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Brighton activists occupy tree to save it from felling

Campaigners have occupied a 150-year-old elm tree in Brighton. The tree was scheduled for felling as part of road works in the Seven Dials area.

There have been vigils at the base of the tree since it became known that the council planned to cut it down. But last night, acting on a tip off that the builders were gonna get busy with the chainsaws first thing in the morning, two men scaled the tree and set up a net.

SchNEWS spoke to one of them via the miracle of telephony: “We weren't a moment too soon – at five this morning the contractors built a compound across the whole road and fenced in the tree. Since then we've had literally hundreds of people coming by to support us. We've been informed by the council now that nothing will happen until Monday, but we're going to stay here until the whole thing is sent back for consultation.”

The felling of the tree wasn't mentioned during the lengthy consultation process for the re-modelling of the area, and activists have been quick to point out the irony of this happening under the first Green party-run city council in the country.

The Brighton area is famous for its elms – one of the few places in the country to esacpe the ravages of Dutch elm disease in the 1970s.

If you're based in Brighton – head up to Seven Dials and show yer support (there's rumours of a pro-tree festival on Saturday). If not – then keep up with the action on Twitter @saveourtree.

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Added By: video from today - 7th March 2013 @ 10:27 PM
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Twitter: @SchNEWS