Immediate release Saturday 4th January 1997

Press Release

Tony Benn MP to speak at Newbury Bypass Anniversary Rally

One year after destruction work started on the route of the Newbury Bypass, Newbury Friends of the Earth and The Third Battle of Newbury will be hosting a Reunion Rally on Saturday January 11th 1997. The rally is to demonstrate the continuing opposition to the Newbury Bypass and the Government's Road Building Programme. Rally Speakers are Charles Secrett Director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Benn MP, Rowan Tilly from Seeds of Hope - Ploughshares and Jill Eisele from The Third Battle of Newbury.

In February last year eight thousand people attended a mass Rally opposing the Newbury Bypass. Those returning are likely to be shocked at the destruction of some of the finest countryside in southern England. Most striking is the ten foot high security fencing topped with razor wire which lines the nine mile route and forms numerous compounds which are guarded by security guards.

People attending the Rally will be met at Newbury train station from 11.00 a.m. and given a map for the one hour walk along the Bypass route to the Rally site. They will decorate the fencing of the middle oak compound, adjacent to the rally site with ribbons, banners, personal mementoes, etc. to create a living mural of hope. The Rally site is located at Deanwood Lodge on the B4000 Stockcross road. This is just a hundred yards north of the A4/ B4000 road junction half a mile to the west of Newbury. Please note the is no on-site vehicle parking, parking is at Newbury train station. At 2.00 p.m. Rachel Stark of The Green party will introduce speakers. After the speeches at 3.00 p.m. people will join hands to form a human chain around the middle oak compound and observe a two minute silence.

The linking of hands and decoration of fencing echoes the 'Embrace the Base' demonstration in December 1982 at RAF Greenham Common, near Newbury. At that time cruise missiles were being stationed at Greenham Common.



Parking for press only is available at the rally site. Speakers will be available for interview from 1 p.m. at the Rally site. For Press liaison, including on site liaison please call Andrew Wood