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Coal Train Bail-Breaker Prison Address

Milan Rai Peace News co-editor | 06.08.2008 18:42 | Climate Camp 2008 | Climate Chaos | Repression

Address of Paul Morozzo, in prison until 11 August (at least), for trying to participate in Climate Camp. Plus an article about the Drax Coal Train bail-breakers' mostly successful attempt to get to Climate Camp openly defying their bail conditions. Plus a link for a short film about the bail-breaking.

1) First Climate activist to be imprisoned in UK - prison address - please write to Paul
2) Bail-breakers short film on YouTube -
3) Article about the bail-breaking on Monday 4 August - why were they let in?


1) First Climate activist to be imprisoned in UK

Paul Morozzo, 41, one of 29 people to occupy and partially empty a coal train heading to Drax power station in Yorkshire (13 June), was arrested attempting to enter Climate Camp on Monday 4 August.

He was arrested for openly breaking the bail conditions imposed on him by the police after the coal train action, which banned him (and the other 28) from going onto the Hoo peninsula near Chatham, Kent, where both Climate Camp and the Kingsnorth coal power station are located.

Six other open bail-breakers made it into the Camp, despite a complete lack of disguises or deceit - and despite telling the media and the police they were coming.

Before arriving at the site, Paul Morozzo said to a reporter: "I'm pretty nervous about being arrested because I've never been to prison. It will be bad but the worst thing about being arrested will be that I won't get to go to an event that I have been planning for a long time. This is one of the most important issues of our generation and it's vital that we are allowed to discuss it. It's tragic that the police seem to want to stop that."

He added: "It just shows the tragic level of authoritarianism when the police are cracking down on a group of people who simply want to get together to discuss the most important issue facing the world."

Paul is now in Wandsworth Prison, where he will remain until a hearing on 11 August. He may then be released as Climate Camp will be over.

Please write to him:

Paul Morozzo
HMP Wandsworth
PO Box 757
Heathfield Road
SW18 3HS


2) Bail-breakers short film on YouTube

I made a 7-minute film for Peace News on YouTube:

It includes "how police search you going into Climate Camp" and "how to challenge the police firmly but politely". And some explanation from two bail-breakers as to why they're doing it.


3) Article about the bail-breaking on Monday 4 August

And here's an article I wrote for the Peace News website (for links, see )

----- Coal train bailbreakers openly enter Climate Camp -----

Amid scenes of police confusion, six protestors banned from the Camp for Climate Action in Kent openly crossed police lines to enter the camp yesterday - accompanied by Peace News and reporters from the mainstream media. One campaigner, Paul Morozzo, 41, was arrested as he waited to enter the camp.

The seven were among 29 activists who, on 13 June, peacefully halted and occupied a coal train on its way to the Drax power station in Yorkshire. Their bail conditions forbid the activists from entering the Hoo peninsula in Kent where the Kingsnorth coal power station and the Camp for Climate Action are located.

Despite this ban, five of the coal train protestors - Mel Evans, Paul Morozzo, Ellen Potts, Oli Rodker and Jonathan Stevenson - wrote to the Guardian just days before Climate Camp officially started to publicly announce their intention to break their bail conditions and risk imprisonment.

They stated that at 3pm on Monday 4 August they would openly breach their bail conditions.

According to a report in the Independent, as they approached nearby Chatham on the train the protestors rang ahead to warn the local police commander of their impending arrival.

Accompanied by reporters from Chatham train station onwards, the five protestors, accompanied by two other previously-unidentified bail-breakers, took the bus to Hoo, the nearest town to Climate Camp, and walked half a mile to a police checkpoint where they were searched, but allowed through.

Further down the lane, the seven were among around 40 protestors stopped by police just outside one of the entrances of the camp. After ten minutes, police re-opened the gate and most of the bail-breakers were allowed to enter - despite their names being checked on a police database. They were greeted with cheers from those inside.

Only two bail-breakers remained outside the camp when the police suddenly closed the gate again, and a new group of police officers arrived. Though the new arrivals were suspected by some of the activists present of being a "Forward Intelligence Team", or specialised anti-activist surveillance unit, the officers carried little in the way of cameras or video equipment.

After 20 minutes of inactivity and some apparent confusion, the police surrounded Paul Morozzo and - after another 10 minutes waiting - arrested him and placed him in a van. Another activist, who refused to give her name to the police, was also (wrongly) arrested as a bail-breaker.

Having secured these two arrests, the police re-opened the gate, and the waiting activists, visitors and food supplies were finally permitted to enter Climate Camp - along with the remaining coal train bail-breaker.

Why were they let in?

There were many perplexed explanations flying around as the coal train bail-breakers made their way slowly down the lane towards Climate Camp.

The mystery only deepened after the seven bail-breakers were stopped and searched at a police checkpoint on the boundaries of the camp - and allowed through.

Was it because the police did not want the media to witness the arrests? Or was it because they had changed their minds after all, and decided to allow the coal train activists into the area? These theories were disproven later by the arrest of Paul Marozzo, photographed by several snappers.

The activists made no attempt to hide who they were. They had publicly announced their intention to risk imprisonment by breaking the ban on attending Climate Camp. They'd rung up the police on the way to the camp.

They were accompanied by over a dozen journalists who were quite clearly circling around - and documenting the progress of - the seven bail-breakers. They were posing together as a group for the photographers - in plain view of the police at the checkpoint.

Nevertheless, they reached the very edge of the camp before finally being stopped.

Why had they been allowed through to this point? Things became a little clearer after a legal observer challenged the officer in command at the scene. The inspector explained that she believed a crime would be committed if certain individuals were permitted into Climate Camp, and that therefore she was holding all the people (and quite a lot of vegetables) at the gate until she could identify the relevant people.

So the police had misunderstood the bail conditions, thinking that it banned the coal train activists from the camp, when it actually banned them from the entire Hoo peninsula.

That explained why the protestors hadn't been stopped while walking down the lane, or even at the police checkpoint. The police hadn't thought they were doing anything forbidden at that point.

It's not entirely clear why some bail-breakers who allowed through in the first wave. Clearly they were not identified either by description or by name by the police on the gate.

When the police arrested only one of the two remaining bail-breakers, and mis-arrested a young woman as a suspected bail-breaker, it was clear that despite several days of warning the police leadership had provided very limited intelligence for officers on the ground to help them identify the banned coal train activists, or even just the five publicly-declared bail-breakers.

It seems the police - all 1,400 of them (according to reports) - were just overwhelmed by the challenge of policing one of Europe's largest and most creative protest events.

Minor media misreports

It is hardly news that the mainstream media misreports events. The arrival of the coal train bail-breakers gives just another, almost trivial example of misreporting.

The Guardian, which carried the original letter from the five announcing their intention to break their bail conditions, wrote :

"A climate change protester was arrested yesterday for breaching his bail conditions by attending the climate camp at the Kingsnorth power station in Kent.

"Paul Morrozzo, 41, was identified and arrested by police at the camp gates. Another protester who was not breaching bail but who refused to identify herself was also removed. After a long standoff four more protesters on bail were let into the camp amid cheers and chants of 'break your bail' from the crowds."

It's a minor problem caused by the need for brevity no doubt (perhaps a subeditor's intervention): but most of the bail-breakers were allowed into the camp before Paul Morozzo was arrested. The problem is that it looks from this account as if the police knowingly allowed the other bail-breakers into the camp, which patently was not the case.

The Independent wrote:

"Mr Morozzo, 41, was arrested after being identified as a bail-breaker but the other four managed to sneak inside the camp despite the police sealing off the perimeter and holding identity checks. Another man was arrested at the time."

The four didn't "sneak" inside. They entered openly, accompanied by journalists, with at least one of them giving his name at the gate to the camp. And the other suspected bail-breaker arrested along with Paul was a woman (though there may well have been an arrest of a man at the same time).

The Telegraph, the Financial Times and The Times ignored the bail-breaking story completely.

Milan Rai Peace News co-editor
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suspected FIT team

07.08.2008 09:48

"Though the new arrivals were suspected by some of the activists present of being a "Forward Intelligence Team", or specialised anti-activist surveillance unit, the officers carried little in the way of cameras or video equipment."

They were a FIT team, you can often easily identify them by their blue-and-yellow 'public order' jackets, and occasional furtive dips into their extracts of the Operation Oasis Protester Database - holding little booklets very close to their chests, often in huddles.

Cops with cameras and video equipment at demonstrations are not always FIT, as in some forces (like Kent) the roles of evidence gathering and forward intelligence are split, in others (like the Met) the complicated work of pointing a camera is left to civilian photographers accompanied by FIT officers.

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