Statement of events at Swilly's Copse on 30 January 1996 by ?????
My name is ?????, I live at ?????. I have been staying with friends at Swilly's Copse since Saturday 27 Jan 1996 (off Wantage Road, Newbury).
I had been informed that the Treasury Solicitor had been informed of the Section 6 and 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and that we were legally entitled to live there. The camp consisted of one bender, one kitchen area, six treehouses and three tents. Many of my friends believe that this is their home. I believe this to be so too. I also believe that this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and should be preserved.
As we were getting up this morning we were stormed by hundreds of men in security uniforms (see additional note). In the panic, I grabbed my coat, left the rest of my belongings and climbed a tree. From my vantage point I saw the people in uniforms pull down the bender and kitchen area, sifting through people's belongings and burning items they chose to burn on a fire. I took photographs of these incidents. I was totally shocked by what happened. At one point I was threatened by a man in an orange hat who I now know to be a member of a chainsaw gang. He called me a "fucking wanker" and said that we would do me in when I came down. I summoned a police officer and asked him to officially note this man's behaviour. The police officer went on to warn the chainsaw gang about the behaviour that was taking place.
I also witnessed the wrecking of three treehouses by security men. Personal belongings were thrown out of the trees and finally the trees felled.
I was in a tree with a girl called Emma. We warned the officials that they were in contravention of Section 6 and Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and we were told to "fuck off" as we were breaking the law being on private land. I was totally shocked by the reckless behaviour of the security guards.
At the point when security guards stormed through our boundaries, I was actually asleep in the one bender on the ground. In the ensuing frightening panic, having left the bender, I ran in the opposite direction to where the guards were coming from. I ran up a tree with a guard about 20 feet behind me.
I am now extremely concerned because one of my rucksacks containing personal belongings, including a Walkman stereo and tapes is missing. I will in due course type a more comprehensive statement of the facts.