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50,000 mobilised against Nantes expansion

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Peasant mobilization was strong in Nantes, where the procession was attended by 530 tractors.

A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.

The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.

John Stewart’s blog from 24 February begins:

In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed  new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects).  The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of  perspective as well as environmental.


Fracking test site blocked by wind turbine blade

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: | 1 Comment »

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This morning fifty pro-renewables campaigners delivered a 17 metre, 1.5 tonne wind turbine blade as “Christmas gift” for fracking company IGas. The entrance to the Barton Moss test site has been blocked, to prevent drilling vehicles from entering.

At 5.30 this morning (Monday 16th December 2013), fifty people blocked the entrance to IGas’s exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss with a giant wind turbine blade. The campaigners arrived at the site in Salford in Greater Manchester, proceeded to unload and assemble the 17-metre blade from its three component segments. They were spotted by a security guard who called the police, but the officers who arrived on the scene were too late to prevent the blockade from being set up.

The campaigners then left, leaving the heavy wind turbine blade in place across the entrance, complete with a large red Christmas bow. Currently all vehicle access the site is being severly disrupted by the 1.5-tonne blade, which cannot be moved without large numbers of people or specialist equipment.

IGas have obtained permission to drill a 3000 metre (10000 foot) test well at Barton Moss, in the hope of extracting both coal bed methane and shale gas. If the tests prove successful, IGas would then be likely to use the controversial extraction method of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to blast gas out of the ground. In the US, where fracking has been underway for several years, the practice has been linked to water contamination, air pollution, and risks to local water supplies, with over 1000 leaks and spills reported in one year in North Dakota alone. If fracking were to spread across the UK, it would lead to the extraction of large amounts of oil and gas that would otherwise have remained in the ground, with serious consequences for the climate .

The fracking industry itself has admitted that the practice is unlikely to bring down energy bills , and economist Nicholas Stern has accused the Government of “baseless economics” for claiming otherwise. Meanwhile, the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change has released a report showing that a shift away from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency could save the UK public £85 billion per year .

Following a summer of high-profile anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex, which ended when the drilling company Cuadrilla withdrew its fracking application, Barton Moss is now widely seen as the new frontline in the battle for clean energy in the UK, and in November 2013 a “Barton Moss Protection Camp” was set up at the site. Actions are frequently launched from the camp to disrupt drilling activities at the site, and at least ten people, including local residents, have been arrested in the last few weeks. This year’s anti-fracking protests seem to have shifted public opinion; according to national polling by the University of Nottingham, support for fracking dropped significantly after the summer protests at Balcombe.

Today’s action was carried out by a group of people from all over the UK who had been inspired by the Reclaim The Power protest camp at Balcombe earlier this year. Sandra Denton, who was one of the people who put the blade in place, said: “We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK. The Government and the big energy companies are planning to build a new wave of gas-fired power stations, partly fed by thousands of fracking wells across the British countryside. This would lock us into using this expensive and dirty fossil fuel for decades to come, trapping us in a future of spiralling energy prices and disastrous floods, storms and droughts as climate change kicks in. Meanwhile, a shift to properly insulated homes powered by clean, community-owned or publicly-controlled renewable energy would rescue millions from fuel poverty, prevent thousands of winter deaths and give us all a decent chance at avoiding runaway climate change.”

Rachel Thompson of Frack Free Greater Manchester, a separate local group who are campaigning against fracking in the area, said: “The Government’s plan to increase our reliance on gas – including fracked gas – would lead to higher energy bills and more pollution. The only reason they’re going down this path is because of the power and influence of the big energy companies. The Big Six can make far bigger profits from fossil fuels than from clean energy or home insulation schemes, which is why they’re using their cosy relationship with Government to block renewable alternatives and keep us all burning their expensive gas. That’s why we all need to stand up for a fairer, cleaner, more democratic energy system without the Big Six profiteers in charge.”

Pearl Hopkins, a local resident, said, “I didn’t know today’s action was going to happen but I’m very glad it did. It’s great that people are coming from all over the country to support us at Barton Moss – and with creative blockades like this one. Local people have tried using all the official channels to object to this scheme, but the Council and IGas seem determined to brush our concerns under the carpet and carry on regardless. We’d like renewable energy for the future – not the destruction of our towns and countryside with thousands of drill sites.”

More information on what’s going on can be found on The Northern Gas Gala website.


Did someone say Barton Moss? Not for shale…

Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

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A lot changes in a few decades. I wonder what those 60s activists saving the whale would think of us now, as thousands of people across the UK sign up for text alerts so that they can pitch up a tent near Manchester to stop fracking. They’ll have to accept that activism’s moved on. Marine mammals have got to try a bit harder or they’ll be forgotten to the 21st century’s totally new narrative. It’s 2013. We’ve got to save the shale.

Welcome to the Northern Gas Gala.

24 hours after first major activity begins at IGas’ Barton Moss site, people will be converging for The Northern Gas Gala. All are warmly invited to join residents in a show of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment. Stay informed by signing up at northerngasgala.org.uk, to ensure you receive an invitation to this most poignant of parties.

All those signed-up at northerngasgala.org.uk will, when the Gala beckons, receive a text message with a start time.

WARMING! The arctic is melting. Frack less. Fly less.


Save our Common Land!

Posted: October 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Events, Media | Tags: , | No Comments »

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A piece of common land is set to be developed on, which could set a widespread dangerous precedent. Please come and show support to help save Botwell Common and help protect our green belt land across the country.

A public protest has been planned on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon. The meeting point is at the bandstand in Hayes Town centre, next to Botwell Common.

Hillingdon Council, despite widespread opposition, submitted a plan to build a new school on Lake Farm Country Park (Botwell Common), which was approved at a stormy meeting at the council’s planning committee on 5 March 2013.

The council’s justification for building a new school comes from projected estimates of pupil numbers for the next few years. There are three other schools nearby which may be able to increase capacity to handle the expected rise. A former alternative site for a new school (a decommissioned swimming pool) was developed as housing.

John Mcdonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington is urging people to come together in this crucial time. Resistance to the development of greenbelt land is supported by groups such as ‘Friends of Lake Farm’ and ‘Transition Heathrow’.

See you all at Hayes bandstand, on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon.


Call for action: rolling blockade blocking Balcombe fracking

Posted: September 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Energy | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

28 Days Later: Please spread far and wide

A Rolling Blockade of the Balcombe fracking site, 1st September – 28th September

Fracking company Cuadrilla’s governmental licence to drill in Balcombe ends on September 28th. The government may be allowing them to drill but they have no social licence from the people of Balcombe to frack their land and threaten their water supply.  Neither do they have any mandate to begin an entire wave of fracking across the country. The vast majority of people in the UK want cleaner, greener energy.

After the upsurge of climate activism at Reclaim the Power in August, let’s make these last 28 days count. Let’s halt their work at Balcombe, and also send a strong message to those wanting to frack elsewhere.

A blockade has been on-going at the drilling site, but trucks have still been getting through. Now it’s time to up the ante.

We invite groups from around the country to come and play a part in a 28 day rolling blockade.

Think creatively and act responsibly. Pick a weekday before September 28, gather friends and useful kit get yourselves to Balcombe.

Fracking is stoppable, another world is possible.

 


195 Mare Street opened as a social centre, made possible by squatting

Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Cool Projects | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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Reblogged from 195marestreet.wordpress.com:

Right now we’ve got a great vibe going on, everyone sitting outside listening to chill music; the free shop is on display and we’re cooking up vegan burgers. Lots of people have been coming in to see what we’re up to and grabbing some stuff from the free shop – everything for free, they can’t always believe it.

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We’ll be doing the same tomorrow, letting people see that we’re here and that we want to do something positive for the community. So many people are keen to start running their own workshops and start making use of this amazing unused and abandoned space. We can’t wait either.

Join us on Thursday for lots of free food on the BBQ, popcorn, music, bubble show and lots more. We’ll also be having our free shop outside so come and get yourself some freebies.

Earlier on in the day we found 3 men knocking at our door. They told us they were contracted to come on Thursday and knock down the walls of the building, pull out the floor boards and pull out the plaster from the walls.  One guy became the ‘owner’ and said that he was going to knock down the building so he could build luxury apartments. The land registry is yet to be updated with who the new owner is, and if its only just been sold there in no way that they have been granted planning permission to do anything. The building cannot be knocked down or damaged because of this, and there has yet to be an owner who has been willing to invest in restoring this beautiful building.

We’re not sure how they intend on damaging a listed building to build flats without planning permission; there is nothing on the planning register that states any planning works to 195 Mare street at present. While this building is being left to rot away, we intend on making as positive use of this space as possible. Come and join us and make this an amazing space for everyone :)


Reclaim the power at Balcome: Frack Off

Posted: August 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Events | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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Hundreds of climate and anti-cuts activists are planning to ‘swoop’ on a secret site in the Balcombe area where shale oil and gas company Cuadrilla is engaged in exploratory drilling.

Swoop participants will meet at Balcombe Train Station at 1pm on Friday August 16th before moving en-masse to take the site. The five day action camp taking place there – named Reclaim the Power – will run from August 16-21 and involve ‘mass, audacious and creative acts of civil disobedience’. [1]

Cuadrilla has a six week concession in the Sussex village to drill for shale oil, but 85% of Balcombe residents oppose the drilling. Over 45 local groups opposing fracking have sprung up around the country in response to requests by Cuadrilla and other companies to drill in their area. [2] Balcombe is widely regarded as the frontline in the government’s dash to frack the UK for fossil fuels.

The group spearheading the swoop – No Dash for Gas – shut down EDF’s West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire last October. 21 activists occupied the site and lived up two chimneys for a week, in protest over what they describe as climate chaos and escalated fuel poverty if the government’s ‘dash for gas’ goes ahead. [3] The protest prevented over 23,000 tons of carbon emissions and resulted in EDF suing the group for £5million – a suit dropped after just three weeks due to massive public outcry including a petition signed by 64,000 people.

Now the group is mounting an ambitious action camp with a coalition of organisations including UKUncut, Disabled People Against the Cuts, the Greater London Pensioners Association, Campaign Against Climate Change, and Fuel Poverty Action. The Reclaim the Power camp at Balcombe will see participants engage in workshops covering extreme energy, Just Transition and work, resisting government cuts and solidarity with communities on the front-lines of climate change.

The camp will also include a full day’s ‘direct action training’ where participants will plan a number of ‘missions’ together before engaging in 48 hours of action against Cuadrilla.

Sharon James of No Dash for Gas said: ‘Our event is called Reclaim the Power and that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to reclaim our energy system out of the hands of corporations that will frack our countryside, crash our climate targets and send fuel bills through the roof. We want democratically controlled, renewable energy. Our action will echo the local community in showing Cuadrilla that fracking is unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary.’

She went on to say:

‘Fossil fuels are not the answer to our energy gap. Social, economic and climate justice movements can and will unite to stand with affected communities to resist this undemocratic activity. We urge Cuadrilla to stop drilling, get out of Balcombe and drop fracking, fast.’

Ken Savage, aged 91, of The Greater London Pensioners Association said: ‘We lend our full support to and stand solidly with Reclaim the Power. Many pensioners dread the winter where many of us cannot afford the heating and are seeing our friends pass away un-necessarily. 7000 people died last year – many of them pensioners – because they couldn’t afford to keep warm. Many of us see climate change as a real threat to our grandchildren. We want to see a change in this country’s energy policy which takes climate change seriously, makes the change to safe and sustainable power and which serves human need and not corporate greed. We will be present at the camp and look forward to taking part in this important event and protest’.

Ends

[1] http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/ [2] http://frack-off.org.uk/local-group-specific-pages/ [3] http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/uncategorized/press-release-campaigners-from-no-dash-for-gas-abseil-90m-down-power-station-chimney-to-end-7-day-occupation/

Contact

No Dash for Gas Media Team 07447 027112

Email: info@nodashforgas.org.uk

Twitter: @nodashforgas


Third runway is back on the agenda

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , | No Comments »

 

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Last week, Heathrow submitted its proposals for expansion to the Airports Commission. It announced three separate sets of plans for the third runway to the North, North West and South West of the airport, in a case which, according to the Airport Environment Federation (AEF), “rests on a series of half-truths and promises not backed by evidence.”

Find out more on AEF’s website and Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) blog.


News on the verdict

Posted: July 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, legal, Residents | Tags: , | No Comments »

Residents and supporters of Grow Heathrow outside Central London County Court

We will give more updates as soon as we can tomorrow once we’ve been able to talk about it. We’ve just heard that we lost our appeal in the UK’s second-highest court so the landowner now has a live possession order.

We are continuing to try to negotiate with the landowner to buy the land, and there is no real threat until at least Monday. We expect to hear in a few weeks whether our application to appeal to the Supreme Court is granted. If we can appeal, then at that point we expect the possession order to be shelved (so no threat); if we’re not allowed to appeal, then we continue to be at risk. The first thing we will do is to talk with local residents in Sipson to organise next steps.

We don’t know the landowner’s plans, so we don’t know whether or when he will apply for a warrant from the County Court for bailiffs, and beyond then whether or when he might hire bailiffs, which could take months.

We need people here to help us plan what we can do now. There is travel info to get here. Please bring a tent, roll mat and sleeping bag. There is lots of indoor space, so you’re unlikely to need a tent, but it’s useful just in case.

If you can’t come to site, please consider donating any cash you can spare – we need money now more than ever and even £10 makes a huge difference for us. The orange ‘donate’ button is to the right.

occupy, create, resist


Bilderberg Fringe Festival: Fri 7 – Sun 9, Watford

Posted: June 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Bilderberg Fringe Festival Poster

Every year politicians, royalty and CEO’s meet in secret to discuss the fate of the world. This year, you are all invited!

2013 welcomes the first ever Bilderberg Fringe Festival. Taking place between 7th – 9th June in Watford, the festival is a unique, FREE event which will nurture dialogue and discourse about Bilderberg in a peaceful, fun environment – alongside a jam-packed weekend of speakers, comedy, music, workshops, arts and entertainment!

Seeking to stimulate hearts and minds and unite the politically conscious, the event will be a positive platform which harmonises fun with enlightened idea exchanges. The Bilderberg Fringe Festival is an unmissable occasion for conscious citizens from all over the world to join together and have a fantastic party.

We are expressing our outrage at this travesty of democracy the only way we know how. By hula-hooping in the sunshine and dancing barefoot in the grass. Except where cows have been.

Where Bilderberg is closed, dark and joyless, we are open, happy and free. They may have better spa facilities, but we have better chai.

After negotiations by Hertfordshire police liaison officers, we are excited to announce that a site inside the fabulously scenic Grove Hotel grounds has been confirmed to house key Bilderberg Fringe events.
From Friday 7th through to Sunday 9th the ‘Bilderberg Speakers Corner’ will feature an exclusive programme of talks by researchers, journalists and academics as well as performances by comedians and poets set against the remarkable backdrop of the hotel next to the entrance used by Bilderberg delegates to access the conference.

See bilderbergfringefestival.co.uk