Climate activists swoop on Ratcliffe

Climate swoop

Title : Climate activists swoop on Nottingham
Author: Notts IMC

After months of careful planning, notably using a ballot to decide the target of the action, several hundreds of climate activists from around the UK swooped on Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire today.

The action was organised in blocs, each with a different mission. The False Solution’s Bloc’s mission was to get to the coal pile while the Take Back the Power Bloc’s mission was to get to the control room. There was also a decentralised Capitalism Is Crisis bloc trying to get anywhere in or around the power station, the Roaming Riders of Resistance on bikes while the Footsteps to the Future bloc headed to the main entrance to create a spectacular vision of better days to come.

Hundreds of people met in and around Gotham Woods where they were met by a large police presence. The first reports on the day were of people being arrested for conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass, these numbering 80 by the evening. Some swoopers emerged from the woods in a five-finger formation whilst others headed for the fence in smaller groups. A grouse-shoot nearby added to the confusion and presented another hazard to avoid however the major obstacle in the way of reaching the power station was a large and supposedly electrified fence. This mirrored the government’s energy strategy by being vastly expensive, dangerous and not switched on when it should have been.

As 1pm approached, people began to breach the fence with confirmed reports from at least two groups. Unsurprisingly they were met by a large police presence. The protesters tried to evade the police on both sides of the fence. A group of ninja-styled cyclists pounced to take down the fence at different points. In some places cops attempted to fill the gaps in the fence with their lines, elsewhere arresting those who had made it inside. Reports from the breaches were clear that the police were more intent on hitting people than arresting them. There were several police forces present, including The Met, British Transport Police, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

In the next two hours a few small groups made it as far as the coal pile, but at the time of writing nobody has been able to stay there for long enough to do much. Text messages and twitter were used by some in an attempt to share information about where fences had been weakened.

Action medics reported a number of injuries including concussion and dog bites, due to a disproportionate police response. Two serious injuries were reported to indymedia during the afternoon. The first was a swooper who collapsed in the woods and had to be stretchered out and waiting an hour for an ambulance. The second was a cop who seemingly fainted and banged his head during his fall. He was assisted by an action medic for three minutes before an ambulance arrived. He was later reported to have left hospital.

Meanwhile the Footsteps bloc made their way to the main gate where they have set up camp for the night. Food was distributed and a campfire is burning. After several earlier attempts at kettling, a large police cordon has been set up to prevent anyone else from joining them. As the action enters its second day, it remains to be seen whether the power station will be shut down.

On the newswire: Australian activists breach fence of power plant – now lets shut down Ratcliffe! | Campaigners To Shut Down Ratcliffe Power Plant

Previous features: Mass Arrest of 114 Climate Activists in Raid | No case to answer after Notts E.On protest | Fossil Fools Take On E.On In Nottingham | Convictions For Activists – Climate Criminals Walk Free | ‘Clean’ Coal On Trial | Climate Activists Bring Powerstation Operations To A Halt | Spring Into Action Now!

Links: The Great Climate Swoop | Climate Camp