Sunday, 18 October 2009

"We're Getting Over-Run At Gate 3"

Nottinghamshire Police have released aerial footage of yesterday's Climate Swoop at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.

This morning, Chief Inspector Linda McCarthy issued the following statement:

I just want to clarify the situation around those people arrested. There are 52 people arrested for a variety of offences, not 80 as was given as an estimated figure last night. I’m sure you all appreciate the speed at which we were trying to give information throughout the day yesterday – but 52 is the correct figure.

I would like to thank the public who sent their good wishes to our officer who was airlifted to the Derby Royal Infirmary after being injured on duty. He has now been released from hospital and is making good progress.

There have been reports of some protesters receiving dog bites and other injuries as a result of a concerted effort to pull down fences and enter the site.

Of course this regrettable, but it is a combination of reckless behaviour by some of the protesters and us having to respond with a different style of policing.

We are grateful to those people who staged a peaceful protest, but it is clear that many were prepared to use force to enter the site.

Today the A453 has re-opened and the rail network is also open.

Our officers will continue to facilitate peaceful protest at the site but people are free to move away from the perimeter if they wish to do so.

The Camp for Climate Action have responded with their own press release:

Climate change activists have hailed this weekend’s direct action as a “massive success” after repeatedly breaching the fence and spending 24 hours outside Ratcliffe coal-fired power station.

Three activists are said to have recovered from injuries suffered at the hands of the police, while one more activist is believed to still be in hospital after collapsing yesterday afternoon. Footage was released last night of a protester-medic aiding a policeman taken ill at the protest:

Activists gathered in various points on Saturday morning, swooping on the power plant in separate groups to arrive at 1pm. Within five minutes they had already broken down one of the perimeter fences and several had entered the plant.

On Saturday night around 300 activists pitched tents in two camps outside the gates, despite attempt by police to intimidate campers by standing next to the campsite in full riot gear. The police have confirmed 58 arrests, but there are believed to be more arrestees yet to be booked in. Further action is expected to take place today.

Natasha Blair from the Camp for Climate Action said: ‘We’ve achieved what we came here to do: to show that coal has no future and there is a growing movement which is prepared to take action on climate change."

This weekend, activists from around the world met in Copenhagen to finalist plans for similar actions during the UN climate talks taking place in December. The Camp for Climate Action has announced that they will be joining other activists in the 'Push for Climate Justice', which aims to take over the talks for a day.

Natasha Blair continued: "In the run up to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen this December, acts of civil disobedience to confront big business and governments that are causing catastrophic climate change are gaining support.

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