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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 19:45 GMT
Mobile mast protest in second week
Lorry carrying phone mast
The vandalised mast has been removed from the site

Protesters who spent a week blockading the site of a vandalised mobile phone mast to prevent it from being re-erected pledged to continue their action after being given false hope the mast would be resited.

Villagers said the mast would go back up where it had stood for nine years "over their dead bodies".

Residents from the protest camp had agreed to allow the owners to enter the site on Friday to remove the controversial structure.

The 22-metre mast fell down on Bonfire Night after bolts were removed from the base, in what police have described as an act of vandalism.

The agreement came after the owners, Crown Castle Communications, said they would work with the local residents of Wishaw in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, to find an alternative site.

Eileen O'Connor
They will have to run us over - it's going to be over our dead bodies
Protest leader
Eileen O'Connor
But the relief of the residents, who blame the mast for cancer cases and other illnesses, was short-lived.

Just a few hours later the company said it had changed its mind following a statement from mobile phone network T-Mobile which said it was determined to put the mast back up.

Speaking to BBC Midlands Today from the makeshift campsite on Friday, protest leader Eileen O'Connor said campaigners were in for the long haul.

She said: "They are just corporate bullies. This does not surprise us.

"If they turn up we will be right in front of their vehicles. They will have to run us over.

"It's going to be over our dead bodies."




SEE ALSO:
Residents oppose phone masts
22 Jul 03  |  West Midlands
Mast pulled down by vandals
17 Mar 03  |  England
T-mobile warning over masts
22 Nov 02  |  Business



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