News from climate action camps in Scotland, Belgium/Netherlands and France
Local support for Climate Camp Scotland is made quite clear on the (longer than we expected) bus ride from Lanark through the winding country lanes to Mainshill solidarity camp that is also now Scotlands' Climate Camp.
Spotting us with our tent and gear an older woman says she would've joined the camp if it wasn't for her bad health and other women on the bus jeer and promise food donations. A bloke immediately struck up a conversation telling us he used to work on the opencast mine and that his brother still does. He said he couldn't understand why they were so keen to reopen and restart work on the site. He'll more than likely be visiting the camp this week too.
We arrived at the 6ft wooden fence fitted with a door that is the main gate of the camp about 2pm - the driver making an unscheduled stop to drop us off at the camp entrance so we didn't have to walk back from the nearest stop - just as 2 local plod had managed to walk in wandering half way up the lane to the camp finding themselves quickly surrounded by climate campers convincing them to leave. Other than that, the lone cop with video cam at Lanark station and the chopper which hovered around for a few minutes a while ago, the authorities seem to be keeping a low profile. No FIT at the camp, in fact no police hanging around at all.
Although not very busy yet, the camp is looking solid: never mind the compost toilets, there's a bike-powered cinema, big kitchen tent, and solar-powered (indy)media tent. And plenty of camping space, of course. From the other end of the field we can see the wind farms on hills to either side of the camp.
Glentaggart Coalmine Sabotaged; Police leave cancelled across the region
The Camp for Climate Action Scotland has been informed that anonymous activists have successfully sabotaged the Glentaggart opencast coal mine in South Lanarkshire. The unknown individuals have disabled the conveyor belt that moves coal from the mine to Ravenstruther rail terminal where the coal is then sent to Drax power station in Yorkshire.
The sabotage has the potential to greatly disrupt the removal of coal. Insiders say that once it has been stopped it is difficult to restart the heavily laden conveyors which is several kilometers long and comes in quarter kilometer sections. Drax power station was the site of the first Camp for Climate Action 2006.
The Camp for Climate Action Scotland is taking place cross the valley from Glentaggart at the site of another proposed open cast mine at Mainshill woods near Douglas. A protest camp has already been in place for six weeks campaigning against the plans which have gone through despite strong local opposition. The area is already one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe with a number of other opencast mines already being worked.
Diarmaid Lynch, a spokesperson from the Camp said on hearing the news, “Fantastic. Congratulations to those who did this. Opencast mining is responsible for a spike in the number of lung related deaths in this small area. It is time that the likes of Scottish Coal and the planning authorities are held directly responsible for their role in these deaths. Climate change is a killer, both at home and in the Global South where those who have benefited the least from industrialisation are the first to pay the price.”
The World Health Organisation estimates that climate change kills 150,000 people a year and that figure is expected to grow as countries fail to take action. Cancer in the Douglas postcode area is 23% above the national average, and 28% above the regional average. In the four years that the existing three opencast mines have been operating in the area pulmonary issues have increased 60%.
In a separate development the Camp for Climate Action has also learned that police leave across the central belt of Scotland has been cancelled as the various forces move to a state of high alert. To date the policing at the Camp has been very low key, but campers remain alert.
Scotland’s Climate Criminals
The following is a list of the operations in Scotland which profit from the exploitation of fossil fuels. None of these operations are compatible with the vision for a zero-carbon Scotland as such they will be targetted with direct action in order to ensure we can make a just transition towards a sustainable future.
Longannet and Cockenzie Coal Power stations
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Preswick and Aberdeen Airports
Oil & Gas operations in Aberdeen-shire
Grangemouth Oil & Gas Refinery
Hunterston coal terminal
All open-cast coal mines
Coal distribution network including;
Ravenstruther coal terminal
Crowbandsgate Rail Facility
Glentaggart Conveyer belt
Scottish Power HQ
Scottish and Southern Energy HQ
Motorway constructions such as M74
Guide to dismantling the coal industry in Scotland, a 16-page information sheet released by Climate Camp Scotland and Coal Action Scotland [pdf 5.3M]
includes information on open cast coal mines and mine operators, coal-fired power stations, coal rail and port infrastructure, industry lobbyists, and a map of Scottish targets.
Netherlands/Belgium camp - We've started – come join us!
More than 100 people entered and secured a field between Zandvliet and Berendrecht, in the heart of Antwerp's industrial harbour, at 1am this morning. They have erected tripods, hung banners and are well underway in setting up camp.
Although the Climate Action Camp has been open about most aspects of the plan, the location of the camp had not been revealed until Saturday morning in order to prevent police from attempting to stop it from happening.
The official start date is Monday August 3rd! Take a look at the map below or google 'Derdeweg Zandvliet Antwerp' to see the exact location. You can also email info[at]klimaatactiekamp.org or contact the info line at+32 (0)485916863 (please text if possible).*
How to reach the camp site by bus from Antwerp:
From the Rooseveltplaats, close to Antwerp Central station, you can take buslines 770 or 771 direction 'Zandvliet'. After appr. 40 min., you'll get to the stop 'Zoutestraat' where you have to get off the bus. Follow the street in travel direction, after about 200 meter you will see a couple of tents on the left side. The street next to it is called 'Derde Weg', follow it and you'll quickly reach the welcome tent!
The Climate Action Camp on the Belgian/Dutch border yesterday occupied the Antwerp Bulk Terminal (ABT) coal terminal in Antwerp Harbour, Belgium. This terminal; responsible where coal is imported to Europe from Africa and South America before distribution by train and boat to power stations around Europe was shut down for the day as activists blocked train lines and conveyor belts at the site.
Camp Action Climat 2009 - Le teaser