Sheffield Green Party’s Paul Turpin spoke at the Tree Injunction case this morning (7th June).

Watch the video:

Or read the speech:

Lies, more lies, counter lies and some lies about the other lies. And that’s just from Julie! What the hell is going in the SCC?

When I started thinking about what to say today, I was foxed. I, we, have said it all, so many times. The contract we pay for but can’t see.

The Thatcherite ways of Sheffield Labour.

The millions of pounds spent on an Independent Tree Panel to then be ignored.

The randomness of how trees are listed for the chop.

The policing. The opacity. The attacks on democracy.

The stonewalls, not just the ones geckos like!

The lies, the spin, the abuse from our elected representatives and council officers!

The waste, the ignorance.


In our house, and I’m sure many of yours, there have been tears shed. Tears of anger and tears of sorrow. They have moved more than rocket fuel could though.

Those tears; that anger has motivated people. It has politicised people. It has radicalised people! IT has stopped Amey in its tracks.

We said no and we meant no!


But some tears were tears of joy.

Joy at seeing a tree being saved.

Joy at small things, like seeing a tree on your street have the pavement repaired around it.

Joy as 4pm came and we slow walked Acorn home, serenading them with music so beautiful I think even Julie Dore would be moved.

Joy at the new relationships we have made. New friends. Neighbours who we’ve never spoken to, or maybe even seen before.

New stories. New bonds. Trust. Sharing food and drink. Sharing comfort, concern, hugs. Giving and receiving support.

The inspirational, damned determination of Maureen! The selfless acts of the various bunnies, squirrels, meerkats and geckos.


There have been other silver linings too.

The new awareness Sheffield has about how the council works. Who the council is and what it does.

The waking of sleeping giants. If they wanted it easy, if they thought we would be a pushover, they were wrong. Very wrong.


The collective brilliance of this group is immense. Not just the professors, the doctors, the senior managers, the legal experts, the tree experts, the Freedom Of Information experts, the photographers, the filmers, the musicians, the artists, the anarchists, the climbers.


Also the not-on-my-bloody-watchers! The singers, the thinkers, the worriers, the jokers. The posters, the watchers, the standers, the questioners, the transcribers, the printers, the I’ll-do-it-for-yers. And of course, the moderators.


I would like nothing more than this group, armed as it is, with wit, savvy, intellect and passion to go on and change this city. Change this country. WE SAID NO AND WE MEANT IT AND WE AREN’T GOING TO CHANGE OUR MINDS! And this is what we did, and this is how to win.


The world is watching. Whatever happens today, and I have my hopes. Whatever happens, we go on, and we keep going on. We must accept the challenge ahead because we are the ones who can bring the victory.


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