Monday, 17 August 2009

Climate Camp over say police. People feel used and abandoned say protestors

FURTHER to our story on Saturday about the Climate Camp near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales Police have told us that the protest is now over and their officers have stood down.

Climate Campers and environmentalists, set-up a campsite on Wednesday last week near the Ffos y Ffran open-cast mine in Merthyr Tydfil and, disbanded the campsite today: Monday, August 17.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Croft of South Wales Police said:

“In total, approximately 200 protesters made up the campsite, which was a peaceful event where banners were displayed and workshops and group discussions took place in relation to being environmentally friendly.

“The first action of protest took place on Saturday, August 15, when approximately 100 protesters spontaneously left the campsite to undertake a peaceful protest to demonstrate at the Ffos Y Fran site.

“To facilitate the protest and to ensure the safety of the protesters, officers were deployed to escort the march up to the Kinseys farm area.

“A section 12 public order notice was served on the protesters preventing them proceeding further on the route for their own safety and the safety of others using the busy roadway.

“A small number of protesters, despite several police warnings, continued to move forward. One male person, despite the warnings, continued with his action and was bitten by a police dog to his left arm. This person was arrested for breaching the section 12 conditions.

“A large number of protesters conducted a sit-down protest and a minority of people persisted in their desire to continue the march, in contravention of the section 12 public order notice, and were prevented from doing so.

“A short time later, all of the protesters returned to the campsite; escorted by officers to ensure their safety.

“Following this incident, officers continued to facilitate a peaceful protest to ensure local residents and businesses could go about their day-to-day activity without disruption.

“We set out to police this event, in a manner which reflected the needs of the protesters to lawfully protest, set against the rights of the businesses and local community to go about their normal business. We are pleased that we achieved this aim and were able to avoid scenes in trend at other protests in the UK.

“South Wales Police would like to thank the local residents and businesses for their patience and support over the last six days.”

Yesterday, Climate Camp protestor Jill Lloyd, told Wales Online:
“This action wasn’t planned at the start of the camp, but we feel it is important to show our opposition to the mine with a ‘climate stroll’ to symbolically reclaim the land for the community.

“The story is the same everywhere — people feel abandoned and used. Their hillside is being ripped apart, a massive incinerator is proposed and a third phase of this monstrous coal mine is now on the horizon, with plans to destroy the peaceful wooded hillside opposite.”

Photograph: Copyright Amelia Gregory


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