Letter: Votes or violence at Newbury

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was at the Newbury Bypass rally on Saturday. As councillor representing communities either side of the bypass and as a signatory to the Road Traffic Reduction Bill (RTRB), I was happy to show solidarity for those with whose aims I sympathise but whose methods I have all along disapproved of.

I left before the violence, after Tony Benn's speech, in which he spoke of the importance of non-violent protest and of participation in mainstream politics. As he mentioned the word "vote", I heard young people behind me snort and chuckle. What a pity that so many of those most enraged by environmental destruction won't even be registered to cast their votes for candidates likely to support an RTRB in the next parliament.

It is not too late for everyone to get on an electoral register now: it will be too late when the general election is called. People fought for the right to vote in the way anti-road protesters are fighting now.


Newbury, Berkshire

The writer is Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Devizes