Jai, a Road protestor warms his hands on a fire inside a squat. Along the M11 route. Cambridge Park Wanstead, Leytonstone, London.
The British Road Protesters movement began in the early 1990s when the Donga tribe squatted Twyford Down to save this beautiful site, a site of scientific interest SSI from the Ministry of transport's road building programme which threatened to destroy the landscape. The Dongas was the name of the ancient walkways, the paths trodden in the middle ages by people walking down to Winchester. A small tribe were joined by people of all walks of life who came to Twyford Down to defend it. A long hard battle over several years ended in the 'cutting' a new motorway built through this ancient monument and destroying it.
The Road Protest movement in Britain continued for many years and more battles were fought in London against the MII both at Wanstead then in Leytonstone, and subsequently at Newbury, and in Sussex. the protesters were very inventive in their use of non violent peaceful direct action. They barricaded themselves into squats, made tree houses, tunnels and have huge demonstrations against the bailliffs, police and security who tried to force their way through the defences of this alternative environmental popular movement. Many of the roads were built eventually and many sites of great beauty lost, but the government had to stand down from its road building policy and eventually the programme was halted. the protests cost the government billions. Out of that movement grew many environmental NGOs who have to this day kept fighting for ecological and sustainable environmental solutions rather than following the cult of the car, petrol and roadbuilding..