Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coal train blockade activists sentenced

13 people who literally put their necks on the line blockading the railway
at Ffos y Fran, the largest opencast coal mine in the UK, will be
sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Friday 13th August.

Climate activists from Bristol and Bath Rising Tide chained themselves to
the railway on April 26th to stop a train carrying coal from the mine to
Aberthaw power station. Extensive safety measures were taken to ensure
there would be no danger to anyone.

A spokesperson for Rising Tide said, “Opencast mining trashes the
landscape, contributes massively to climate change and threatens the
health of local people. We need to leave coal in the ground, and that's
why we stopped a coal train.”

“With their hands in the pockets of corporations, it's not surprising that
governments failed us at the Copenhagen climate summit. We can't rely on
their false solutions anymore. It's up to ordinary people taking direct
action to stop climate chaos. Fossil fuel extraction devastates
communities and is being resisted around the world, from opencast mining
in Merthyr to tar sands oil in Alberta, Canada.”

300,000 people, mostly those living in the global south, are already dying
each year from the effects of climate change. (3)

There has been a long campaign opposing Ffos y Fran mine by local
residents and climate activists alike. (4) Last August, Climate Camp Cymru
set up near the site for a week of sustainable living and direct action
training. This year’s action-based camp, which will target coal in south
Wales, begins on the same day as the sentencing. (5)

Notes for editors

1. Initial charges of Obstruction of the Railway with Intent, which
carries a maximum sentence of life, have been dropped. 13 pleaded guilty
to a lesser charge of Obstruction of the Railway, while all charges
against 5 others have been dropped.

2. A full report of the action can be found at

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