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Stop New Nuclear emergency newsletter: protesters occupy trees at Hinkley Point

Dear all,
even before the preliminary works application has received final approval from West Somerset District Council, EDF moved in on 6 February 2012 (Monday) to remove trees from the proposed Hinkley Point C site. In response, overnight from 6-7 February, anti nuclear activists occupied trees on EDF's proposed new nuclear site west of Hinkley Point in Somerset.

While EDF have claimed that the stand of oak which is now being occupied is not scheduled to be felled as part of the so-called “Preliminary Works”, West Somerset District Council Planning Officer Andrew Goodchild has confirmed that this is untrue, and ALL vegetation within the site will have to be cleared in the next 4 to 6 weeks under the aptly named “Phase Zero”.

EDF's plans to disrupt lives and livelihoods by digging up the 400 acres landscape and beautiful coastline in the coming weeks has already begun with the trees, says local campaigner Sarah Stone “We managed to get an emergency tree preservation order last year because the trees were threatened by this development, but WSDC refused to make it a full order after six months because they claimed they'd given permission to EDF to trash the site even though to date this decisions is still not published. This whole application has been characterised by lies, deceit, and corporate bullying it's made a complete joke out of the British planning system and if they won't protect the trees until there is a proper decision about nuclear new build then we will”.

Michael Hunt, one of three tree occupiers, said:
Once again we are seeing EDF Energy cutting corners and flouting regulations. This is a very worrying sign. If this is how they operate, how can we trust them to run a nuclear power station safely?

Fellow campaigner Sarah Stone added: “This whole application for the Hinkley C nuclear power station has been characterised by deceit and corporate bullying. It has made a complete joke out of the British planning system. If the relevant authorities won't protect these ancient trees, then we will.

Money talks, but actions talk louder. The gallant folk who took command of the situation have acted pre-emptively and spontaneously and are currently few in number. They are in a net off the ground and “just about” warm enough. They need ground support – people to just visit them with treats, flasks, and warm words – which will also help defend them by keeping everything in the public eye. A video camera would be extremely helpful, and maybe more phones. RIGHT NOW THEY NEED A DELIVERY OF WARM SOCKS.

Contact Activist support for info, and if you are able to get down to Hinkley Point, South West Against Nuclear and Kick Nuclear are calling on people to do so. Mobile: 0780 5666 239 or 077 3693 0069. Updates are available on the Facebook page of South West Against Nuclear.

A Corruption of Governance?

The protest comes in the wake of last week's shocking revelation in a report jointly published by Unlock Democracy and The Association for Conservation of Energy. The report entitled, “A Corruption of Governance?” (PDF) reveals how data provided to MPs and parliament during discussions on national energy policy was skewed in favour of the ‘new nuclear’ option.

The report also outlines that, on the basis of the Government’s own evidence, the UK does not need new nuclear to reduce CO2 emissions. It also asserts that the building of new nuclear power stations to provide electricity is likely to mean higher fuel bills.

The report concludes that this corruption of governance can only be rectified if Parliament re-opens this debate, and MPs vote on this issue having seen the correct information.

Activists across the country have renewed their pledge to gather at Hinkley Point nuclear power station on March 10th for a mass rally against ‘new nuclear’ and to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. Spokesperson Nancy Birch said it is time for the public to demand intelligent solutions to climate change.

She added: "Nuclear power is the worst possible option: it’s extremely expensive and extremely dangerous. We should be following the example of Germany where plans are being put in place to create a sustainable energy system that is not only nuclear-free but affordable and far more environment-friendly."

Surround and blockade Hinkley - 10/11 March 2012

EDF's attempt to trash the land without planning consent, and its obvious lies in justifying its actions, and the new evidence that government and parliament have been misled in order to push for new nuclear show the true nature of the nuclear industry - lies, corruption, and more lies and corruption. We have seen in the last years that we cannot rely on the so-called democratic process and the law to stop new nuclear in Britain - we need to put our bodies on the line.

Therefore, we call on everyone to ‘Surround Hinkley’ on 10 March 2012 to demand to have a voice in decisions about our energy future. Help to make this a festival of creative resistance with music, art, theatre, banners, and whatever takes your fancy! To mark the end of the ‘Surround’, there will be a gathering at the main gate of Hinkley for a rally and music.

The preliminary timeline of events is:

  • Saturday, 10 March 2012
    • 12pm: assemble in front of Hinkley Point
    • 1pm-3/3.30pm: surround Hinkley Point.
    • 3.30pm-6pm: rally and music in front of the main gate of Hinkley Point
    • 6pm: End of the "surround Hinkley" action. Spokescouncil to begin the blockade of Hinkley Point.
  • Blockade continues until about 2pm on Sunday, 11 March 2012.

Please help to spread the message by either downloading the flier, or ask us to send you a pack. We welcome some donation to cover postage, but even if you can't - we need to get the message out!

Please pledge to take part in the action(s) at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/pledges, and encourage friends, colleagues, family, etc to also take the pledge. We need to send a strong message that we will not accept new nuclear, and that we will resist. Get in touch with us if you want to organise a minibus or put on a coach. We are slowly putting up transport information at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/transportsurroundhinkley.

Training

As the recent events show, in order to stop new nuclear power in the UK we need to work together efficiently and look after each other. With this aim Stop New Nuclear are organising training for those planning to take part in the mass action at Hinkley Point The free training will prepare people with techniques and strategies for civil disobedience and non-violent direct action, and provide reassurance and information for those new to this type of activity. It will also provide people with the tools needed for effective consensus decision making. These sessions will be invaluable in the formation of affinity groups (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affinity_group), and local networking. If you feel you could help organise a training session in your area please get in touch. We will provide information and support to make it happen. There will also be training in February for those interested in providing legal support during and after the action.
Email training [at] stopnewnuclear.org.uk
Phone 0845-2872381
Updates on trainings will be posted on our website at
http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/training.

Donate

The new action to surround Hinkley, and the 24 hour blockade, will need a lot of money to make them happen. We expect that we will need about £11,000 to organise the action, print fliers and posters, etc. We need your help to make it happen. You can help us by organising a fundraiser, asking your local Quaker meeting to make a collection for Stop New Nuclear, or simply by donating and asking friends to donate. Please give generously. You can donate online at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/donate, or you can send a cheque made payable to Stop New Nuclear to:

Stop New Nuclear
c/o 5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX

Thank you!

Stop New Nuclear

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