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You Must Be Choking! - Day of Action Against Drax Power Station

imc-uk-features | 31.08.2006 23:00 | Climate Camp 2006 | Climate Chaos | Ecology

Actions against Drax Power Station started early on Thursday morning (31st of August) and continued all day, with the Drax perimeter being breached several times. Up to 600 campaigners against climate change participated in the Reclaim Power mass action. Four main blocs gathered at the centre of the Climate Camp before splitting off into different groups, with some heading towards Drax across fields to avoid police road blocks [Early report | Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Videos 1 | 2 | Protestors Audio Interview]

Meanwhile, other smaller actions had already begun - just after 4.30am seven activists occupied a Drax lighting tower. Later nearby roads were blocked by different affinity groups and another Drax lighting tower was also occupied with a banner reading "No Future For You". More perimeter penetrations occured as more groups arrived at the fence to be met with police in riot gear, horses and dogs. The total number of arrests on the day's actions was 38 people, some of whom were violently attacked by police.

In the early hours of Friday 1st of September the actions around Drax continued. Reports came in of people attempting to breach the perimeter of the fence overnight. On the other hand, the Legal Team informed that all of the 38 people arested in yesterday's mass action were released throughout the day, some of which having spent about 28 hours in police custody. There was also one confirmed arrest that took place on Friday morning. Two more arrests took place on Saturday 2nd September near the field were the Climate Camp was taking place.

For full details, see the full timeline of events and individual reports that have been posted to IMC-UK Climate Camp page.

Reports: First reports | Police Prevent Essential Supplies From Reaching Activists | Police quotes | Searching for 'weapons' | Farmer attacks Drax Protesters with Tractor (including photos) | Kids Block at Climate Camp | Fireworks from inside Drax | On the Ground: Suicide farmers found in Yorkshire | Photographer arrested over 'weapon' near Drax | Police Obstruction of Media around Climate Camp and Drax | Police hipocrisy at Drax | 3 hour lock on shuts down machine inside Drax | Climate Camp site restored to how it was found | Personal Experience of the Camp | Operation HASH report back | Wellbeing@Climate Camp | Indymedia at the Camp for Climate Action 2006: Report & Personal View.
Mainstream press: List of articles | Radio 4 coverage [ 1 | 2 ] | Reuters inaccurancies on climate camp reporting.



Climate Camp site restored to how it was found

08.09.2006 11:18

The last climate campers left site on wednesday after much hard work restoring the site to its original state. The landowner rang on thursday to teel the the campers he was happy with the clean-up operation.

All straw, human waste and food scraps have gone to a local organic farm to be composted. All metal, glass, card and plastic has been recycled locally and the pallettes have been recycled or given to locals. The compost loos have been packed ready for re-use and most plumbing, tools etc and stored ready for future events. The site has been thoroughly litter picked but very little was left (apart from random clothes and stuff!) The only evidence we were there is some vehicle tracks around the gate.

Thankyou to everyone who came and helped, be it washing-up one bowl or moving wheelie bins full of shit for days.

The camp is not over, we need to pay off our debts and plan how we work togetehr in the future. Check the Climate Camp website for details on how to donate or come to the next gathering in October.

climate camper


Hide the following 23 comments

Solidarity from down south.

31.08.2006 13:49

Been following events as I cant be there, well done on setting up the camp and all the amazing work being done with the workshops. Just heard about the recent arrests today.... BBC says 28?! I hope it isnt. Keep it going and don't let the police win, remember we have the power over them, and we have the right to protest, they cant take that away from us with handcuffs.

mail e-mail:

Proud to be an enemy of the state..

31.08.2006 16:27

We are with you even if we are not there. Thanks for bringing back some hope and belief that we can at least try and create a positive destiny. Not for some but for all… The frontline can be a lonely spot and the battle against Babylon//The System has so many phucking zones. So forgive people like me who had to fight some where else… The papers are writing it up in a negative way, but I hope people are at least as smart as my 10 year old god son, who, when reading one of da articles with me, gave me a big hug and said “it’s good that we are on the side of trees and sharks”…..One love from Dawit Smallmoney……..don’t forget SACK PARLIAMENT (www.sackparliment) on the 9th October at 1pm..

Dawit Smallmoney
mail e-mail:

Well done You lot

31.08.2006 16:44

Massive effort you lot I knew you'd get in. WELL DONE!

I nearly jumped van + walked back from the M18 on way south, weds with my kit, Keep at it +



Dirty Oiler

31.08.2006 19:43

Looking at public data on the internet it would seem Drax actually increased its output throughout the day so not excactly a diffinitave win!!
Also it appears a dirty oil fired unit was put on by national grid, possibly to cover losses caused by your actions.
Also how much carbon has been generated by the countless police vans driving from all parts of the country to watch over you all.

Dirty Oiler

hardly our fault

31.08.2006 20:48

If Drax increased its output throughout the day, perhaps it because of the consumers of electricty rather than the those who choose to protest today! And for your infromation, oil fired stations are not more dirty than coal powered stations.

Finaly... it is crazy to try to pin responsibilty for the stupid over the top policing of the protests on the protesters. There are only 500 people at the camp and the police know that so why bring in cops from eight forces plus the British Transport police? Anyway, those vehicles and their emissons are nothing compared to the emissons from Drax and similar power stations. And they are nothing compared to the loses inherent in the national grid.


Best eco action in years!

01.09.2006 12:08

Well played to everyone involved in the camp and protest. The media coverage this action has attracted in phenominal, top of the news on BBC, front page Independent, even the Today programme on Radio 4, covered by most mainstream media. Even the 'anti', 'baby eating anarchist', 'dozens arrested' type stories gave air time to the main concerns of the action.

Well played everyone from all connected with PowerToThePeople. A real success story!

Power To The People
- Homepage:

RE Dirty Oiler

01.09.2006 12:58

Oil fired power stations are dirtier as they dont have FGD to take the crap out of the smoke.
Drax has the most effective FGD plant of any power station in the country.

re Dirty Oiler

Oil Fired

01.09.2006 17:17

These actions against Drax are about climate change. The main chemical causing climate change is CO2. In terms of CO2 an oil fired power plant or a natural gas powererd power plant are always more efficient. More energy per unit of CO2 produced. The sulfur and fine particle contents of the smoke of coming out of Drax may be lower than that of an oil fired plants (though is is doubtful). Scrubbers do not take out CO2. Drax is a clear illustration of the fact that the problem of CO2 emissions has NOT been solved.


Yes we did get in!

01.09.2006 18:37

Despite the thousands of cops, the hired security and all the other technological measures that were put in place to prevent people getting in to Drax on Thursday, take it from me we got in, infact we were getting in all day, and despite the deluge of police brutality and the use of CS gas and batons, the hospilisation of at least one protestor, the issue of climate change and CO2 pollution by coal fired power stations has been highlighted to such a degree that it cannot be ignored and greenwashed. To all those that were there; Fantastic, well done, to all those that wanted to be there, this is just the beginning of mass mobilsation against the climate criminals.


indymedia censorship

01.09.2006 20:37

the above comment was not hidden because of innaccurate information but due to one single person disagreeing with the opinion presented. all these mainstream media channels, bbc, indymedia plus comments in support of the blockade and they can't tolerate one single dissenting post on the issue. so there were a grand total of nine blockaders (and twenty people protesting in total) and that means that tony's support is somehow discredited???
It is very clear what the focus of the demonstration actually IS - closing down coal power so it's not innaccurate. The reports on the 'blockade' of nine against the nuke power station showed that footage has been retained by the authorities. so what does that tell us? they do not want this to be seen even when it is only a meagre nine blockaders - obviously they are afraid of something, what is it?

there have also been some comments questioning how the 'protestors' travelled, hwo they charged their mobile phones. they are good questions. why would any real environmentalist possess a car mobile phone charger if it is not to use in a car? These are legitimate questions - most of us use electricity at some time. Another even important issue is the question of whether these 'environmentalists' use the services of a 'green' electricity provider. this is very easy to do and means that no blockaders are needed at all. if these 'environmentalists' want to do something useful then why not target the people using the electricity from these dirty power stations and campaign for them to choose 'green' electricity? if they just do not like the fact that there is a capitalist solution and prefer an authoritarian solution instead where the state decides where we get our juice from then why not just be honest about it and say they do not like it because it is run by capitalism? I think it is good that they care about the environment, but a more coherent message is needed.

all i can say is that with this censorship the phoney environmentalists have won.

on the issue of war I have looked at the websites and see no obvious statements of official position against any war - in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon. also no mention of the connections with nuke power and depleted uranium used in weaponry, only mention the issue of waste material. so that comment is innaccurate. only blair-friendly messages presented.

The Real Tony Blair

Close drax down???

02.09.2006 14:16

why close drax down? drax pays a lot of tax via coal purchased and employees paying tax
so think about it drax contributes to feeding soup to you tramps and helping to pay for train tickets so you can come and bother a great part of yourshire with a fantastic CLEAN powerstation.

many thanks.
A hardworking normal guy

I'm sick of it

the point

02.09.2006 22:03

the point of the camp ( which a lot of people seemed to have missed) was to raise awareness of climate change. more people are talking about drax than before- more people are aware that it is the biggest polluter in the uk ( even if it is 'clean'). so something HAS been achieved.


the web is a wonderful thing!

03.09.2006 15:42

Looking at the league table on this link its looks like you lot have made fools
out of yourself.
I think a trip over the border might be a an idea. better luck next time.


oh and by the way..DON'T come back

a bit of research goes a long way

For info

03.09.2006 17:02

Just to point out, Drax does offer tours of its power station, so if you fancy a look round the UK's largest and CLEANEST coal fired power station, give them a ring and they can sort you out.

It is pretty spectacular viewed up close, and when they say big, they mean BIG!!! for details


over the border

03.09.2006 17:20

in response to previous post:
"Looking at the league table on this link its looks like you lot have made fools
out of yourself."
- hardly, I just arrived back in Britain and the first thing I saw in the media was large scale and in depth (at least for the BBC) discussions about Drax, coal fired plants in general and climate change. Even if Drax isn't the main offender the issues have still been highlighted in a way not done before,Well done all involved!
" I think a trip over the border might be a an idea. better luck next time. "
- what a good idea..., we'll look forward to it up here!


to poster calling themselves tony blair

03.09.2006 19:19

you obviously haven't got a clue about small alt energy systems since you ask:
"why would any real environmentalist possess a car mobile phone charger if it is not to use in a car?"

and the answer is to plug into a 12volt battery system, which has been charged by solar / wind etc - before inverters were so popular a lot of alt energy providers in the field had cigarette lighter attachments, a lot still do in fact.

climate camp people... nice one! - you rocked!


No Clean Coal from Drax

04.09.2006 11:08

A couple of corrections to some of the comments above:

Drax and clean coal:
Drax may be 'cleaner' than others in terms of reducing their particle and SO2 emissions. SO2 emissions cause acid rain and are bad for health - we would be foolish to want to increase them! However, their effect on the climate is a COOLING effect. The type of 'clean coal' for which Drax stand means less cooling gases, huge amounts of greenhouse gases. It means more global warming than from old dirty power plants without scrubbers.

Drax and climate change:
Drax was chosen not just because it is the largest single emitter of CO2 in the UK, but also because the operators supported legal action against the EU to make them increase the amount of CO2 industry is allowed to emit. This legal action helped to undermine not just the radical emission cuts which scientists say we must make, but even the Kyoto Protocol and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Companies which take legal action to stop any meaningful policy to reduce emissions are, I believe, a legitimate target for non-violent direct action.

Almuth Ernsting

Almuth Ernsting
mail e-mail:

re various

05.09.2006 10:52

Drax turned up their filters for the time we were there (according to locals); they also burned cleaner coal than usual. The people who live around have to put up with a lot worse than we did for the week; there was almost universal local support for our actions.

There were more than 9 people at the nuke blockade (but if there had been just 9, I'd still have said "rock on" for blockading both entrances for the day and linking in the nuke issue).

As to the rest of your comments, The Real Tony Blair, sigh... It's easy to pick holes from an armchair. There was not the intent at the camp to come to consensus on how the world should be - there were many discussions on this and many many other subjects. Before you say 'there wasn't this thing or that', look at the programme on and you'll probably find it - if you don't, ask yourself why you didn't offer it and come along. And of course it's more than just about the environment or climate change - read our aims and press releases and and and...FFS

As to unsupportive comments - actually we had support locally from workers at Drax too, leafletted them and all the houses around, held public meetings, were invited along to the nearest village's gala day, had the local vicar giving positive sermons about us and negative about Drax, and were asked by many to come back next year.

There were multiple targets in the area, not just Drax (which IS the single biggest emitter of CO2 in the UK, and the biggest power station in Europe) - Eggborough & Ferrybridge coal power stations, oil refineries, motorways, peat bogs etc etc.


The reasons why so many police do this job...

05.09.2006 12:56 because they get paid and for no other reason. Lots of police on duty means more pay and to the average bobby and his boss this is not a bad thing, it makes no odds to them and they do have their orders from on high to protect the very things that eventually will kill us...

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Did that

05.09.2006 20:14

"There were more than 9 people at the nuke blockade"

I was just repeating what the report said. To repeat what I said (apologies to those who are paying attention) - "so there were a grand total of nine blockaders (and twenty people protesting in total)"

"Before you say 'there wasn't this thing or that', look at the programme"
I did. I said I looked at the websites. The point I was making was not about other non-protest activity. The other discussions which could have taken place elsewhere do not change the main focus of the entertainment.

Glad you had a nice party anyway - shame about the farmer.

The Real Tony Blair

Universal Support - ha ha ha ha

06.09.2006 12:43

Don't make me laugh.

I live in Barlow and not one of the other residents I spoke to wanted you there.

As for turning the filters up, how would they know unless they were inside the Power Station. Also, how do you know they were burning cleaner coal than usual? Did you see them giving it a bath?

Drax is actually the biggest coal burning Power Station in Europe not the biggest overall.

Blue Moon

RE: The web is a wonderful thing

18.09.2006 13:52

You gloat "A bit of research goes a long way". Here's a lesson: Thorough research goes a long way.

The league table you refer to:

shows us which power stations produce the "dirtiest" energy. Drax Power Station is not the most inefficient in the UK, but it is the biggest. Yes it is true that there are some other stations, on a smaller scale, up in Scotland that emit more carbon per Kwh of electricity produced but they are family cars compared to the 16 wheel truck that is Drax. Drax does more damage then the other power stations because it produces more greenhouse gasses such as CO2.

I don't understand why people think we are on some deluded mission to protect "our" environment. We are trying to save the environment for everyone, including you. Even though it may already be too late we have to at least try and do something. Why would anyone object to that?

Luke P

direct action junkies

07.10.2006 16:42

Luke P, there is nothing wrong with wanting to save the world, but the problem is this whole camp did nothing other that demonstrate what a waste of time, money and what a great amount of pollution was caused by a group of idiot militants who believe they have some kind of moral authority to force their views upon others and intimidate them with threats.

This camp was about climate change for some, but what I mainly saw was that is was about non-hierarchical drop-out politics and the fact that there had been no other face off opportunity with the police organised this year, so all the fun had at Gleneagles that people wanted to repeat was organised this year over “climate change”. what’s next year? Genetic cloning? Arms? WTO? Same crowd I bet, wow, how credible. All this bunch do is devalue important issues by hijacking them for their own political agenda. And all these lies about what was achieved at Drax, and how it was emitting less smoke during the camp, what a load of utter nonsense. Talk about desperately trying to legitimise intimidation and hypocritical propaganda. Nothing was achieved, if you want to tackle carbon emissions in any real tangible way, you should work out some way to get trees planted in all the languishing green field sites across the UK and how to incentivise the government and farmers to grow trees that absorb the emissions that we all know aren’t going to get cut

Most of the people at thcamp were the hard-core, sanctimons paranoid rent-a-protestors who choose not to be a part of adult society, and won’t therefore work with society to be of any effect whatsoever. Civil disobedience to these people is a cult, not a means that should be respected. Civil disobedience as a hobby means it loses its power when its most needed, and at drax it wasnt.

What did the camp achieve other than add to the problem? 600 coppers turned up because the "media team" announced to the world they were happy to break the law in pursuit of their “beliefs” - sounds a bit like terrorism to me. the result of that was 600 coppers getting shipped in, that’s lot of fuel burnt right there. Hmm...that’s also a lot of money, billed to the by the ordinary hard-working tax payer (of which this lot aren’t as most of the ones i met are on the dole and dont pay taxes on their earnings..) that enable a society like ours to exist and give you the right to protest. money that could have been invested in climate change research, had you numpties thought of engagement rather than rejection of the real world. This middle-class white armchair anarchism is more indicative of immaturity and lack of political understanding. If you want to see how a society functions without commerce and according to the precepts of anarchy, I suggest you go to iraq and see it in action. If you want to lead a low impact lifestyle like the camp, great, but using it as an excuse to fight corporate/state power through “direct action” under the guise of climate change is just self-serving boll**ks.

Blue Peter

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