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Coal Train Blockaders Get Their Day In Court

Trainee | 13.08.2010 20:07 | Climate Chaos | Social Struggles | World

We received conditional discharges and restraining orders away from the mine and the power station. Four people were ordered to pay compensation costs to Miller Argent, the company who owns the mine, The judge acknowledged that the action had been carried out carefully to ensure there would be no danger to anyone.

[For immediate release]

Ffos y Fran coal train blockaders sentenced
10 July 2010

13 people who literally put their necks on the line blockading the railway at Ffos y Fran, the largest opencast coal mine in the UK, were sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court today, Friday 13th August. (1) Climate activists from Bristol and Bath Rising Tide chained themselves to the railway on April 26th to stop a train carrying coal from the mine to Aberthaw power station. Extensive safety measures were taken to ensure there would be no danger to anyone. (2)

After lengthy mitigation dealing with the urgent and immediate threat of climate crisis to the global south and the shambolic trampling of local community rights tied up in the "land reclamation scheme" (reclaimed from the community for profit?), all were given 2-year conditional discharges as well as restraining orders for the Ffos-y-Fran mine and the Aberthaw power station that it supplies coal to.

A spokesperson for Rising Tide said, “Opencast mining trashes the landscape, contributes massively to climate change and threatens the health of local people. We need to leave coal in the ground, and that's why we put our necks on the line to stop a coal train.”

“With their hands in the pockets of corporations, it's not surprising that governments failed us at the Copenhagen climate summit. We can't rely on their false solutions anymore. It's up to ordinary people taking direct action to stop climate chaos. Fossil fuel extraction devastates communities and is being resisted around the world, from opencast mining in Merthyr to tar sands oil in Alberta, Canada.”

300,000 people, mostly those living in the global south, are already dying each year from the effects of climate change. (3)

There has been a long campaign opposing Ffos y Fran mine by local residents and climate activists alike. (4) Last August, Climate Camp Cymru set up near the site for a week of sustainable living and direct action training. This year’s action-based camp was set up simultaneously with the sentencing near Nant Helen and Seler opencast mines, elsewhere in south Wales.(5)

Notes for editors

1. Initial charges of Obstruction of the Railway with Intent, which carries a maximum sentence of life, have been dropped. 13 pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Obstruction of the Railway, while all charges against 5 others have been dropped.
2. A full report of the action can be found at -
3. Global Humanitarian Forum report -
4. Residents Against Ffos y Fran -
5. Climate Camp Cymru -



Photos from outside court

14.08.2010 00:50

One of the local campaigners who turned up in support
One of the local campaigners who turned up in support

As did 4 cop cars, 2 horses and a helicopter
As did 4 cop cars, 2 horses and a helicopter

Mr Miller Argent spouting rubbish
Mr Miller Argent spouting rubbish

and again, just before he lost it
and again, just before he lost it




Display the following 6 comments

  1. Amazing! — anon
  2. Early media — Trainee
  3. (3) is outdated and known to be madeup bollox — auditor
  4. @ auditor — jigsaw
  5. jigsaw — auditor
  6. rubbish dump — by auditor