Woodlander | 28.05.2006 17:28 | South Coast
They moved onto the land off Titnore Lane early on Sunday May 28 in an audacious dawn operation.
The landowners, the Somerset family, turned up during the morning to tell them to leave and have already draughted in Mark Lynch of Guardian Guards security, notorious for his intimidation of peace protesters at the Brighton EDO weapons parts factory.
Luckily the protesters had already built tree house structures, meaning a quick and easy eviction was out of the question.
Police also arrived at the camp during the morning and later the Sussex Police helicopter was circling the site.
Locals from the nearby estate have been visiting the protesters and voicing their support.
As a result, the Somersets have been digging ditches and erecting barbed wire fences to try and keep out the supporters.
It is quite clear to most Worthing people that something had to be done to stop Worthing council and the developers getting away with this horrific 875-home scheme, with damaging associated road widening.
Having seen all the efforts by campaigners ignored by the council and the government, which refused to hold a public inquiry, some people got together and decided it was time to take action.
We urge all supporters to do what they can to back the campers - it takes a lot of guts and determination to do what they’re doing. What we need is a massive show of support from the people of Worthing. Let’s make it clear to the powers-that-be that while most of us can’t physically be with them up there in the woods all day and night, we are with the campers in spirit!
This is our last big chance to really get across the power and size of our opposition to the development. Let’s make it quite clear to the bullies in the town hall and the corporate boardrooms that it’s not just a few dozen protesters they’re up against - it’s thousands of Worthing people determined to play our part in stopping the Titnore devastation. Here’s how you can help:
* Moral support. Just popping in to say ‘hello’ is important.
* Practical help. Are you a dab hand with a hammer or a spade? Want to help improving, decorating or securing the camp?
* Gifts. Stuff like wood, blue rope, nails, food (preferably not meat or dairy), fresh water and so on.
* Physical support. It is still very possible that an illegal and violent eviction of the camp may be attempted. Can you spare a few hours on-site?
* Voice your support. There will probably be criticism of the protest voiced by politicians in the local media. Write to the papers to say you support the camp! Phone the local radio stations!
* Spread the word. Tell your friends, family and neighbours. Send an email to everyone in your address book! Get texting or phoning.
* Office space. The protesters are appealing for a dry indoor space in the area to use as an office - preferably with a phone line.
* Financial support. Many thanks to those who have already made a contribution - without you this would not have been possible. But there will obviously continue to be costs to be met to keep the effort going. How about organising a fundraising jumble sale or coffee morning?
* Join the camp! Got some time on your hands? No reservations are necessary. Just turn up with a sleeping bag and stay as long as you like!
The camp is in woods just north of "Somerset Lake", a fishing lake east of Titnore Lane. Easiest access is from Fulbeck Avenue, off Titnore Way. Take the path at the far east of Fulbeck Avenue, then turn left until there is a large gap in the hedgerow on the left, opposite a cleared square of ground on the right, and cross right over to the far side of the field, keeping the clump of trees to your left.
It can also be reached via the car park at Tesco's in Durrington, which is served by no 3 and 4 buses from Worthing central railway station. Basically head straight on from the entrance to the fields at the back end of the supermarket car park, reaching the gap in the hedgerow mentioned above.
Nearest railway station is Goring by Sea on the main South Coast line with direct trains from Brighton, Portsmouth and London.
There is a camp phone - 0780 4245324, although people have reported difficulties in reaching it.