Marshalls is a huge multinational company specialising in landscape and construction materials, especially stone- or in other words, specialising in flattening and devastating our environment and then building on it with materials extracted, all for a very tidy profit. Marshalls is a particularly 'hot' target at the moment as its subsidiary Stancliffe Stone is behind the plan to quarry the hillside below Stanton Moor, right next to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. This insidious plan to quarry a place of rare natural beauty in the middle of the Peak District National Park has been up to now unsuccessful due to the fight put up by the people at the Nine Ladies protest camp. Marshalls however has recently stepped up the pressure to evict the camp and go ahead with the quarrying despite objections from a whole range of actors, including the Peak District National Park Authority, - whose hands are tied as Marshalls own the mineral rights to the land and is making use of a 1952 loophole in the law- the CPRE, communities near by and members of 'Joe Public'.
The office occupation started at 9am when the protesters piled into the building, taking everyone in it by surprise. After running around all three floors for about an hour, giving out leaflets to employees and causing disruption to the company's normal working day, the protesters demands to meet face to face with one of the directors was met. An hour session of Q&A followed which in many ways felt like Prime Minister's Time as the Marshalls marketing director consistently evaded answering any questions about the company's involvement and responsibility in wreaking environmental destruction to the point. Completely dissatisfied with this type of corporate responsibility- where namely any responsibility is forever being deflected to someone else- protesters remained in the reception area for another hour and after that left on their own accord with no arrests being made. Protesters leaving the building warned Marshalls: BACK OFF OR WE'LL BE BACK!
And one final note...The police and local press that arrived on the scene and a number of employees proved overall very sympathetic. Not the same can be said of some other members of staff who attempted to drag or push people out, until it was politely pointed out to them that this constitutes assault that is. One particular member of staff went even further and flashed protesters his BNP membership card threatening to 'call in the boys'. So Marshalls are not only hell bent on destroying the Peak District but also employ fascists!
HANDS OFF NINE LADIES!
OUR WOODLANDS AND HERITAGE ARE NOT FOR SALE!