the Disillusioned kid: Take Back the Power
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Take Back the Power

Earlier today (April 10), activists from Nottingham entered Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station and chained themselves to equipment, preventing it from operating, while supporters maintained a presence outside. The power station is coal-fired and generates huge amounts of carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming. The action is part of Spring into Action, "a week of workshops, events, music and action on climate change happening at different venues across Nottingham."

One of those involved in the action explained in a press release, "The threat of climate change is so huge and the government so complacent that the people themselves are now acting in proportionate response to this and targeting the root causes of climate change. It's not enough to reduce emissions individually – we need to act together to challenge fossil fuel consumption."

Ratcliffe was targeted because coal-fired power stations (of which it is one of the largest) are the biggest producers of CO2 per unit of electricity generated. It is also symbolically significant because the power station is visible from much of Nottingham and familiar to anybody who knows the city. The story certainly seems to have piqued the interest of local media receiving coverage on the The Evening Post and BBC Nottingham sites and was the top story on BBC local radio during their midday bulletin.

The police inevitably turned up and reports suggest that eleven people were arrested. Inspector Glenn Harper, of Notts Police, told The Evening Post, "The site is potentially dangerous to anyone who is unfamiliar with its layout and there are busy roads close by." Protesters shouldn't be misled into believing that the police were there to ensure business carried on as usual with minimal disruption, rather, "Our main priority is to maintain the health and safety of all those involved; the protesters, staff at the power station and the police officers who attend."

In case there's any confusion and to preempt any questions in the comments, I haven't been involved in any of this, having been out of town for a few days. The foregoing is derived from media reports, primarily coverage on Notts Indymedia. For the timebeing that's all I know.

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