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Eco-Warrior Unveils a New Tunnel Vision
Published on Sunday, February 11, 2001 in the Sunday Herald of Scotland
Eco-Warrior Unveils a New Tunnel Vision
by Stephen Naysmith
Disaffected eco-warriors around the world can now learn the lessons of a decade of resistance from Faslane Peace Camp and other UK protest sites, as a tunnel-builder's guide is published on the internet.

Dundee-based eco-activist Disco Dave, a veteran burrower at Faslane, Manchester Airport's controversial second runway and Birmingham's Northern Relief Road, has gathered his experiences into a compre hensive 80-page manual.

It describes different types of tunnel, how to dig and conceal them and how to shore them up to stop flooding and collapse.

Disco Daves Tunnel Guide
Disco Daves Tunnel Guide
Tunnels became a regular feature of road protests during the 1990s. They were a popular method of opposition, with environmental activists spending weeks locked inside them to prevent bulldozers and diggers beginning work.

Disco Dave, now a student in Dundee, was evicted from all those he built - once after more than three weeks living underground - but he is convinced they are effective.

"Removing protesters from the No M11 campaign and at Newbury cost £11 million and £25m respectively," he said.

He believes other road developments, and the proposed eviction of the peace camp at Faslane have been averted because of the potential cost of removing protesters from tunnels. "A tunnel will hurt them where it hurts most - in the pocket," the guide states.

Although irreverent and practical by turns, the internet guide concedes tunnels can be dangerous. The idea of lying in a home-made tunnel, in breach of the law, sleeping under the bare earth at night would terrify many, let alone the risk of flooding and the need for fans to keep the air fresh.

"You're taking a calculated risk by being in a tunnel," it says. "Badgers, foxes and of course moles dig small tunnels not much larger than their own bodies and can survive quite happily - without the Health and Safety Executive going bananas."

Disco Dave said he had been inspired by Snoopy cartoons to write the guide for the benefit of others. "A small number of people have the information and knowledge in their heads, but it is no good up there.

"In Peanuts, Snoopy decided to write a book about the Red Baron and aerial dogfighting because he knew so much about it," he said.

"I wanted to do it with humour, but I hope people will use it - tunnelling is the most effective tactic there is."

The launch of the guide coincides with Scottish CND's planned blockade tomorrow of the Clyde Sub marine Base at Faslane, where protesters will sit down in the road - in an attempt to shut the base for a day.

Organisers claim it could be the biggest protest there since 1986 with more than 1000 people expected to protest against the UKs Trident nuclear submarines.

MSP Tommy Sheridan - imprisoned for his part in a similar protest last February - will take part again as will Glasgow MP George Galloway.

Other MSPs expected to be present include Sandra White, Bruce Crawford, Dorothy Grace Elder and Fiona Hyslop of the SNP, Labour's John McAllion and Green MSP Robin Harper.

Church of Scotland moderator, Reverend Andrew McLellan, and the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church the Most Rev Bruce Cameron will attend "in a supporting role" according to Scottish CND.

A spokesman for anti- nuclear campaigners Trident Ploughshares said: "The number of civic leaders from across Scotland who are taking part in this protest against Trident sends a strong message. There is a growing recognition that nuclear weapons are illegal, and an acceptance that ordinary citizens have a right and a duty to intervene where they can."


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