The recent demonstration by Greenpeace at Kingsnorth Power station against the proposed new coal fired replacement included the painting of GORDON down the side of one of the smokestacks.
The demonstrators – the Kingsnorth 6 – were taken to court charged with causing £30,000 worth of criminal damage. They admitted the damage but claimed that in building the coal fired power station, there would be more damage caused due to climate change!
They were acquited by the jury!
This is a really important court case in that a British court has agreed that coal fired power stations cause damage to the environment.
Where doe sthat put Britain’s power station building programme? A court has said they are damaging and in a very real sense have given a green light to direct action to prevent building them!
Is direct and potentially damaging action justified?
Back in the 1970’s, there was a campaign SELFA, “Stop the Export of Live Food Animals”. It involved a huge campaign supported by the RSPCA of leafleting, balloting MPS, public information, everything apart from demonstrations. As a lad I accompanied my father on visits to Westminster, many many days giving out leaflets to the public. It achieved nothing! In the 1980s there was a short sharp campaign which involved demonstrations that shut Dover docks and required significant police action! It worked, the trade was significantly diminished and remains so.