remove an HS2 protester from the camp at Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon during the environmental demonstration

Police remove an HS2 protester from the camp at Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon during the environmental demonstration

HS2 protesters occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon

HS2 protesters occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon

One of the HS2 protesters is removed by officers in Jones' Hill Wood this afternoon during the police operation

One of the HS2 protesters is removed by officers in Jones’ Hill Wood this afternoon during the police operation

HS2 protesters take part in a demonstration at Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

HS2 protesters take part in a demonstration at Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

An HS2 protester wears a face mask as she takes part in a protest at Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire today

An HS2 protester wears a face mask as she takes part in a protest at Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire today

An HS2 protester sits on the ground against a collection of branches as they take part in the demonstration today

An HS2 protester sits on the ground against a collection of branches as they take part in the demonstration today

HS2 protesters stand by a banner which says 'Battle of the Bean Can' in Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

HS2 protesters stand by a banner which says ‘Battle of the Bean Can’ in Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire this afternoon

One protester who witnessed the eviction said sadly: ‘The Bean Can is empty, the Bean Can is empty.’

Up until today police had made 15 arrests and two people had been charged in relation to the HS2 protests at Jones’ Hill Woods.

Jack Hartcup, 30, from Norwich and Toni Bingham, 32, appeared at Reading Magistrates last Friday charged with breaching bail conditions and committing an offence under the Trades Union and Labour Relations Act.

The Bean Can activists have claimed their treetop protest was not about stopping HS2 or preserving the ancient woodland but ‘resistance to government and corporate greed’.

In a statement issued from their treehouse, they wrote: ‘This is a statement from The Bean Can, the last remaining treehouse resisting the eviction in Jones Hill Wood. 

The HS2 rebellion group is trying to protect ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire today

The HS2 rebellion group is trying to protect ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire today

Four police officers clambered up to the treehouse today and began arresting the activists

Four police officers clambered up to the treehouse today and began arresting the activists

Police today clamped down on the protest by activists against the HS2 high-speed rail line

Police today clamped down on the protest by activists against the HS2 high-speed rail line

Environmental activist Daniel 'Swampy' Hooper joins HS2 protesters as they occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones' Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire today

Environmental activist Daniel ‘Swampy’ Hooper joins HS2 protesters as they occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire today

Swampy and the eight other activists (pictured today) have been living up the tree, nicknamed 'The Beancan', in Jones' Hill Wood, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, since October 1

Swampy and the eight other activists (pictured today) have been living up the tree, nicknamed ‘The Beancan’, in Jones’ Hill Wood, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, since October 1

Eco activists have been camped out in the treehouse in Buckinghamshire, pictured today

Eco activists have been camped out in the treehouse in Buckinghamshire, pictured today

HS2 protesters occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones' Hill Wood today

HS2 protesters occupy a tree within the boundary of HS2-owned land in Jones’ Hill Wood today

The activist, real name Daniel Hooper, had teamed up with an HS2 rebellion group trying to stop the destruction of ancient woodland marked for destruction

The activist, real name Daniel Hooper, had teamed up with an HS2 rebellion group trying to stop the destruction of ancient woodland marked for destruction

The son of middle-class Berkshire parents, Swampy (above) became the poster boy for environmentalism in the 1990s. He is pictured at a Manchester Airport runway protest in 1997

The son of middle-class Berkshire parents, Swampy (above) became the poster boy for environmentalism in the 1990s. He is pictured at a Manchester Airport runway protest in 1997

‘The Bean Can is occupied by autonomous activists who are not affiliated with any particular organisation. Firstly, we want to make one thing clear: this is not about a railway.

‘This is not even about keeping the trees standing – these treehouses are a symbol of resistance. This is a resistance to government and corporate greed, and profit for the rich being put before people and planet.

‘This is about the state prioritising corporate interests over welfare services and community – HS2 is a kick in the teeth to struggling communities after a decade of austerity.’

The author Roald Dahl, who used to live in the area, is known to have spent time in Jones Hill Wood and it is said to have inspired him to write ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’. 

The 1.8-hectare beech wood, one of 108 ancient woodlands that are scheduled to be destroyed along the HS2 route, is considered a habitat of principal importance and home to bats, badgers, tawny owls, and foxes. 

Parts of the surrounding Chiltern countryside are also under threat from the controversial HS2 project. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.