two hours – they ran onto the site and clambered on diggers & dumpers and held out
banners stopping the work safely. Some of the digger drivers were very friendly and
were glad to have a break as they work very long shifts, from 7am-6:30 with only
lunch & half hour breaks at 10 & 3. Today work had not been able to start till 10
as nature was fighting it's own corner, with rain drowning the site, and it was stopped again at 1 for 3 hours due to the protest.
After about an hour, a few police turned up (the whole of the local police station,
bless) though they didn't have the vehicles to get over the mud to the protestors!
After hitching a lift from UK Coal workers across the mud, they tried various ruses
to get the EF!ers' names (PACE s.25 even though they hadn't yet figured out what
substantive offence had been committed), and back-up arriving, the police were set
to start arrests for aggravated trespass.
Eventually, people decided to leave, though they were forced to give their details and
photos for later cross-referencing. The cops quoted section 68 of the Criminal
Justice and Public Order Act meaning that if those same protestors return within 3
months they risk arrest.
A dead easy fun day out, just armed with a press release, banners and a desire to
see a just sustainable world in the future.
See you down in the woods at Lodge House, Derbyshire...
Work stopped at open cast coal mine site
Today activists from Earth First! (1) halted the continuing destruction of
countryside at Shipley in Derbyshire by UK Coal. The action is part of an
ongoing campaign against UK Coal's plans to open mine 1 million tonnes of
coal from the site, over the next five years. They plan to release 3.5
million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere over this period.
The protesters entered the site around 1pm this afternoon and brought work
to an end whilst they peacefully occupied machinery. They intend to stay for as
long as possible.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing us, and burning coal is the
biggest historical cause of climate change. Every day more coal is burned, yet
industry and government seem intent on burning even more.
Jim Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and
eminent climate scientist, wrote in a letter (2) to Gordon Brown "The single
greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal. Coal-fired generation is
historically responsible for most of the CO2 in the air today - responsible for
about half of all carbon dioxide emissions globally"
Dave Porter, a protester at the site said 'All over the country groups are
emerging as part of a growing, international movement defending communities and
the climate from new coal. We're faced with a system that's not listening to the people - a system that disregards the science in the face of the single biggest threat to our planet. If the government won't save the country then it's down to all of us to take action!”
Today's action follows a mass trespass at the site on Saturday 25th October,
when people from around the country gathered at the site in Derbyshire to
show the strength of opposition to plans for developments in the coal industry.
In August activists squatted a derelict house (3) on the site of the proposed
open cast mine, the eviction lasted for nine days and raised the profile
of UK Coal's activities in Derbyshire as well as their project costs.
People across the country are pledging to continue resistance to all
developments of the UK coal industry.
Press phone 07722 727 064
Phone on Site 07900 028 306
Notes to the editor
(1)The principles behind Earth First! are non-hierarchical organisation
and the use of direct action to confront, stop and eventually reverse the
forces that are responsible for the destruction of the Earth and its
inhabitants. EF! is not a cohesive group or campaign, but a banner for
people who share similar philosophies to work under.
(2) Jim Hansen is the director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
and an increasingly renowned climate scientist. He wrote an open letter to Gordon
Brown on the 19th December 2007 calling on him to lead the way with renewable
technologies and not renew coal. More recently he has given evidence to the
crown court in defence of 6 Greenpeace activist charged with criminal
damage at Kingsnorth Power station in Kent.
(3)In June 2008,activists squat an abandoned farm at the Lodge House
planned opencast site near Shipley in Derbyshire. The farm was about to be
demolished, work was held up. The eviction cost the local police force
£58,000 and UK coal will be billed for some of the expenses. The full cost
of the eviction to UK coal who hired bailiffs and equipment, is expected
to be much higher.
Other past actions on site: trespass, 2 at UK Coal, digger diving, squat.
Future action: 1 november - Residents' demo at Lodge House, Derbyshire.
Meet at the entrance to the site on Heanor Road, the A6O8, by Smalley village. See