Socialist Worker

An owl of rage at high speed rail line

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2688

Activists in Colne Valley

Activists in Colne Valley (Pic: Alex Morss/Twitter)


Rebels took to Colne Valley, west London last Saturday in a day of direct action against the development of the high-speed HS2 train line.

Around 30 activists from Extinction Rebellion, StopHS2 and Save Colne Valley are occupying the space to prevent felling of woodland, and destruction of natural habitats.

Some 4,000 trees have been chopped down.

A further 28,000 are marked for felling.

HS2 bosses are also planning to drill through an aquifer—risking polluting driving water for 3.2 million people.


The construction of HS2 is hugely damaging to wildlife such as the barn owl.

A report from The Wildlife Trust revealed last week that it puts 108 ancient woodlands at risk.

Five sites of international importance and 33 sites of scientific interest are also threatened.

As well as threatening animal species and their habitats, the project is wildly expensive.

And it’s set to get even costlier.

A leaked government commissioned review of the project said that HS2 could cost up to £106 billion.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said a decision on whether to continue with HS2 would be made “very soon”.

Dust and hail follow wildfires

Australia’s bushfire crisis is “far from over,” authorities are warning, as extreme weather conditions rampage through the country.

Some 80 blazes are still burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria.

Intense storms took place in Melbourne and Canberra.

Some areas experienced hail as big as golf balls. Further severe storms are expected this week. Heavy rainfall and floods hit NSW and Queensland last week—major roads were closed and some people reported power cuts.

A terrifying “wall of dust” swept through central NSW on Sunday, turning the air completely black.

Long-running drought conditions and heavy winds created the clouds.

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