Totnes HS2 campaigner, Dr Larch Maxey, faces a sentencing hearing at Inner London Crown Court this morning for his occupation of the high speed train’s London HQ in Euston in May 2022.
He is due to appear alongside fellow campaigner Xavier Gonzalez-Trimmer, 22.
Their 24 hour occupation on May 6 2021 hit the headlines as the pair were filmed spraying the building pink and erecting a banner as they called on London’s mayoral candidates, including Sadiq Khan, to support a Citizens’ Assembly on the future of controversial infrastructure schemes such as HS2.
As the future of the Euston section of HS2 is in question, lawyers and other commentators are questioning the public interest in punishing the peaceful protesters who put their liberty on the line to oppose it.
Dr Maxey said: “HS2 is the nail in our climate coffin: HS2’s corruption will cost us hundreds of billions of pounds in the middle of a cost of living crisis, when mothers go hungry so their kids can eat.
“Ordinary people have never wanted HS2 and as the Euston section gets scrapped it’s time to do the right thing and stop the whole of HS2 for good.”
In a statement, HS2 Rebellion said: “There is a fundamental principle of English law, upheld by the Supreme Court, that prison should be reserved for the most serious offences, not peaceful protest.
“However, several people have now been imprisoned for peacefully opposing HS2, including Jelly Tot (24) who is currently in HMP Dovegate approaching the end of a 268 day sentence.”
Dr Maxey, who graduated in Law in 1993, said: “At this critical point in human history, rather than sack its corrupt politicians and get on with the job of creating affordable, clean, home-grown energy, elitist politicians like Sunak are trying to ban protest with the Public Order Bill, the most draconian legislation to come from an OECD country!
“Given the gargantuan human, financial and natural cost of HS2, there is far greater public interest in putting HS2 and corrupt politicians in the dock than ordinary peaceful people.”