Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

Road Rage

Climbers Use Torture Tactics On M66

Squall 13, Summer 1996, pg. 50.

TWO PROTEST CAMPS established on the route of the M66 in Greater Manchester were evicted on June 5th. Both evictions were marked by vicious tactics from bailiffs and scab climbers, under the direction of Under Sheriff Andrew Wilson.

A small camp at the edge of the drained reservoir in Audenshaw was hit at dawn. Bailiffs used torture tactics to remove protestors from concrete lock-ons, one of whom, known as ‘The Bishop’ had a rope placed around his neck which they used to try and pull him out of the lock-on. After this failed they roped his body and attempted to pull him out using a wire-tightener to crank the rope until the Bishop’s arm was being physically stretched as if by a medieval rack. It still took nearly two hours to get The Bishop out of his barrel.

Later the bailiffs closed in on ‘Daisy Nook 2’, a small but beautiful camp set up after the February evictions. As rumours of the terror tactics at Audenshaw filtered through to those in the tree houses, hopes of a safer approach under the gaze of television cameras were soon scotched.

Andy was locked on inside a cement filled barrel. Rather than take the time to cut him out, the climbers attempted to lower him down, head first, barrel and all. Inevitably, Andy’s head was clattered on the way down, causing a frightening neck injury. Andy was eventually moved to hospital, where strained neck muscles was the relatively happy diagnosis. Undoubtedly this was due to gook luck, leaving everyone asking how long it will be before the climbing psychopaths from Sheffield actually kill someone?

On a lighter note, a bulldozer became suddenly silent for a while. On closer inspection it was being sat on by Jenny, straight from a school exam, who had arrived to find the unguarded machine and simply hopped on.

Elsewhere the latest defence against the bailiffs was a shopping trolley suspended from a tree with a certain Sorted Itinerant handcuffed inside. They got it down eventually, but if anyone fancies being carried off a site in a makeshift sedan chair, shopping trolleys are defintely the way forward.

The road is not due for completion until 1999 and the fight goes on.

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For a menu of many other Squall articles about the Anti-Roads Movement, including protest camps, Reclaim The Streets and more click here