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Campaigners to remember fight against M3 with rally in Winchester
5:01pm Monday 17th September 2012 in Winchester
Campaign for Better Transport is organising the event on September 29 at St Catherine’s Hill to remember the occupation of the M3 construction site in Twyford Down in 1992 by protestors.
The action led to delays in the project and costly legal action but the motorway was still built.
Chris Gillham, of Winchester Friends of the Earth, said he would return for the rally but said he was disappointed with what the original protest had achieved long-term.
He said: “For about 10 years afterwards we thought it had changed the world but now we as a country seem to be back building big road programs again and we seem to have learned nothing.
“You do wonder what we achieved but I think we left a tremendous legacy when you look at big subsequent protests like at Newbury with the tree dwelling. Twyford Down was the first of these big events. The remarkable thing is they destroyed the down at the end of 1992 but the protest continued until 1994.”
The South Downs Society has called on everyone with a love of the countryside to turn up to the rally.
Society chairman Robert Cheesman said: “We owe a good deal to the campaigners twenty years ago who forced government to pause and think about the environmental damage that roads can do. And now, with the creation of the South Downs National Park, it’s incumbent on all of us to protect the Park from inappropriate development.”
The rally starts at 1pm until 4pm with a photocall at 2.30pm.