Comment: Mark Field’s Attack on ‘Environmental Extremists’ Allowed the Climate Crisis to be Conveniently Forgotten

Read time: 6 mins

After protests around the Newbury Bypass in the 1990s, Conservative minister John Watts famously claimed that he would like to see Swampy “buried in concrete”. 

The descent of peaceful protest in Britain from being seen as an essential part of a democracy into a criminal act to be framed as a “threat” can be charted down the decades: from the Greenham Common Peace Camp in 1981, accelerating through the alternative culture of the traveling community in the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985, to the rave scene and road protests of the 1990s.  

The phenomenon has more recently been charted by DeSmog and reached its apogee with the appalling Spycops scandal.

This is the background to Tory MP Mark Field’s violent removal of Greenpeace protestor Janet Barker at a plush Mansion House Dinner last week.