UK climate camp protesters decry police raid

Evans was one of 29 environmental protesters who were arrested in June after occupying a train carrying coal to Britain's biggest coal-fired power station in south of the Drax plant in North Yorkshire.

UK climate camp protesters decry police raid
Environmental campaigners accused police of aggressive tactics on Saturday as they prepared to protest German utility E.ON's plans for Britain's first new coal-fired power station in three decades.

Gathering at Kingsnorth in Kent for the Aug. 9 protest, the Camp for Climate Action group said their plans to set up a site for the week-long demonstration were disrupted by a police raid on Thursday by up to 100 officers.

"They seized equipment essential to the health and safety of the site," 29-year-old post-graduate environmental studies student Alex Harvey told Reuters.

"They took away water pipes for the provision of fresh water and materials essential for sanitation and they even took away children's crayons and a board game.

"It's political policing -- it's not the role of the police to disrupt and delay a peaceful protest that is designed to tackle the most important issue we face today."

Kent Police arrested two people in Thursday's operation and said the items confiscated -- bolt croppers, super glue, padded suits, climbing ropes and pipes -- could have been used to carry out tactics known as "lock-ons".

"It's hard to conceive some of the equipment being used for anything other than unlawful use," said assistant chief constable Gary Beautridge.

A police spokeswoman added: "We're continuing to speak to the protesters and we've offered solutions for returning items confiscated and we'll return any items that we believe are genuinely to be used for the building of the camp."

The Camp for Climate Action will open on Sunday when a march from Rochester to Kingsnorth is scheduled.

"We have to make a just transition to a more ecological society," said 24-year-old arts and environmental project manager Mel Evans. "The crux is that E.ON should not be allowed to do this to make profits."

Evans was one of 29 environmental protesters who were arrested in June after occupying a train carrying coal to Britain's biggest coal-fired power station at Snaith, just south of the Drax plant in Selby, North Yorkshire.

Along with four other protesters, Evans said she was prepared to break her bail conditions which stipulate she should stay away from Kingsnorth.

Reuters
Last Mod: 02 Ağustos 2008, 17:54
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