Newbury protesters take battle to the boardroom

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The Independent Online
Newbury bypass protesters continued their fight against the controversial road yesterday when they disrupted the annual meeting of shareholders in Costain, the beleaguered construction company which has won the contract to build it.

Friends of the Earth displayed banners showing slogans such as "Costain: on the road to bankruptcy" and "New Costain, New Danger", an echo of the Tories' "demon eyes" campaign.

Inside the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster, anti-road protesters who have obtained Costain shares chanted for the board resign. The opening address of the chairman, Sir Christopher Benson, was drowned out with slow-handclapping and shareholders queued up to barrack the board.

One shareholder received a standing ovation when she said: "You are tarnishing the company's reputation and image. You don't have a hope in hell of surviving into the 21st century if you continue [with the road]. I suggest you withdraw from the Newbury bypass."