WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER LONG AWAITED...
HOO U GONNA COAL?
AS CLIMATE CAMP FOR ACTION GETS STOKED UP AT KINGSNORTH...
It's another mediocre summer and we’re back at the Camp for Climate Action. First there was Drax, then Heathrow and now the sequel... Climate Camp III has been set on the east coast of Kent three miles or so from Kingsnorth - already home to a power station that pumps out as much carbon dioxide as the 30 least-polluting countries in the world combined – and proposed site of first new UK coal-fired power station for 30 years.
So SchNEWS reporters have joined the great unwashed throng of around a thousand and a half others, made up of yer usual rabble-rousing regulars - including, according to cops, 150 extremists (only 150? Come on black bloc let’s be aving yer!), plus up-for-it students, ageing hippies and Guardian-carrying liberals (the paper did their own bijoux guide to the camp - getting the day of the mass action wrong. Oops).
Having taken the site – a mile outside Hoo St Weburgh on Wednesday last week (July 30), initially there were not enough people to defend it and riot police carried out a number of heavy-handed raids, beating up campaigners and nicking important infrastructure gear like plumbing etc. Whilst some of this is still impounded, ever-resourceful campers have found ways round it and the actual organisation is once again clockwork. One hard-bitten, over-60 was heard to comment: “How come it’s always the anarchists who provide the best organised, most efficient kitchens”. Couldn’t agree more mate - the SchNEWS chef de resistance has given the vegan food a rating of 8/10 this year!
Police tactics have been the main talking point at the camp so far. A rumoured wholly-proportionate 1,400 cops are involved at a cost of £5m, with forces from Wales, Kent itself and the trusty ‘boot ‘em first pay compensation later’ Met. Unlike the hotels which were laid on for cops last year, it looks like they’re slumming it in their very own super tent (a kind of close encounters white dome structure) up on the hill back down past Hoo. Clearly unhappy at being so completely out-manoeuvred once again by camp organisers - setting up camp under their noses - they are venting their frustrations in a number of ways.
For starters everyone on the main route into the camp (on Dux Court Rd) gets searched, coming in as well as out (one to bear in mind for Saturday’s mass action when green/orange/blue/silver blocks will aim to shut Kingsnorth down for the day). Things which have been so far been confiscated include, er, some glue and a bar of soap. As well as wheeling out a War on Terror board game for Murdoch journo types to slaver over, police claim they found a stash of weapons in the woods nearby including a ‘replica’ ninja throwing star (a plastic toy maybe?) and an assortment of knives including a three bladed affair which could allegedley be used against a police horse (lots of vegan horse killers at the camp this year then?)
Other bullshit to come protesters way include the constant buzzing of police helicopters during the day and night – including low flying for the purposes of thermal imaging or intimidation presumably. It looks like top brass are looking to cause as much discomfort to campers as possible, despite paying lip-service with the softly softly police liaison teams. These have tried to get a police caravan on site - which was turned down - and last year’s arrangements of an escorted police beat every couple of hours is not happening. With the stand-off hardening, each night the camp has been awoken two or three times to deal with the threat of a raid with increased numbers pigging out the front and rear access points.
Vehicles have been impounded – included the camp shuttle bus running from Strood to site on one occasion – and most of the supplies have as a result had to be carried in on bikes/wheelbarrows and Shanks pony.
Still, not to be put off, the camp is proving popular with locals around the Medway area, despite the welcoming local paper A-boards (‘Medway invaded by eco-warriors’ and the like). More families, pensioners, and terrible teens have been turning up than did last year at Heathrow.
With Saturday’s shenanighans to come it’s looking like Kingsnorth could be a timely reminder to Brown and co. that we won’t be taking their greenwash lying down. For more info on the mass action and the reasons behind the No New Coal message go to www.climatecamp.org.uk
DAY OF MASS ACTION AGAINST KINGSNORTH POWER STATION
SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST – BE THERE
...AND WILL THE REAL CLIMATE CAMP PLEASE STAND UP?
And Brits aren’t alone camping it up this summer... The Camp For Climate Action in Australia went off well last month (July 10th-15th) as protesters targeted their country’s coal industry. The camp was in Newcastle, north of Sydney, near the largest coal export port in the world, in an area thick with huge coal deposits.
Oz is the fourth largest coal producer in the world and the government plans to expand coal-fired power while still pretending to be doing something about climate change (sound familiar UK readers?!) But while that charade goes on, thousands from around the country converged on the climate camp - proving that you can, at least, send coal protesters to Newcastle...
On Sunday (13th) over a thousand held a mass demo to the Carrington coal terminal – and from that direct action groups broke off to occupy the rail tracks, stopping the port for the day and costing the company over half a million quid. Good value for the 57 arrested. The next day, four people returned to the railway to close it down again for another few hours.
Kooragang, the largest coal port in the world, was shut down the next day for several hours by just nine people. In the early hours they got into the plant and four locked on to a coal conveyor belt, and five chained themselves to other loading machinery, bringing processing to a halt.
In the build up to the camp, several other actions took place. On June 27th the Muja coal power station in Collie, Western Australia was closed down after a group locked onto a conveyor belt, upset that WA plans to build four new coal stations and the re-open a decommissioned plant.
And on July 3rd, Greenpeace closed Eraring Power Station near Newcastle, one of the two biggest single carbon emitters in the country.
Finding coal-power targets for direct action in Australia is not hard, given that 85% of its power comes from coal - in a country where solar energy is not exactly scarce! In fact Australia is by far the highest carbon emitter per capita in the world – more than double the average for industrialised nations. While they claim to be on track to meeting meagre Kyoto reduction targets, this really comes from cessation of mass land clearing and burning – meanwhile emissions from power and transport have risen by a third...
For more see www.climatecamp.org.au
And there are other Camps For Climate Action across the world this summer...
Eugene, Oregon - July 28th-Aug 4th,
KlimaCamp, in Hamburg, August 15th-26th.
COAL HAS ITS KNOCKERS
This Thursday morning, 150 police and bailiffs arrived to evict protesters occupying an open cast coal mine in Derbyshire (See SchNEWS 638). During the day the National Eviction Team removed three people, from a treehouse, a net and one from the roof of the derelict farmhouse-cum-fortress. After about 6 hours they got into the house, but found a crazy labyrinth of bunkers, barricades and tunnels which stopped them from removing any more people on the first day.
One protester outside the site told SchNEWS, “There’s about 7 people barricaded inside the house and the tunnel network. It’ll probably take at least a week to evict everyone.”
At least they’ve got a little further than one cop last week. A (fully clothed but excitable) tree hugger tells the story: “Due to the incredible heat three girls had got their tops off when a UK coal digger drove by, unforgettably causing the naked protestors to run across the field to join the others (slow motion video of which is available at www.youtube/watch?=youshallowchauvinistfool)
“The finest local plod then turned up to find the nudists sat on the roof of the fortified house along with many others. After his ‘Come down or you’ll be arrested’ was laughed off, he got a crowbar to try to break in. after forcing a board off a window to be met with a radiator and a mass of dirt behind the window, he continued to attempt to kick in another window even though protesters were repeatedly telling him that some one was d-locked onto the back of the board. With nothing left to do but make a even bigger arse out of himself he left one very unhappy piggy!”
The site was set up on 18th June to disrupt UK Coal, who are starting an open cast mine at the site.
One nearby resident, Ben, said “Local people and the council didn’t want this mining. The government pays lip service to green issues but UK Coal could not afford to mine here if it wasn’t for government subsidies they receive.”
He continued “ The eviction of this site is not the end of our fight against UK Coal here or at other sites around the country.”
The site is on Bell Lane, between Smalley and Heanor, six miles from Derby. Phone 07503 335870. Get yer subtlety cloak on and get there!
WILL IT BE ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT?
A call-out has been raised to anti-fascists around the country to combat the British National Party’s Red, White and Blue festival next weekend in Derbyshire.
The fascist loonstomp has already had its licence for alcohol and music refused following local resistance to the gathering (see SchNEWS 635). A solicitor for Derbyshire police told the Amber Valley Borough Council licence tribunal, “The fact is we are expecting trouble at this event. We didn’t object to this festival in 2007, and we didn’t object initially in 2008 - however towards the end of May the intelligence picture changed. We have started to receive intelligence to say that groups opposed to the BNP may attack people attending this festival. Having a large number of individuals with opposing views together in one area like this is going to be a powder keg.”
In previous years the BNP have been able to hold their shindig with little or no opposition (despite being filmed by an undercover BBC crew singing Nazi drinking anthems) In fact last years event was protested by one solitary individual with a placard – local anti-fascists describing him as ‘very brave’.
This year though things are gonna be different with three different groups and no doubt a few unaligned individuals aiming to make their presence felt. Nottingham Stop the BNP have called for a demo staring at 9 a.m in the nearby village of Codnor. To confuse matters ‘Unite’ against fascism have called their own demo two hours later in the same location.
As a spokesman for Notts Stop the BNP told us “The locals want them out – last years gathering was noisy and menacing – we might not stop it happening this year – they’ve had people setting up on site for the last ten days but we’re going to make it as hard as hell for them to enjoy themselves and hopefully stop it happening next year”.
See www.nobnpfestival.wordpress.com Tel: 07980 089859
* For more info and details of transport going from around the country check out www.antifa.org.uk 07522 034032
Campaigners battling plans for an open cast mine on the edge of Telford yesterday unfurled banners across one of Shropshire’s busiest roads. Members of Wrekin Stop War and Wrekin Anarchist Group were bidding to catch the attention of motorists travelling on the M54 past Telford and calling for them to join their protests.
Banners were dropped from the bridge crossing the motorway at Arleston reading “Coal: Leave It in the Ground”, referring to UK Coal’s proposals to create an open cast mine in the New Works area near the Ercall.
Elsewhere, banners proclaiming Telford as “Birthplace of Industry/Womb of Climate Change” were hung from bridges crossing the motorway at the Ercall and Castle Farm Interchange.
A LITTLE BIT OF BULLY
Over eighty blood-thirsty maniacs got all the blood they could wish for in Columbia recently. Unfortunately for them, it was their own.
Bull-fighting fanatics got a taste of their own medicine when their seating gave way at the local bullring in the town of Planadas.
Footage of the event (which, to be frank, is far more entertaining than watching a bull being gored to death), shows a mexican-wave style collapsing of the stadium just as a bull enters the ring. Panic breaks out as the playing field gets levelled and the matador desperately tries to distract the bull from the crowd.
Watch it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLr-ujf7K9g
Breaking News: Kingsnorth has already been shut down as protesters occupy the main chimney, unfurling a ‘Stop Climate Change’ banner down the tower... No don’t worry, you haven’t missed Saturdays main event - it all happened earlier this week only in miniature, as Lego campaigners struck at E.ON-sponsored Legoland!
Life is somewhat easier in plastic for E.ON – their money means they can stick their replica powerstation right next to Big Ben and the London Eye, and could build their new planned plant in a matter of hours with nothing more that a couple of spliffs and a big bag of bricks.
But they hadn’t reckoned on the depth of feeling in the Lego community, and the model was quickly occupied by one inch high protesters, all with fixed expressions on their faces. The plastic-activists wanted to complete the eerily realistic scene, so Lego police were swiftly in attendance at the foot of the tower, along with a Lego police helicopter.
Unfortunately theme-park rangers were able to take action before scenes of police battering helpless campaigners could frighten curious visitors.
Legoland staff are now on high alert in case thousands more disgruntled Lego people descend on the site, and have called in Lego police from sets around the country to help clamp down on any protest. At least there won’t be any need for cavity searches.
SchNEWS warns all readers - we need more dole not coal. Honest!
ON THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film - is out on DVD. The film police tried to ban - the account of the four year campaign to close down a weapons parts manufacturer in Brighton, EDO-MBM. 90 minutes, £6 including p&p (profits to Smash EDO)
TAKE THREE - SchMOVIES Collection DVD 2007 featuring thirteen short direct action films produced by SchMOVIES in 2007, covering Hill Of Tara Protests, Smash EDO, Naked Bike Ride, The No Borders Camp at Gatwick, Class War plus many others. £6 including p&p.
V For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve short films produced by SchMOVIES in 2006. only £6 including p&p.
SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005. Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.
SchNEWS At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc p&p (within UK)
Peace de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p
SchNEWS of the World - issues 300 - 250, 300 pages,£4 inc p&p.
SchNEWS and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001 - SchNEWS and Squall back to back again - issues 251-300, 300 pages, £4 inc p&p.
SchQUALL - SchNEWS and Squall back to back - issues 201-250 - Sold out - Sorry
SchNEWS Survival Guide - issues 151-200 - Sold out - Sorry
SchNEWS Annual - issues 101-150 - Sold out - Sorry(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).
These books are mostly collections of 50 issues of SchNEWS from each year, containing an extra 200-odd pages of extra articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a yellow pages list of contacts, comedy etc. SchNEWS At Ten is a ten-year round-up, containing a lot of new articles.
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