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N Power, the new front line?

October 26, 2009

(Taken from an interview on the New Internationalist blog)

This morning, 22 activists occupied Didcot coal power station – the carbon belching monster just down the road from oxford. One of the activists, Amy Johnson, tells the story;

We’re a group of people who met at climate camp in London this summer. We learnt about the threat of coal, and were able to attend training sessions run by really experienced activists who gave us the skills and inspiration to do this. There are 9 of us climbing the chimney, and 13 people locked to the coal conveyor belt. At 4am, we cycled to the power station, cycled around the barrier and just got in!

We just had a massive victory – E.ON announced they probably weren’t going to build Kingsnorth“, explained Amy. “That means that N-Power, the company that runs this power station, is now the foremost advocate for new coal in the country. They want to build 30 new coal power stations in Britain and Europe. They expect to get planning permission for Hunterston in the next few weeks. We’re saying to them that we won’t leave until they cancel all their plans for new coal.

This isn’t just about UK politics. Their banner reads ‘Climate Justice’ and, as we hurtle towards the Copenhagen climate summit, ‘our message is aimed at the whole world,’ says Amy: ‘Coal cannot be the future.

(More on this story can be found on indymedia)

While Didcot was being shut down, activists were also blockading two open cast coal mines, one supplying E-on’s Ratcliffe-on-soar and the other in Scotland. Three major actions in one day, hot on the heels of the Great Climate Swoop and the international 350 day of action.

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