Climate Camp Cymru eviction shows need for action
south wales |
the environment |
Sunday August 15, 2010 09:25 by Climate Camp Cymru
Climate Camp Cymru near Selar and Nant-Helen opencast coal mines, Glyn-Neath in South Wales was brought to a premature end on Saturday afternoon with a massive police incursion to evict the camp. The camp was expected to last until Tuesday 17th August.
From the outset on Friday there had been a massive police presence. On Saturday a spokesperson said that there were at least 15 riot vans and numerous mounted police in the area around the camp.
One activist said they were planning to take direct action against the fossil fuel corporations such as Celtic Energy, who own nearby opencast coal mines Selar and Nant-Helen. (1)
“Our economic system is based upon an addiction to fossil fuels and ever increasing consumption to create profit at the expense of people and the environment” said Tim Jones.
Mr. Jones went on to say, “This just goes to show the priorities of the current government, who are more interested in protecting climate criminals like Celtic Energy and in repressing those taking action on climate change, than on actually tackling the climate crisis themselves.”
The historic monuments organisation Cadw visited the site and accepted that the camp could go ahead with police monitoring. Climate Camp Cymru were very concerned not to damage the soil and therefore did not erect their wind turbine.
While climate campers are well-known for ensuring that land they use is left as they find it - cleaned up and undamaged - open cast coal mines can make no such claim. The nearby Selar open cast mine engulfed and destroyed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the 1990s with the loss of an important wildlife habitat. (2)
Notes for editors:
(1) Nant Helen has applied for permission to expand and Selar has been given the recent go-ahead.
(2) Promises that a colony of rare marsh fritillary butterflies would be successfully moved were empty. Celtic Energy, who own Selar mine, removed vital marsh thistles they had mistaken for weeds at the new habitat they had provided for the butterflies. The fritillary population in the area subsequently disappeared.
(3) Last year's camp was held next to Ffos-y-fran in Merthyr Tydfil, the largest opencast coal mine in the UK. The camp included workshops on climate science, direct action training, a solar-powered cinema, compost toilets, solar-heated showers, greywater systems and wind power. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/aug/12/...-blog
(4) On Friday a group of climate activists were given conditional discharges at Merthyr Tydfil crown court for blockading the railway line between Ffos y Fran and Aberthaw power station.