Protesters inspired by the success of the occupation of Lord Ridley’s opencast mine continued a wave of direct actions by storming the site of a new gas fired power station this morning.
The activists, from the campaign group Reclaim the Power, blockaded the construction site of the Carrington Gas Fired Power Station in Salford, to the north west of Manchester, from about 7am today.
The action is part of “Groundswell” – a year of protests planned by climate change activists to put pressure on government and industry “to keep fossil fuels in the ground in 2016.”
The protest is a manifestation of the frustration frontline activists felt at the deal struck in Paris last December by the COP21 climate conference, which was not legally binding.
A spokesperson for the occupiers said in a press statement: “As the flood waters rise yet again across the country we have to stop pretending that runaway climate change is nothing to do with these destructive industries.”
“Gas is a fossil fuel. If the vast government subsidies for this station were invested in solar and wind, this could provide thousands more jobs and a real solution to the energy crisis.”
The protest near Manchester will likely cause some concern for Banks Group, the mining company working at Lord Ridley’s estate in Northumberland, who would have hoped the protest last October – which cost the company £100,000 – was a one-off event.
There are two gas power stations planned for the area. The occupiers have taken over the Carrington Power site. The site will be operated by Carrington Power Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ESB which in turn is the state owned electricity company of Ireland. It will be built by Alstom and DF Energy.
The second, run by Carlton Power, is currently seeking further funding before development will take place, according to the protest group. Carlton Power plans to build a £950 million combined cycle power station, which it intends to call Trafford Power, to generate 1520 megawatts of electricity, according to reports from 2000. The plan was approved by the Department of Energy and Climate change.
The station is among 14 being planned and built across the country. The activist’s statement continued: “The government’s persistence on fossil fuel extraction stems from the same lack of democracy that has allowed increased social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond.”
A second demonstration billed as part of the Groundswell campaign is also due to take place today at Upton, in the north west, in solidarity with the “community protection camp”.
“We’re inspired by the anti-fracking communities in Upton who have been holding an entire industry at nay for more than three years,” the statement added.
Picture: Reclaim the Power No Dash For Gas.