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9781903110881
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Herein are first hand testimonies and stories of people in Sheffield (and a bloke on a bike from Barnsley) who took direct action to protect the environment or maybe just ‘their’ tree, or all our trees on our streets. All defied their Council; some their neighbours and friends. Some defied the High Court.   The book will also include photographs of the protests and direct action that took place.   Simon Crump was one of those protesting – and arrested for his trouble on several occasions - against the felling of thousands of street trees, to be replaced with saplings as part of Sheffield City Council's £2.2 billion highways improvement scheme.   The protests erupted after campaigners argued many of those felled since 2012 had been removed unnecessarily. Protesters also said many trees were felled because their roots were simply in the way of road resurfacing methods. In their peaceful protests, protesters linked arms around trees. During one of these protests Crump was placed inside a tree chipper, a machine normally used for reducing large tree trunks into smaller woodchips.   Six protesters were arrested for the prevention of harm and injury in a row about the tree-felling, held between November 2016 and February 2017 under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. They were charged but the criminal cases were discontinued, as it was found there were no grounds for arrest following a Crown Prosecution Service review.   Three tree campaigners avoided jail after being found in contempt of court for demonstrating against tree-felling work in Sheffield. Simon Crump, Benoit Benz Compin, and Fran Grace was taken to court by the city’s council as part of a long-running dispute over the city’s plans to fell up to 17,000 trees. A judge at the high court in Sheffield found that the trio had breached an injunction by entering “safety zones” around trees to stop them being chopped down. The judge, Mr Justice Males, gave both Crump and Compin a two-month prison sentence, suspended for one year. He decided no further punishment was appropriate for Grace.   The controversial tree-felling programme was paused following a series of confrontations that entailed the deployment of dozens of police and arrests of protesters.