Campaigner urges "direct action" as Sheffield tree felling resumes

Dave Dillner, the campaigner who unsuccessfully took Sheffield City Council to the High Court over its urban tree-felling programme, has called for "non-violent direct action" (NVDA) against felling crews who have resumed work in the city.


Writing on the Facebook page of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG), Dillner said: "The best NVDA occurs where tree felling crews arrive to fell but have not yet set up a work exclusion zone. It is not illegal to stand your ground and refuse to move.

"You may be committing an offence if you encroach into a safety exclusion zone so please do not do it. Show respect to the crews at all times please and always be polite."

He added: "What we are planning is a demonstration (static) rather than a march. As such there is no requirement to warn the police in advance. Some companies hire security firms that look like police, but aren't. They cannot touch us."

Dillner reiterated his call for the council to stop felling until campaigners have been able to participate in drawing up a tree strategy for the city "that meets current policies and guidelines".

Councillor Bryan Lodge, the council's new cabinet member for the environment, said: "We respect their right to protest but will not tolerate any activity which obstructs the work or which places members of the public and our staff in harm's way."

In March, Dillner succeeded having an interim injunction imposed on the council and its contractor Amey preventing them felling any trees, but this was overturned last month.

According to local news sources, felling in the city has resumed this week.

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