Environmentalists say they have built a large tunnel under a city park in the British capital London. They have taken refuge there in protest against plans to build a high-speed rail line.
“They are willing to remain underground for as long as it takes to stop HS2,” action group HS2 Rebellion said in a statement.
The protesters say they have been working around the clock to build the tens of meters tunnel network beneath Euston Square Gardens. Photos taken by the activists show people working with pickaxes and other tools.
HS2 Rebellion says the park is being defended against HS2. According to British media, demonstrators fear that a temporary taxi stand will be established and that the land will later be sold to developers.
The BBC reports that the construction of the tunnel network took about two months. Activists have also set up an improvised camp above ground. There they got into trouble with the authorities, who are trying to remove protesters. They then took refuge in trees.
Rail project HS2 aims to connect major cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. For example, travel times must be shorter and must motivate people to leave the car more often.
Opponents think the project is too expensive and fear that it will cause irreparable damage to nature reserves. Authorities have pledged to plant 7 million trees as compensation.