A protester, living in a tree in Bonn Square which was due to be chopped down, was forced to leave yesterday and has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.
Gabriel Chamberlain set up his temporary “tree-house” in Bonn Square 11 days ago, but eventually left voluntarily at 11am after he ran out of food and water supplies. Last night he was in custody and it is understood that he has received some medical attention.
However, his supporters still made one last-ditch attempt to save the tree by charging security fencing around the tree at around 12.30pm as the chainsaws started up. Another activist, Brian Melling, managed to climb into a council truck; he was removed but not charged.
The tree was later felled, but protesters remained in the square throughout. The sycamore tree was one of four which have been cut down as part of a “face-lift” for Bonn Square. The plan is to improve CCTV surveillance and generally make the square more attractive.
Activists may not have succeeded in saving this particular tree, but many maintain that they would do the same thing again if other trees were threatened.By Sian Cox-Brooker