Linda Ware of Cilfrew Residents Association gave a full and frank account of the campagin over the last 18 months by residents and ecological activists against the destruction of the south Wales countryside, the increasing reliance on new forms of fossil fuels, the horrific health and safety concerns and the lack of consultation with the people who's lives are being ruined by this development.
"people power is the most powerful thing there is"
There have been several protest camps at Trebanos, Milford Haven, & Brecon as well as mass direct action in Cilfrew and elsewhere.
For a background to the campagin check out:
Linda highlighted the council corruption that is so indemic to Labour dominated welsh local government. Her explaination of why she has chosen to stand as a prospective Plaid Cymru councillor raised interesting questions about the appeal of the welsh nationalist movement to community struggles such as this.
"We are going nationalist, not because we belive in nationalism, but because we oppose labour and there is no other alternative"
The lack of media coverage outside Wales has been interesting in it's absence. There have been only a handful of articles meantioning the development in the UK press. This is in contrast to the Rossport pipeline which has got much more media attention despite being in a different country. It would appear that due to 'safety concerns' the press are being leaned on not to cover the story.
The pipeline is only the beginning of a south west wales power corridor that the DTI envisage streaching from milford haven to the east of Swansea, with a number of power stations and energy extraction sites clustered around the area. The new generation coal power station in Neath Porth Talbot has already been annoced and methane is already been extracted and stored in disused mines in the area.
This pipeline is set to be the first of many, as delevopments are on the table for pipelines to connect from Tirley to Leeds and Plymouth.
People's responses to what they heard centred around three themes: corporations behind LNG, media response, and direct action.
The construction of the pipeline is being done by National Grid, who have been the main focus for direct action so far. However the consortium behind the development is headed by Exxon Mobil amoung others. The finace has been put up by oil and gas loan specialists the Royal Bank of Scotland.
There was a feeling that we need to increase the knowledge amoungst enivronmental activists of the full picture of the pipeline development and its wider implicastions.
getting a higher level of coverage in UK and international media.
Taking the struggle to the big players behind it. Especially as they have a presence on many high streets.
Undertaking a speaking tour of social centres, with a particular emphiis on the routes of the other proposed pipelines.
"We can do all the talking in the world but the only thing that will have an effect ojn corporations is direct action"