The latest mass protest against EDF Energy’s bid to build a new generation of nuclear power stations was a massive success. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who came to the march and rally in Bridgwater in Saturday October 6th and who stayed on for the camp and mass trespass on Monday October 8th.
We’d like to send an extra special thank you to all those involved in organising the march and rally, setting up and running the camp, its kitchen and its workshops and the six people who were arrested before and at the mass trespass.
What was most evident was that everyone who took part gave 110% of their energy and commitment. This spirit enabled us all to overcome the challenges we met along the way and to get our message across loud and clear. The most remarkable thing was to see everyone being so kind to each other in a pretty stressful set of circumstances. Magic.
The three days of activity/action was the top news item on the regional TV and radio from Friday right through to Monday evening. There was also some excellent coverage on BBC news and the local news websites. (A full list can be found at the bottom of the page).
Nikki Clarke summed up the reason for the protest when she told camera crews: ‘I think they (the trespassers) are heroes. They are doing a service to my children, to your children and to EDF’s children. Children have no voice in the political process and children are most vulnerable to radiation.’
Three of the ‘Trespass Six’ are due to appear at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 31st October. If you can spare the time, please go along and give your support along with members of Stop Hinkley and SWAN. Please let SWAN know you’re coming by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have missing items or have found yourself with someone’s belongings by mistake, please send us an email and we will send out a ‘lost property’ list in the next week or so. Send your email to: email@example.com
What next? Some low-energy activities to consider
As we all brush off the last bits of Hinkley mud for our camping/campaign kits, it would be brilliant if you could think about the two following activities:
If you haven’t already, please send the pre-written letter given out at the Bridgwater rally to your local MP. A copy of the letter is also posted on the Stop New Nuclear Alliance website for you to print out. Please do this as soon as possible as the Energy Bill is looming and we need to kick-start the discussion on an energy future that is nuclear free.
The Alliance has already received a reply to this letter from DECC. The reply is the standard response we always receive along the lines of, ‘We need nuclear in our energy mix’. This is despite the fact that the anti-nuclear letter specifically states this pre-written response was not acceptable. If you have the same experience, please write back to DECC and insist they answer the two specific questions at the bottom of the letter. The more aggro they get, the more likely they will take our message seriously.
Jo from the Stop Hinkley crew also has a special request. She says: “Hearing snippets of people’s experience as we bussed them on to trains etc after the trespass made me realize people wanted to know each other’s stories.
So it would be great if everyone could write a paragraph of their feelings/thought/experience of the action at Hinkley (around 300 words – or more if you like).
Please include how you heard about the trespass/how you got there/and possibly your age as I was amazed at the age range of people that took part (eg I’m a 35 year old nurse from Birmingham and I heard about the action via the Alliance’s Facebook page). I will not include your name unless you want to. I will put the collection together to make a document for everyone to read and maybe it will inspire and help empower others to join in next time. Please do this ASAP as it is best fresh from the ‘field’ before you forget the detail. Please pass this on to anyone you know who was there who could participate.”
Keeping up the pressure
As we move into November, it’s essential that we all do everything we can to oppose ‘new nuclear’. Clearly, the government is in a corner. This week, a new row broke out about the hidden public subsidies for new nuclear that have been included in the forthcoming Energy Bill. A group of leading academics accused new energy minister John Hayes of gearing up to ‘write a blank cheque’ to EDF. This was then covered in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph.
An excellent summary of the situation came from another academic, Dave Toke (yes, it’s his real name) who noted in his blog: ‘The government's plans for new nuclear power stations are on the rocks, and it would require desperate measures to save them.’
Read Toke’s full story from the Huffington Post 18th Oct 2012 here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-toke/will-government-write-a-blank...
Even more interesting was a comment in The Guardian which noted that among the factors inhibiting investors from putting their money into ‘new nuclear’ is the fact that, ‘Companies are understood to be concerned that new plants will face protests…’ So we’re definitely making an impact.
See the whole story here:
Please keep an eye on the Alliance website for updates on actions and events - and if you haven’t already done so, sign up to get our newsletter to get the latest, live and direct.
Thank you for your ongoing support. You can’t kill the spirit!
Summary of main new coverage (v good ITV coverage)
ITV footage on Vimeo
Good photos of trespass from freelance photographer Rob Jinman on Demotix
Photo with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett
Trespass top news story on Occupied Times website:
Energy Live News
Heart FM website coverage: Arrests at anti-nuclear protest
Burnham-on-sea local paper coverage of trespass
Very good coverage on thisissomerset news website: included all Stop new Nuclear Alliance press releases and some very good photos here:
Steve M’s photos on Flikr:
See here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/global2000
Good footage of Saturday march on YouTube from Andy35
More great YouTube footage of the Bridgwater march from Jo B:
YouTube footage of former EDF Energy engineer, Peter Smith, speaking at the rally: