M74 actions in Glasgow on 9 July

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Two actions took place in Glasgow in solidarity with the Jam74 coalition against the M74 motorway in south east Glasgow on the 9 July 2005 Day of Action about climate change

JAM74 logo

Climate campaigners in solidarity with the Jam74 campaign opposing the M74 motorway in Glasgow visited the offices of two groups pushing for the road.

Firstly the offices of the City Council were visited, and the lobby occupied, while they sent down two officials to come and speak to us, with the City Council locking their own doors whilst we occupied their lobby. They were warned that the M74 motorway is probably the best example in the UK of unsustainable development, and the opposite action needed on climate change. The half £billion M74 is the only urban motorway project in the UK. This type of mad planning was rejected in the 1990s.

They were warned that it would no doubt be the focus of direct action around climate issues. As they were involved in producing the bid douments for the scheme, they were advised to think very carefully about who would have to pick up the tab for any protests. We were promised that our 'advice' would be passed onto both the Scottish Executive and to Glasgow City Council.

The next visit was to the Glasgow Chambers of Commerce who locked their doors to us, and then pretended they weren't there. Just wanted to add that the Chamber of Commerce (who are rabid cheerleaders for the M74, that's why we were there) closed their office and left in response to our protest, so that was good! We were pleased to have closed two of the offices backing the road in a day, even if only for a short time. We held a demo outside in the central George's Square location, with climate and No M74 banners, and attracted a lot of positive attention, especially when a pedal powered PA turned up, and we could inform the whole square why we were there.

The £500 million motorway would plough through the most deprived area of Glasgow, under the pretence of 'regeneration'... how anyone can argue that a motorway 'improves' your community is beyond us. The Public Inquiry Reporter stated, after hearing all the evidence for and against the scheme, said that on every count the road would be a bad thing. He said it would not regenerate the area, but have the opposite effect, it would create no jobs, would increase pollution for people living closer, and was unsustainable.

Despite the damning verdict, the Scottish Executive decided to over turn his report, and gave the go-ahead anyway. What is the point of having public inquiries if they are just going to get ignored anyway? The coalition against the road, Jam74 - www.jam74.org - and Friends of the Earth Scotland are taking the Scottish Executive to court over their arrogant decision, risking £40,000 in costs. A side effect of this, is that the road has now been delayed for at least a year.