Thursday, August 06, 2009

Coal Mine Sabotage in Scotland

The Camp for Climate Action Scotland has been tipped off that anonymous activists have successfully sabotaged the Glentaggart opencast coal mine in South Lanarkshire. The unknown individuals have disabled the conveyor belt that moves coal from the mine to Ravenstruther rail terminal where the coal is then sent to Drax power station in Yorkshire.

The sabotage has the potential to greatly disrupt the removal of coal. Insiders say that once it has been stopped it is difficult to restart the heavily laden conveyors which is several kilometers long and comes in quarter kilometer sections. Drax powerstation was the site of the first Camp for Climate Action 2006.

The Camp for Climate Action Scotland is taking place cross the valley from Glentaggart at the site of another proposed open cast mine at Mainshill woods near Douglas. A protest camp has already been in place for six weeks campaigning against the plans which have gone through despite strong local opposition. The area is already one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe with a number of other opencast mines already being worked.

Diarmaid Lynch, a spokesperson from the Camp said on hearing the news
"“Fantastic. Congratulations to those who did this. Opencast mining is responsible for a spike in the number of lung related deaths in this small area. It is time that the likes of Scottish Coal and the planning authorities are held directly responsible for their role in these deaths. Climate change is a killer, both at home and in the Global South where those who have benefited the least from industrialisation are the first to pay the price.”"

The World Health Organisation estimates that climate change kills 150,000 people a year and that figure is expected to grow as countries fail to take action. Cancer in the Douglas postcode area is 23% above the national average, and 28% above the regional average. In the four years that the existing three opencast mines have been operating in the area pulmonary issues have increased 60%.

In a separate development the Camp for Climate Action has also learned that police leave across the central belt of Scotland has been cancelled as the various forces move to a state of high alert. To date the policing at the Camp has been very low key, but campers remain alert.


1. The Camp for Climate Action Scotland can be contacted on 07910 915 698, 07906 499 379 and 07722 708 760. For further information on the camp see

2. The aims of the Camp for Climate Action Scotland are to highlight practical solutions to climate change from a grassroots level through education and demonstration of sustainable living, and to take direct action against the root causes of climate change. It among the first of many such camps taking place this year. Previously camps have taken place at Drax Powerstation, Heathrow and Kingsnorth Powerstation in the UK.

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