To anti-roads protesters, Babylon symbolises a corrupt and greedy society destroying all in its path to move people from one end of a small island to the other. To the security guards listening to the cries of "Babylon" shouted from the tree tops of Newbury it is all very confusing.
The guards have been recruited over the past week by a work agency promising "good rates of pay for standing in a field". Their job is to grab protesters if they should break through security fences. Most of them have not expected to come face to face with the environmental arguments against the road they are being paid to protect. Nor did they expect to hear, as they have, friendly chatter mixed with deep philosophy from people they had been told were dirty dread-locked hippies.
There are very few dreadlocks at Newbury. Most of them belong to the 100 or so people who live in the tree houses built in the path of the Newbury bypass. But the tree houses and the network of Vietcong-style tunnels dug into the hillsides to serve as a last line of defence are only one small part of the Newbury anti-bypass campaign.
The protesters have spent nearly 18 months planning their strategy. Most of the direct action campaigns, like those against the M11 in East London and the M65 near Blackburn were conceived many months after construction work had started. At Newbury their aim has been to wage a war of attrition against roadbuilders from the start. For months the protesters have been building food dumps, scrounging miles of rope and begging and borrowing climbing equipment and motorcycle D-locks - which they will use to chain themselves to construction machinery.
From day one, what the protesters are calling the Third Battle of Newbury (the first two were fought during the Civil War) will be a tough scrap for both sides. The campaigners will strike as soon as construction machinery moves into the area.
The contractors clearing the route face two stark choices. Either they attempt to build a safe compound where they can store construction equipment, or they can try to clear the route using mobile chain-saw crews.
If they try to build a safe compound, the contractors will need to bring in convoys of equipment. Roads will be blocked in the area and as the convoys grind to a halt, protesters will swarm over the vehicles and chain themselves to them.
When they finally get the machinery on site, the contractors will be vulnerable until they manage to erect strong security fences. Even then, many of the expert climbers involved in the campaign will be able to scale fences.
The protesters are determined to make the construction workers fight to build every inch of the road. Their greatest fear is of the mobile chain-saw crews, which will be difficult to counter because they could easily fell several dozen trees before campaigners can arrive.
To try to counter the direct action campaign, Blackwells, the route clearance contractors, have hired an estimated 1,000 security guards. They are being housed 15 miles to the north at Didcot power-station. The morale of the guards, who are paid only pounds 3.50 per hour is a prime target.
As they were boarding coaches in London yesterday, the security guards were handed leaflets saying that Reliance Security is being paid pounds 15 per hour for their services. If this is true, then the security operation alone will cost over pounds 1m per week. Long before the main work was due to begin on the road, the campaigners began tackling surveyors monitoring the route as part of a wider campaign of "psychological warfare".
Tim Chapman, one of the organisers of the campaign, said: "Some people feel that the bulldozers are the important thing because they will do the damage but it is the surveyors that will bring them here. Whenever they turn up on our patch we're going to chase them away. It's a …