Newbury guards defect to protesters

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The Independent Online
Friends of the Earth claimed a moral victory in the battle of the Newbury yesterday when three security guards "defected" and joined the protesters' camp.

The security guards, who try to keep demonstrators off the site, swapped allegiances after allegedly witnessing an attack on a protester by a guard. They blamed other heavy-handed tactics employed by the security company for their defection.

One of the three, 20-year-old Brette Shepherd, said he got on well with the protesters and defected when he was reprimanded for talking to them.

A Friends of the Earth spokesman said it was delighted and added that the new recruits would be star speakers at a protest march this weekend.

The guards' decision followed a day of more protests. Rush hour traffic in of Newbury stopped when around 30 protesters climbed on to low-loader trucks and tied themselves to machines being taken to the site.