Skip to content or view screen version

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
- e-mail:


Hide the following 3 comments

Policing of environmental politics

31.08.2006 18:11

Totally agree, Brad - I would hate to do a job where I had to follow such orders. The point is made!

Tom Hellberg
- Homepage: http://tom@ecoworriers.ord


01.09.2006 02:21

Food and water supplies quickly dried up, the route was exhausting.... the camp was thirty minutes walk behind the PowerStation!!! What’s wrong with you people you exaggerate every situation, we have 2000 protesters coming, no wait a minute we really only have 600. Were going to close Drax down, or hang on were just going to lock on to some lighting towers completely non essential to the system. How can you ever expect to achieve credibility when everything is so over the top. Like it's wrong that police were present in such large numbers and the tax payers should be angry about this....... I hate to have to tell you this but I'm a tax payer and I'd rather pay them to do what they have done and go home to a house where my lights and heating work than let you bunch of loons run round a 4000MW PowerStation threatening supplies. The police told you that the right of way had been closed under section 14, then shock and horror when you ignore them they arrest you for it, what did you expect?


arresting details

02.09.2006 19:01

Dear ??
Just so you know, no charges were brought against the person arrested as they had broken no law - yet another 'false arrest'. People have to stand up to these cops as they are making up the rules as they go along,
As for going back to your uninterrupted life of power consumption, I understand that your feelings come from ignorance and fear. I hope you are able to grasp the seriousness of our situation before your house is swept away in a hurricane or flood. And when your grandchildren ask you what YOU did to stop climate chaos, I wonder what you will answer...