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Police Prevent Essential Supplies From Reaching Activists

Brad Day | 31.08.2006 15:46 | Climate Camp 2006 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Repression

During Climate Camp's Day of Mass Action at Drax Power Station fellow activists attempted to get water and food to dehydrated activists stood on the perimeter fence. However, police refused access to the nessecery footpath meaning the supplies couldn't reach them. It demonstrates the heavily unreasonable police presence during the whole camp.

Many of Climate Change Activists set off to Drax power station on mass on the morning of the 31st of August. They initially took a complex route, in order to confuse police actions, meaning they were trecking over fences and across many rough and muddy fields. The police presence was large but calm, but the route exhausting. Food and Water supplies quickly dried up and the group radioed the camp requesting some be sent down as soon as possible. A small group of people walked down from the camp carrying the required supplies. As they reached the footpath directly leading to the activists' whereabouts they were greeted by an overwhelming array of a dozen police vans and many bored looking officers wandering aimlessly.

The small group of water carriers approached the police in a friendly manner explaining honestly the reason for their visit. However the police were very blunt in their insistence that the public right of way had been closed for the day. This was apparently under Section 14, a rare law that means people are unable to access certain areas. It was implemented to avoid protesters reaching the perimeter fence and gaining access to the power station. However, the protesters had already reached the perimenter fence by outwitting the police. Upon arriving at the police point, the water carriers attempted to reason with the police and explain that they were going to return straight after the water was delivered. They even went as far as offering to be accompanied by a police escort. It was unbelievable that the police did not except this proposal. Not only would it have worked in their favour, in terms of finding out the location of the activists, but by refusing they were failing in their duty to secure the safety of all citizens. They claimed to be keeping the peace, but the water carriers offered no obstruction to peace as their only concern was to ensure the safety of fellow activists.

One of the water carriers felt so strongly about the stupity of the situation that she attempted to cross the police line. However, despite only attempting to cross peacefully, she was promptly arrested for Breaching the Peace. The individual officers, from my perspective, were not being unduly forceful and remained calm. However the whole situation stunk of an over-centralised police operation where the high commanders in the institution were having little regard for sense of community or civil liberties.

This has been a common theme of the police's approach this week. Even some of the police on the ground have admitted the futility of some of the orders placed on them. The operation has been excessively massive and has wasted masses of public money that could have been spent on wind farms or alievating poverty. The police officers were correct in their analysis that they were only obeying orders. However, such orders were completely inappropiate and mostly irrelevant. The main point of this camp for me is to reach people and welcome them on board in the fight against places like Drax and Climate Change. The camp has put a lot of focus into being warm to visitors and offer them a chance to learn and be inspired. However, the first thing visitors to the camp recieve is masses of police taking their picture, searching them and viewing them with suspicion. It implies Climate Change is only a movement for criminals, and nothing could be further from the truth. If the government is so worried about our direct action then maybe it could respond by putting in place the long term changes needed to prevent Climate Chaos.

Brad Day
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Display the following 3 comments

  1. Policing of environmental politics — Tom Hellberg
  2. ?? — ??
  3. arresting details — Cleanairplease