Thursday, December 06, 2007
Undercurrents reported from a protest against the planned second largest open cast mine in Europe.Our images were used in BBC and ITV reports.
Watch the report here
I filmed on my new JVC HD100 camera and Hamish with the smaller Sony HC7.
Climate campaigners from all over Wales (2) joined with local people from Merthyr Tydfil to evade police and security before taking over the 1,000 acre site on a hilltop near Cardiff. They have chained themselves to bulldozers and other heavy machinery to prevent work on the mine and have unfurled large banners. They’ve pledged to prevent work on the site for as long as they can by climbing onto, and chaining themselves to the 1,300 horsepower yellow diggers. The leading environmentalist and author, George Monbiot, is amongst their ranks.
Climate Protestor, Tim Helweg-Larsen, from Machnynlleth, said:
“Gordon Brown’s officials this week jet off to Bali for UN talks on cutting carbon emissions but at home they’re trying to drag us into a new coal age.”
“Coal is the filthiest fuel known to man and projects like this mine could destroy all our chances of tackling global warming. The battle over this hilltop in Wales is a fight for the stability of the global climate and it epitomises this government’s hypocrisy on climate change.” (3)
Merthyr resident, Leon Stanfield, explained:
“We’ve protested this mine in all the conventional ways. Now we’re turning to direct action as a last resort. This project is wrecking both the local and the global environment and is putting the health of our community and its children at risk.”
Over 10,000 local people petitioned against the pit.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
(1) Background about the mine is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/09/energy
Miller Argent is the consortium digging this pit. They are mining for 11 million tonnes of coal from the site. When this is burned, it will emit more than 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The edge of the mine pit will be just 36 metres from people’s homes.
(2) Activists are from the group who organised the Camp for Climate Action outside Heathrow during the summer. www.climatecamp.org.uk
(3) The government has convened a UK coal forum to “bring forward ways of strengthening the industry, and working to ensure the UK has the right framework to secure the long term future of coal fired generation.”