In the cold days of January 1992, direct action started at Twyford Down. Local residents were growing frustrated at campaigning against an extension to the M3 motorway through Twyford Down and across the water meadows next to the river Itchen. Work was about to start and they wanted to act fast, believing that there was still chance to save the Down.
One of the locals, a former Tory party councillor, sought out a meeting of the UK’s first Earth First! group in a squat in Brixton and asked for their help. Twyford Rising tells this story in full and explains the background to Earth First! – a radical environmental group that grew out of the defence of old growth forests in North America.
The over-night occupation of a bridge a near Twyford Down and the blockading of diggers, including one activist ‘locking on’ to the machine with a bicycle d-lock around the neck, was the very beginning of direct action at Twyford. Such scenes had never been seen on a UK construction site before.
For more about Earth First! in the UK, check out http://www.doordie.org.uk/ and for copes of Twyford Rising, the story of the remarkable protests that created a new wave of protest, head over to https://www.octoberbooks.org/.