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Country News - 2002

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Yorkshire skies ablaze tonight
Monday 16 September 2002

YORKSHIRE'S sky will be alight tonight as a fiery start to week of countryside protests which will culminate in the massive Liberty and Livelihood March on London on Sunday.

Tonight's protest, organised by the Countryside Alliance, will mean the lighting of 40 beacons throughout the county at 7.30 pm, to be followed at 8.15pm by a rocket relay - a huge chain of firework launches starting in Scotland and running down the spine of the UK to London.

The fires and rockets at meant as a warning to Prime Minister Tony Blair of the amount of future problems he will face if he goes ahead with plans to ban fox hunting in England and Wales - it has already been outlawed in Scotland.

The anti-hunting lobby, and in particular a huge majority of Labour MPs, have launched a massive campaign to brand Sunday's London march as purely a pro-hunting stunt, which has deeply angered organisers.

They say there is much more at stake in the countryside than simply hunting: the perilous state of farming, soaring property prices which are forcing young countryfolk from their home villages, and the ever dwindling pool of rural amenities and services like schools, public transport, shops and post offices, pubs and churches.

Hundreds of coaches will ferry would-be marchers to London if they cannot provide their own transport. Anyone wanting to take part should telephone 0900-102-0900 or log onto www.march-info.org

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