Stop claiming that you support the Kinder Mass Trespass.
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Sheffield City Council claims to support the actions of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass in 1932, when ordinary people broke the trespass law to confront wealthy landowners and claim the 'right to roam' in the countryside that we all enjoy today.
10 years ago, the distinguished Sheffield-born Labour politician, Lord Roy Hattersley, hailed the Kinder Trespass as "the most successful direct action in British history". In the entrance of Sheffield Town Hall there is a plaque commemorating the bravery of over 400 citizens of Sheffield and Manchester who walked out onto the moors that day, facing violence from gamekeepers. Some were arrested and imprisoned.
But today Sheffield City Council are seeking to use the trespass laws to intimidate and block their own citizens from using peaceful protest to oppose the felling of great numbers of healthy street trees. Citizens taking a moral stance on what they believe to be the public interest have been arrested and subjected to early morning mass felling raids. Now they are being accused of trespassing on the public highway and threatened with huge damages as a consequence, in a desperate attempt to enforce the will of a rich multinational company on the voters and taxpayers who look to the Council to protect them against the powerful.
Sheffield City Council have said that protestors are entitled to protest at a safe distance from fellings, but of course that's completely cynical because we know they pay no attention to such protests.
We believe that an authority prepared to use trespass laws, in support of rich vested interests, to intimidate its own citizens, who are simply seeking to protect the health-giving green tree canopy on their streets, cannot morally continue to support past environmental protestors who were prepared to break the trespass laws to opposed rich vested interests.
We call on Sheffield City Council to remove the Kinder Plaque from the town hall entrance, remove all references to the Kinder Trespass from its official literature, and acknowledge that it does not support the principle of civil disobedience in pursuit of environmental goals.
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