I began filming and protesting 20 years ago, in 1993 after seeing the destruction caused by the M3 motorway through Twyford Down near Winchester. Today I read a very well written story here about the road protest...
The flags are flying again. Green, red and black.
“We’re human in scale. We oppose the tyranny of the motorcar,”
pronounces the speaker. He’s clearly rehearsed, slightly shaky of voice,
a hint of RP. Someone asks about the name.
“The name is…thanks for asking by the way…the name is, um, actually a
Matabele term coined by Professors at the Winchester College, to help
describe the medieval track ways that criss-cross all over the Downs.”
Greasy haired, he’s wearing a faded black T-shirt bearing an image of the Uffington Horse.
“The Tories are talking of the biggest road-building project since Roman
times. The Romans, well, they were invaders, conquerors by might, too.”
I nod over-enthusiastically in agreement before I fully digest what he’s
just said. I’m wary of this talk of invaders and natives. The Dongas
describe themselves as British indigenes. It seems a useful fiction. I’m
not sure the dividing line can be drawn so easily. I’ve been here a
day. We’re up on St. Catherine’s Hill, at a sort of informal induction
day – how I imagine the first session of a creative writing workshop or
an AA meeting to be. Say your name, introduce yourself with flushed
cheeks, make fleeting eye contact with the others before looking at your
shoes, check out who the hot lads are. I oppose the motorway, yes, but
I’m also here to do something different. Expand my horizons. Find
myself. Do something.
The arguments I’ve seen playing out on the five o’ clock news, on ITN,
Channel 4, the Beeb, the ones that led to me coming out here, they say
the bypass is the last missing link in the M3 between Southampton and
London. Evolution. We need it. I never understand where all the traffic
is going. Mum didn’t even have a car until I was ten years old. I myself
can drive, largely taught by dad, but I do not own a car.
Sofia grins shiftily at me as a prelude to her introduction. We’ve known
each other since we were toddlers, both our single mums close friends,
nattering as we played on our small patch of grass in Kent, yelling our
lungs out, making daisy chins, falling over. Dad would visit every
weekend, more or less.
Read more here
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