Last summer 40 concerned citizens from all walks of life came together to stop a train containing 1,000 tonnes of coal on its way to Drax power station in Yorkshire. Drax is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and people felt that it was no longer sensible to rely on our government to sort this problem out(as their track record of burying their head in the sand has shown).
The train was stopped by several protestors waving red flags and wearing Hi Viz jackets. This happened on the line destined for Drax. 29 people boarded its roof, and shoveled the coal onto the line. They then dropped a banner saying ‘Leave It in the Ground’. All the correct safety procedures were planned in advance and adhered to minimize the risk of causing harm and disruption to anything other than Drax Power station.
The 29 people who boarded the train were arrested and are now standing trial in Leeds Crown Court. They are charged with ‘Obstructing the railway’ and could face up to 2 years in prison. Their trial started in Leeds, Monday 29 June 2009. The judge has ruled that they are prohibited from using Climate Change as a defence and the judge seems keen not to have a repeat of the Kingnorth 6 trial.
These people need and deserve our support over next couple of weeks. Non Violent direct action is not terrorism and shouldn’t be treated as such. We must protect our right to non violent protest; On a personal note, amongst these people are several much loved Manchester Activists(my friends) and other Climate Camp activists. Please do anything you can to get the word out.
Please invite all your friends to the ‘Friends of the Drax 29’ face book group and post message of support on the wall or go to Leeds Crown Court and peacefully protest(come suited and booted as requested!). They will be sending out updates as the trial proceeds.
If you’re interested, there’s an e-mail list that’s been set up to inform people as to what happens day by day in the drax29 trial; the list is called email@example.com.
To subscribe to it, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org