Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Trees felled on the BHLR route

Fundraiser for the Combe Haven 19

A fund-raising benefit evening has been organised by actress, grandmother, activist and local resident, Rosamond Palmer, for The Combe Haven 19. Who? The nineteen anti-road protesters, who, in the past year, have taken part in non-violent direct action – climbing and living in trees targeted for felling, standing outside the Department for Transport requesting documentation, climbing a telegraph pole and the arm of a JCB – to raise public awareness about the costly development and construction of the Bexhill Hastings Link Road.  A total of twenty eight protesters were arrested; nine of them accepted a police caution and nineteen were bailed to attend court. Rosamond was one of the first to be arrested and the first to go to court.

“All the trials were expected to have been finished long ago”, explains Rosamond, “but in fact, only two have been completed and one trial with six defendants hasn’t even got off the ground and is adjourned until January.

“Being bailed to attend trial not only takes a lot of energy, it also takes money and affects people’s employment. Trials scheduled to last four days have turned into weeks and because the courts are full, everyone has to return when the next available slot suits other commitments. Defendants are then forced to ask their employers for more unpaid time off work, but their rent still needs to be paid, as do transport fares. Others are self-employed and have to attend court instead of concentrating on their own businesses. One defendant has been offered a job, dependant on her employer knowing the outcome of the trial, so hasn’t been able to start as yet.

“A group of reasonable and responsible people, who care about the democratic process and the environment, are being processed through a system that puts them at a considerable disadvantage. I want to raise some money to show my appreciation and soften the financial hardship.”

To that end, Rosamond has asked a couple of her theatre friends to get involved. Sally Armstrong, who has acted with the National Theatre and won audio awards for reading talking books and Jonathan Broughton, who has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company and who is now pursuing an equally successful career as a writer, will be joining Rosamond to narrate a collection of spooky short stories set in and around Hastings.

Spooky Tales Fundraiser
Tales of the Supernatural, East Sussex ghost stories: £5 entry

Friday 6 December, 7pm: 1066 Cake Stand, 82 Queens Road, Hastings
Call 01424 532103 for info.
A hot vegan and coeliac-friendly curry will be served at this intimate venue.

Sunday 8 December, 7.30–8pm: The Beacon, 67–68 St Mary’s Terrace, Hastings
Call 01424 431305 for info.

The HOT report on Rosamond’s trial can be read here. For more articles about this issue, please enter ‘Bexhill Hastings Link Road’ into HOT’s search engine.

Posted 22:46 Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013 In: The HOT Planet

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