Archive for the ‘ecology’ Tag
The Big Green Gathering, a fixture in the alternative calendar, was due to return after two years this week. 15–20,000 people were expected to turn up on Wednesday (29th) to the site near Cheddar, Somerset, for Europe’s largest green event – a five-day festival promoting sustainability and renewable energy, with everything from allotments to alternative media. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are already on site, and its cancellation comes just days before gates were due to open. Organisers, most of whom work for nothing, are gutted. One told SchNEWS “We are so disappointed not to be having this year’s gathering – it means so much to so many people”.
A last-minute injunction by Mendip District Council, supported by Avon and Somerset Police, put the ki-bosh on the entire event – citing the potential for ‘crime and disorder’ and safety concerns. This was despite the fact that the festival had actually been granted a licence on the 30th of June. According to Avon and Somerset police’s website “[We] went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this event took place.” This is of course utter bollocks.
The injunction was due to be heard in the High Court in London on Monday (27th). However, before that could happen the BGG organisers surrendered the festival licence on Sunday morning. As soon as this was done a police commander at the meeting was overheard saying into his radio “Operation Fortress is go”. Police have already set up roadblocks and promised to turn festival-goers back. Chief Inspector Paul Richards, festival liaison, later confirmed to one of the festival organisers that “This is political”, adding that the decision had been made over his head at county level. One of SchNEWS’ sources on site said that the police were frank about the fact that the closure had been planned for two weeks. “This was a blatant act of political sabotage – the Big Green Gathering is now completely bankrupt, they knew that we were going to be closed down and yet they carried on allowing us to spend money hand over fist on infrastructure”.
Kent Police have published a report into the policing of the climate camp last year near Kingsnorth power station.
The full report can be found here, with more bizarre acronyms than one could shake a stick at (should you want to; young people get up to the strangest things nowadays.) The report essentially can be summed up as “EON kept running and we didn’t wallop too many people. Go us!”
The report does, however, concede that the use of stop and search powers during the camp was “both disproportionate and counter-productive.”
It has also made me feel some form of empathy with the police, labouring as they do under a burden of jargon that would make the typical Daily Mail reader spontaneously implode. Such as the following:
From the outset this operation was resourced bottom up from an established resource baseline defined by a judgement made in the planning unit not based upon CMM identified threat and risk defining the tactical challenges for mitigation (top down.)
No wonder they’re angry all the time.
Our last film on the Freewind was 2 years ago May 2007. After the Freewinds being in the spotlight concerning asbestos pollution, here they are again docking on our island of Bonaire.
Understand, we have nothing against the Scientology but they promised us not to dock at our island and dump their wastewater on our land.
Bonaire has its own problems and has no means of receiving wastewater from the outside.
This film will show you that their waste is toxic and is polluting our nature and killing our reefs, polluting our groundwater and killing our island.
A sit-in protest by about 25 workers has closed the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight.
Danish company Vestas Windsystems plans to lay off 625 workers at the end of July, despite rising profits.
It said the Newport factory was being closed due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe.
Those inside the Newport offices say they will stay until “someone listens”. Vestas said a consultation on the site’s future was still on-going.
The workers began their protest at about 1930 BST on Monday.
A watchdog has said the Metropolitan Police’s planning for the London G20 protests in April was inadequate.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said the force had responded well to some of the challenges posed by the world summit.
But it said the force had not planned for the peaceful but highly disruptive Climate Camp in the City of London.
One man died after the London protests and investigators are looking at other formal complaints about police actions.
In his wide-ranging report, the inspector of constabulary Denis O’Connor said police tactics had been far too focused on tackling violence, such as the sporadic clashes outside the Bank of England, rather than facilitating peaceful protests during other parts of the day.
“Have you seen the Blues Brothers over there?” the police surveillance officer said. “Look – filming everybody else.”
It was supposed to have been a routine day of protest for Val Swain and Emily Apple, but at 1.31pm on 8 August last year, moments after being spotted by the surveillance unit, they found this was to be no ordinary demonstration.
After challenging a police officer over his failure to display a badge number at a protest against the Kingsnorth power station in Kent, the two women were wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and placed in a police van. They were held in custody for four days, three of which were spent in HMP Bronzefield.
Swain, 43, was arrested for assault and obstruction and Apple,33, for obstruction. The charges were later dropped.
The arrests were caught on police surveillance footage obtained by the Guardian and will be submitted to the Independent Police Complaints Commission tomorrow in a complaint lodged by the solicitors firm Tuckers.
Swain, from Cardiff, and Apple, from Cornwall, believe they were unlawfully arrested and detained because they campaign for Fit Watch, a protest group opposed to police forward intelligence teams (Fits), the surveillance units that regularly monitor political activists and demonstrations and meetings.
For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.
“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.
But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.
“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.
Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash-in-hand payments, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.
In the material, the police claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and say they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and detailed plans of future demonstrations.
The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded discussions between covert officers, claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and Matilda Gifford, an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid. The officers attempted to recruit Gifford as a paid spy after she was released on bail after a protest at Aberdeen airport last month.
Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in a bid to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She had two meetings with the officers, who said they were a detective constable and his assistant.
Audio and transcripts can be found here.
114 activists were arrested in a 2am police raid on a community centre and school on Sneinton Dale, Nottingham, early on Easter Monday, 13th April 2009. It is believed that a demonstration was planned at the E.On powerstation at Ratcliffe-on-Soar as a spokesperson for the company claimed that it was the “planned target of an organised protest”. The Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station is the 3rd largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and has been previously targeted by activists. Similar to past police actions, some of the homes of those arrested have been raided while they were held in custody. It has been confirmed that 6 homes have been raided in Nottingham, including the Sumac Centre, and personal paperwork and computers have been seized. Activists are now being released on bail, to appear in court on 14th July, with no other conditions. More raids are expected.
This police action is reminiscent of the arrests of climate change activists in April 2007 when they were on their way to protest against the M1 widening. While the protestors were held in custody their homes were raided and computers were taken. A year after the arrests the M1 case was thrown out of court.
Police have been accused of using sleep-deprivation to intimidate climate change protesters in Kent.
Activists at last year’s Climate Camp gathering at Kingsnorth were woken up by The Clash’s I Fought The Law and the Hi-de-Hi! theme, a report claimed.
The Liberal Democrats, who presented the study to Parliament, renewed their calls for an inquiry into the policing.
Kent Police said the team responsible for playing loud music inappropriately was from another police force.
About 1,000 demonstrators attended the camp in August to protest against plans for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.
The Lib Dems said policing was disproportionate and outrageous.
“The camp started with searches carried out on a massive scale – in my view all unlawful,” said Francis Wright, a co-author of the report and lawyer for Camp for Climate Action.