Home | Friday 31st October 2008 | Issue 653
Protests against the Shipley open-cast coal mine continued this Monday (27th) as protesters and the weather combined forces to halt the first stages of coal excavation. The morning’s digging was late starting due to rain, and Earth First! activists took over at 1pm for three hours of interruption. The digger drivers themselves were said to be glad of the extended break as UK Coal likes them to do eleven-and-a-half hour shifts with minimal rest times.
Apparently the police vehicle couldn’t get across the mud at the site so they hitched a ride with UK Coal workers. Once there, they were more interested in getting protesters’ details and photos than making arrests, quoting the ‘Aggravated Trespass’ section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act - meaning that protesters risk arrest if they return within three months.
Also on Monday, one of the protesters arrested when Bodge House was evicted in August (see SchNEWS 643) had their charges of Aggravated Trespass thrown out of court. The site was squatted for two months – with tunnels and a tower made of scaffold, in protest against the proposed open-cast coal mine. The judge at Derby Youth Court said that the prosecution didn’t have the evidence to support its case.
* For more see www.leaveitintheground.org.uk