WHO ARE WE?
Some of us have been living on HS2 protest camps and sites of resistance. We've been involved in the Earth First! network and taken direct action against socially and ecologically destructive projects, including successful campaigns against opencast coal mining, destruction of woodlands and hunting. We are a creative bunch, eager to use our talent to highlight what could be lost, but also celebrate the rich cultures that reject the capitalist mainstream, of which cycling can be seen as an important element.
We are concerned with the destruction of natural spaces and our human communities. We're critical of a push for faster, bigger, newer projects and capitalist ways of living that perpetuate the interconnected social, political and ecological crises that threaten all forms of life. We are from the North East and North West of England and critical of the centralisation of London, highlighted by the government's drive to connect the north to the Capital rather than improve the regional public transport routes. In this light, we also want to promote the diversity of motives and tactics within the protests to stop HS2.
WHAT IS HS2?
HS2 is a high speed trainline being built between Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and London, irreversibly destroying/damaging 108 ancient woodlands & 700+ wildlife site; contaminating 1.3 million peoples drinking water; taking people's homes, farms and bits of land by compulsory purchase order. HS2 will cost £115 Billion + of taxpayers’ money, whilst poverty and inequality in the UK rises. For more info visit:
WHAT IS OUR IDEA?:
A team of up to 50 people will cycle the proposed route of phase 2A, starting in Manchester on the 15th with a Critical Mass protest ride out of the city. From there we will cycle to Birmingham following the route, stopping for workshops and cooked meals, ending the first leg of the trip in Birmingham, with an exhibition and a party.
Along the way we will visit protest camps and places that would be affected by the trainline to bring people together to gather the strength to stop this project. We create a temporary cycling community based on mutual aid, and connect to other relevant struggles through skillshares, workshops, music and story telling. Workshops (so far) include include: Hunt Sabbotage, bike maintenance, Zapatista, UK logging & the biofuel industry and screen printing.
The bike tour will be accompanied by the environmental arts collective Undergrowth CIC (https://www.undergrowthcollective.com/) who will be providing daily free public workshops and evening entertainment in and around towns due to be impacted by HS2 Phase 2a & 2b.
(Family friendly) Daytime workshops will include: mask and puppet making, an ecological scavenger hunt, face painting and a short walk around the area focusing on local history and ecology.
Evening entertainment will include: music, dance, storytelling, performance, talks, film screenings and breaking bread together.
These events will provide a safe space to share our thoughts, concerns and questions about HS2, land rights and the natural world as well as to reflect and record stories about the homes and landscapes this project plans to destroy.
We are looking into continuing the bike ride along the second leg of the proposed route from Birmingham to Leeds from the 20th to roughly the 27th of August.
WHAT WE NEED:
We need £2000 to fund this project:
A cooking team to feed us from a catering vehicle: £900:
-£625 for food (£2.50 per person per day)
-£95 for gas (including deposit)
-£150 for fuel
-£30 for extra (cable ties, gaffa tape etc.)
We will need money for fuel to reccy potential camping sites and route planning: £300
Bicycle tools and parts to maintain bicycles as we ride and run maintenance workshops: £250
Printed publicity for the ride itself: £200,
Printed stop HS2 outreach material: £100
Artistic materials that communicate why we're doing it and create a carnival type atmosphere: £250