Monday, June 22, 2009

Coal Resistance Continues at Mainshill Solidarity Camp

It's another interesting week of resistance to coal power. While Greenpeace occupy a boat bringing coal into Kingsnorth, a group of anti-coal activists have setup an ocupation at a site where Scottish Coal are planning to start a new mine.

Here is a update from the site.

After a whole night of digging in and strengthening defences, the rumoured eviction this morning hasn't happened. However, the solidarity shown by the number of people who joined us over the weekend has been fantastic and allowed huge amounts of building work to happen, making the site well defendable.

Instead of police or court bailiffs, a van-load of Apex workers tried to gain access to the site to continue bore-hole work on the site, vital to the coal mining operation. Bore-holing and clear-felling had been happening before the site was occupied, and since the occupation no work has been carried out. It is thought that this work is illegal as Scottish Coal have to carry out an extensive wildlife survey before felling any trees or starting work as a condition imposed by the council.

Access to the site and Apex machinery was blocked with a vehicle, and Apex workers responded by threatening to smash the windscreen if it was not removed from in front of the gate. Very quickly, the people inside the vehicle were joined by campers and car loads of locals who came out in support and to avert an eviction. The Apex workers backed down after this show of strength!

In a plea of solidarity to contract workers carrying out the bore-hole drilling and clear-felling, they have been asked to side with the community and camp against their bosses and refuse to carry out work on the site.

The Chief Inspector for the area has stated that the police have no intention of removing the camp at present, but will let us know if that changes. It is thought that a court order is being sought to evict the camp.

Lord Home, the land owner, Scottish Coal, the mining company, and Scottish Ministers can stop this project – if they were to come down and see the level of support and involvement in the camp from the local community they would see how strong the opposition is to this mine. If they don't decide to overturn the decision, they will have a very expensive eviction on their hands.

Your solidarity is still needed! We can stop this coal mine from going ahead, both by defending the site and working with the local communities to take back decision-making power and get permission overturned. Please join us as soon as you can – see the website for details.

Mainshill Solidarity Camp (WEB)

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