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Agrofuels blockaders ‘unconditionally discharged’

Anti-agrofuels campaigner | 22.08.2008 21:01 | Climate Camp 2008 | Climate Chaos | Ecology

Yesterday (21st August), four protesters were convicted of ‘willfully obstructing a public highway’ and sentenced with an ‘unconditional discharge’ under the Highways Act (1) in Gray’s Magistrate’s Court’s, Essex.

The four protesters, together with another four, locked-on the road entrance to the Vopak Terminal in Essex, blocking the road and preventing tankers from entering or leaving . Another 4 climbed up a blended diesel silo to hang an agrofuels banner that advertised the climate camp.

The Vopak terminal is the biggest supplier of agrofuels in the South-East of England; distributors Tesco and Greenergy (2) supply fuel stations in the South East with blended diesel. A tanker filled with a diesel and agrofuel mix leaves the terminal every 3 minutes.

The protesters caused the terminal to be closed until 12.30pm, successfully causing massive disruption to the operation of the terminal, with no tankers entering or leaving during this time.

Police tried to clear the blockade with too few officers and did not wait from the cutting team. This resulted in the use of excessive force carried out on protesters even after the blockade had been cleared.

The magistrates (3) made the stereotypical distinction between “lawful and unlawful” protesting, warning the protesters to continue protesting peacefully, apparently acknowledging that this is not their last action.

(1) Section 137(1), Highways Act 1980.
(2) Tesco and Greenergy biofuels are produced from massive monocultures of palm-oil, soya and sugar cane. Greenergy Fuels claims to be the UK’s largest biofuel supplier, while Tesco claim to be the market leader in the sale of biofuels.
(3) Two males and one female, all white.

*Links to the media coverage of Agrofuels Actions in August 2008*


Overview and interviews from VisionTV at the Climate Camp.

Good ITV report

Short piece at end of longer piece about policing.

Preview and Cargill protest.

Almuth Ernsting's Biofuel workshop from Climate Camp 2007


Excellent summary of the action and why it was undertaken by Dean Rivers

News Websites

Some photos of the action


BBC website


Anti-agrofuels campaigner