Neil picks his way along the crumbling rooftops of the houses he is barricading for the day the bailiffs arrive. He picks up a brick. 'These are called 'yellows'. The demolition people get 23p for every one they recover. That's what it's all about - money and greed.'
Claremont Road will be the next major battleground in the ongoing war against the M11 link. Since April, 30 houses bought up by the DoT have been transformed by 50 or so protesters and acres of day-glo murals into a living tribute to community values and the car-less society. Armchairs and tables fill the road, rooms built outside to drive away traffic. The only car has grass growing out of the roof and 'Rust in Peace' written on the wing.
At number 29 lives Dolly Watson. She refuses to budge, vowing to die in the house she was born in 93 years ago, compulsory purchase order or no.
Up in the rafters, Neil works hard at the elaborate barricades that will keep the bailiffs out, for a few hours at least - corrugated iron sheeting, concreted doorways, steel drawbridges between each house that will be pulled up as the retreat is beaten.
A neighbour who looks after frail Dolly says: 'She loves it. She now has 50 grandchildren to run errands for her.'
Next month the Criminal Justice Bill introduces a new offence of aggravated trespass. Demonstrators could be arrested, imprisoned for three months and fined pounds 500 if they trespass with the intention of disrupting 'lawful activity' (like road building).
Which means the occupants of Claremont Road will be criminals. Including Dolly.
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