'Swampy' branded 'reckless' for allowing son, 16, to stay in tunnels

‘Swampy’ is branded ‘reckless and irresponsible,’ for allowing his son, 16, to stay with him in makeshift tunnels underneath Euston Square Gardens

  • High Speed 2 protesters have constructed tunnels under Euston Square Gardens
  • Veteran eco-warrior Dan ‘Swampy’ Hooper, is one of five people below ground
  • Swampy has been branded ‘reckless’ for bringing his son Rory, 16, to the tunnel  
  • The teenager is living inside the tunnel with his father, who said he helped dig it  

Veteran eco-warrior Dan ‘Swampy’ Hooper has been branded ‘reckless and irresponsible,’ for allowing his 16-year-old son to stay with him in makeshift tunnels underneath Euston Square Gardens. 

High Speed 2 protesters have dug underground passages as part of their demonstration in London, with up to five people thought to be living below ground.

Yesterday the group claimed eviction teams are digging above their heads and protesters are being kept awake at night to ‘coax us out of the hole,’ according to the BBC.

Swampy, who has been known for using tunnels as a form of protest since the 1990s, has faced criticism for allowing his son Rory, 16, to join the underground protest – amid concern the tunnels could collapse.

Dan ‘Swampy’ Hooper has been criticised as ‘reckless and irresponsible,’ for allowing his son 16-year-old son Rory (pictured) to stay in tunnels at the Euston Square Gardens HS2 protest 

Swampy says he ‘couldn’t be prouder,’ of his son (pictured together), but admits he was cautious about Rory staying in the tunnel at first 

Pro-HS2 MP Andrew Mitchell told The Sun: ‘Swampy’s son should be studying as best he can for his next exam, not down the end of a dangerous tunnel. 

‘His father is being reckless and irresponsible.’

A rescue expert had warned that heavy rain and sleet could cause tunnels beneath Euston in London to collapse and endanger HS2 activists living in the underground passages.  

Father-of-four Swampy has spoken about his son joining the protest, telling The Guardian: ‘To begin with, I didn’t want Rory to be in the tunnel for the eviction, but he was absolutely adamant that he would stay down there with me for it.

The HS2 Rebellion group are protesting at Euston Square Gardens as they believe the small green space will be levelled to make way for a temporary taxi rank before being sold to developers. Swampy is one of a number of people staying in makeshift tunnels that experts fear is at risk of collapse

‘He did help dig it and it is his future at stake, and that of other young people like him, so I couldn’t really argue. He reminds me of what I was like at his age and I just couldn’t be prouder of him.

The HS2 Rebellion group are protesting at Euston Square Gardens as they believe the small green space will be levelled to make way for a temporary taxi rank before being sold to developers. 

As well as staying in tunnels, other campaigners were using trees to protest, although cherry pickers arrived at the weekend to dismantle the structures.

The group now says eviction teams are digging above their heads, and protesters were kept awake all night to ‘coax us out of the hole’, the BBC reports.  

Demonstrators have not said how many are underground, but they are confident they can keep the protest going for a few more days.  

One demonstrator said: ‘All night we’ve had rocks falling down onto our head through the gaps.

Cherry pickers arrived at the London gardens on Saturday to dismantle structures protesters had set up inside trees as part of the demonstration

‘They’ve kept us awake all night for hours and hours and hours to keep us awake and try and coax us out of the hole.

‘All of the dirt is still coming down in my sleeves. It’s not the most pleasant of experiences, it’s pretty nasty to be fair.’

Some of the protesters outside the tunnels have been arrested.  

The eviction team has taken off the roof from the structure protecting the front of the tunnel.   

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