United Kingdom

Eco-warriors scale HS2's London HQ and spray it with fire extinguishers full of pink paint

HS2 Rebellion protesters have climbed onto the top of the controversial rail line's headquarters and used modified fire extinguishers to paint it pink.

Xavier Gonzalez Trimmer, 20, and Dr Larch Maxey, 48, clambered onto the canopy of building's lobby in Euston, central London, at 10am this morning clutching industrial spray paint machines. 

Footage shows the pair showering the facade of the building in neon pink paint, to show their support of the Burning Pink Party, as police tell onlookers to stand back. 

A fire engine and at least three police officers were at the scene this morning as the protesters tried to stop the development of the HS2 railway, claiming it will emit 14million tonnes of CO2. 

Xavier Gonzalez Trimmer, 20, and Dr Larch Maxey (pictured together), 48, clambered onto the canopy of building's lobby in Euston, central London, at 10am this morning clutching industrial spray paint machines

Footage shows the pair showering the facade of the building in neon pink paint, to show their support of the Burning Pink Party, as police tell onlookers to stand back

Dr Maxey (pictured) who recently spent 27 days in a tunnel under Euston Square Gardens to protest the high speed railway, climbed up the ladder they had initially used to ascend the building and are currently in a standoff with officers

By 4pm police had mounted the canopy as well in an attempt to coax the protesters down. 

But Mr Trimmer and Dr Maxey, who recently spent 27 days in a tunnel under Euston Square Gardens to protest the high speed railway, climbed up the ladder they had initially used to ascend the building and are currently in a standoff with officers.  

The HS2 rail project - which is set to link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds in a bid to rebalance the UK's economy -  has been called 'expensive, wasteful and destructive' by environmentalists. 

Protesters claimed the line will destroy or irreparably damage 108 ancient woodlands and 693 wildlife sites, and that Euston Square Gardens will be built over with a temporary taxi rank before being sold off to developers. 

The pair insist they will not come down until their three demands are met. These are: Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey must commit to running a citizen's assembly on London's infrastructure if they are elected, the UK Government must commit to a citizen's assembly on the HS2 and UK infrastructure and more coverage of mayoral candidate Valerie Brown running under the Burning Pink Party.

The HS2 rail project - which is set to link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds in a bid to rebalance the UK's economy - has been called 'expensive, wasteful and destructive' by environmentalists

By 4pm police had mounted the canopy as well in an attempt to coax the protesters down

Burning Pink, also known as Beyond Politics and registered with the Electoral Commission as The Burning Pink Party, is a British political party with the stated goal of a political revolution by replacing the British government with citizens' assemblies in order to tackle the climate crisis and other political issues. 

Dr Maxey, of Denham County Park, Buckinghamshire, said he is happy to risk going to prison because of his vandalism as long as he raises awareness for the cause.  

The geography lecturer said: 'Sadiq Khan is standing for mayor today, saying he'll address the Climate and Nature Emergency and protect London's green spaces, yet he supports HS2, which is destroying London's green spaces

'Sadiq is also pushing murderous, high carbon schemes like Silvertown Tunnel. If Sadiq really is a man of the people, why won't he let us, the people, make London's decisions on things which matter to us, like how we travel, how we are policed and out housing.

Dr Maxey, of Denham County Park, Buckinghamshire, said he is happy to risk going to prison because of his vandalism as long as he raises awareness for the cause. Pictured: Police at the scene in Euston this morning

'As a father and scientist, I have to act to climate breakdown's thousands of daily deaths, with far worse to come. I am terrified that when a mayoral candidate like Valerie Brown tries to prevent societal collapse the media ignore her election campaign.' 

Mayoral candidate Valerie Brown said: 'Passing Euston station last night, I felt the pang of betrayal seeing the construction of HS2. How can 82 per cent of UK citizens who are against this filthy, vanity project be ignored? 

'I am campaigning to be London mayor with one policy which is to divest power from out of touch politicians and hand decision making power to the people. People have to decide how money should be spent. 

'Destroying trees at this critical stage of climate collapse for another useless, show off building project, is just sickening.' 

A fire engine and at least three police officers were at the scene this morning as the protesters tried to stop the development of the HS2 railway, claiming it will emit 14million tonnes of CO2

Dr Maxey appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in February charged with criminal damage and two counts of obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity.

He denied all charges.  

The activist, from the group HS2 Rebellion, is accused of trespassing and disrupting HS2 construction work at Euston Square Gardens by refusing to leave a tunnel under the site between January 27 and February 22.

He is also alleged to have damaged a mobile phone, belonging to Vision Limited, at the site between February 17 and 19.

Maxey is further accused of trespassing on a separate HS2 site on Hampstead Road and disrupting work by climbing a tree and refusing to come down between October 6 and 11 last year.

He was granted bail on the condition he does not enter any HS2 construction site and does not interfere with the workings of any HS2 construction site.

Dr Maxey (pictured outside court in February) appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in February charged with criminal damage and two counts of obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity

Maxey is further accused of trespassing on a separate HS2 site on Hampstead Road and disrupting work by climbing a tree and refusing to come down between October 6 and 11 last year

The geography lecturer was also given a curfew to remain at an address in south London between 11pm and 7am.

A crowd of supporters standing outside the court building today cheered as he exited shortly after his hearing.

He is next due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on July 14 for trial.

A spokesman for HS2 said: 'We utterly condemn this senseless criminal damage. 

'HS2 has been repeatedly and excessively targeted by this sort of criminal activity during the pandemic, threatening the safety of the public and our workers, and placing unnecessary strain on the emergency services. 

'HS2 will provide green public transport, take cars and lorries off Britain’s roads, reduce the need for domestic flights, and help the country’s fight against climate change.'

The spokesman said that windows were smashed during the incident and claimed that the tunnel protest earlier this year cost taxpayers over £2.5million.

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