Endymion
 
  0  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 08:44 am
Mark Steel: How to take on an arms manufacturer - and win

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


A trial took place recently in Belfast that seems to explain how nothing makes any sense. It revolved around a factory owned by the arms company Raytheon, which was set up in Derry soon after the IRA ceasefire. John Hume, who'd just won the Nobel Peace Prize, was among those who announced the opening of the plant, welcoming it as a result of the "peace dividend".

So now the men of violence had agreed to give up their weapons, the area could attract a peaceful company with a turnover of $17bn from making weapons, announced by a man with a prize for bringing peace.

Clearly, while the IRA were decommissioning their arms, most of us misunderstood this process. Because the government reports must have gone, "They possess 100 rifles, 10 RPGs, 7 rockets and a shed full of Semtex. If they want to be taken seriously this isn't nearly enough; they need Tornado bombers and a car park full of tanks - we can't deal with these amateurs."

For example, when Raytheon won a contract to develop a new missile system for the Israelis in 2006, a spokesman boasted they would, "provide all-weather hit-to-kill performance at a tactical missile price". Next they might have adverts that go, "Hurry hurry hurry to the Raytheon springtime sale for lasers, Tasers and civilian-erasers. We'll make flesh sizzle through snow, sleet or drizzle, and without making a casualty of your wallet".

Despite this, the government in Northern Ireland welcomed the new plant, claiming they'd been assured it wouldn't be making weapons. To which a reasonable response would be, "Right - they're a weapons manufacturer. They supplied weapons to, among others, the Indonesian military junta. This might, if you were cynical, suggest they make weapons. Or what do you think they're going to be making - Fairtrade poxy custard!"

Eventually it was admitted that they were developing software for guiding missiles, and so for a while there was a pretence these were being employed for peaceful reasons. Perhaps the systems were being attached to wasps so they could be guided away from picnics.

But then it became clear that they were being used by the Israelis in Lebanon, and one such system guided a missile into a block of flats in Qana, killing 28 people, mostly children. A few days later the local anti-war group, including the journalist and civil rights activist Eamonn McCann, decided to occupy the Raytheon building as a protest. A group of nine got into the plant, and as a gesture they threw a computer or two out of the window.

Eventually around 40 police arrived and, as Eamonn describes, "They smashed through the doors wearing riot gear, many holding perspex shields, some pointing plastic-bullet guns. They inched forward while the officer in command shouted 'Surrender!'. We continued playing cards." And you can imagine this catching on, eventually being shown every night on the Men and Motors channel as Extreme Rummy.

Then came the official outrage - they'd wilfully broken the law, destroyed property etc, etc. So maybe whether an act of destruction is considered illegal or not comes down to the value of the objects destroyed. And computers are worth a fair packet, whereas a house in Qana can probably be picked up for next to nothing, especially with the current housing slump!

Perhaps the activists irritated the authorities by bothering to find out whether Raytheon was actually making these weapons. A more official approach might have been to announce that the local Co-op was making weapons, as proved in a dossier containing snippets from the internet about how the manager had been buying uranium from North Korea and smuggling it in packets of fish fingers, and flatten them instead.

Last year the group travelled to Qana to meet the families of the victims of that missile, and they described the trip, not surprisingly, as the most moving experience of their lives. But while it's all very well feeling compassion for dead civilians, someone has to consider the feelings of those poor computers, so the nine went on trial in Belfast.

But then the case revolved around whether the defendants "held a genuine belief, with reasonable evidence, that their actions were preventing war crimes by Israel". If this could be proved, then it would be established that they acted to curtail a greater crime, and they'd be found innocent. So that's what the jury did and they were free to go. The outcome was so remarkable, you almost dare to imagine a day when Blair and Bush are in a cell with Karadzic, arguing about whose turn it is to slop out.

But mostly, I wonder if, when the computers hit the ground, in their last moments they flickered, "You have performed an illegal operation".
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 11:33 am
That last is a great article, endy.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 11:10 pm
Hi Edgar - very true - i'm starting to have a lot of respect for Mark Steel
Here's more stuff by him
http://www.marksteelinfo.com/writing/default.asp?id=20

And here's some more UK Protest

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/wp-content/photos/0731_06_1.jpg

Published on Thursday, July 31, 2008 by The Guardian/UK
Climate Activists Occupy Proposed Site For Coal-Fired Power Station
by Matthew Taylor

Kingsnorth, England - Climate change activists yesterday occupied the proposed site for Britain's first coal-fired power station in 30 years, claiming the development will cause huge damage to the environment if it goes ahead.

More than 150 protesters descended on the site near the village of Kingsnorth in Kent ahead of next week's Camp for Climate Action, which is expected to attract thousands of environmentalists.

Activist Connor O'Brien said: "The purpose of the climate change camp is to target those businesses and companies who are involved in bringing about destructive climate change. This is the first of six coal-fired power stations being planned in the UK and if they go ahead the impact on the environment will be catastrophic."

The protest started on Sunday when environmentalists gathered at Heathrow airport - the scene of last year's camp - before travelling across London in a "green caravan", stopping off each night to highlight their objections to the proposed power station. The caravan is expected to arrive at Kingsnorth on Sunday along with hundreds of other protesters.

O'Brien said: "We want to make the issue of coal-fired power stations so big and so toxic that they will be widely opposed by the public and it will be impossible for them to go ahead. What we need is properly sustainable solutions."

Medway council in Kent has already given the green light to the £1bn plant, which has been proposed by the German-owned gas and electricity provider E.ON.

The final decision rests with the business secretary, John Hutton, who is expected to make an announcement later this year.

E.ON has argued that the plant will produce power from coal more efficiently and cleanly than ever before in Britain, leading to a cut in carbon emissions of almost 2m tonnes a year. It has also claimed that the plant could help Britain develop carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The project has received the backing of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, which said Medway council had made a "commonsense" decision. But green groups are fiercely opposed to the plans, arguing they are at odds with the government's commitment to reduce emissions by 60% by 2050.

"The claims about new carbon-capture technology … are pure greenwash," said O'Brien. "This camp will draw attention to the science behind these claims and outline real sustainable alternatives."

The group had promised to infiltrate the site by digging under fences, or dropping in by air. One group, dubbing themselves the Great Rebel Raft Regatta, is planning to enter the site on pirate ships and boats.

Protesters said they were planning a "rolling programme" of action against Kingsnorth and said other coal plants would be targeted.

The group is well known for its dramatic protests. In June campaigners halted a coal train outside Drax, Britain's biggest power station, and shovelled its contents on to the line into the plant. More than 20 tonnes of coal blocked the tracks as protesters strung ropes between the train and the girders of a river bridge.

Their concerns have attracted wide support. Some 228 MPs signed an early-day motion calling on the government to hold a public inquiry before deciding whether to consent to the Kingsnorth plant. Actor Robert Redford wrote to the climate camp organisers backing the campaign.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said yesterday that they were monitoring the situation at the Kingsnorth camp.

© 2008 The Guardian
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 10:53 pm
"THIS IS DEMOCRACY"
(A Rage Against The Machine Concert and a Four Mile March)


http://ivaw.org/files/images/jono_080828_dncveteran3_033.preview.jpg

http://ivaw.org/files/images/jono_080828_dncveteran3_027.preview.jpg

About 50 members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) lead approx 4,000 protesters on a four-mile march from the site of a concert by political rock group Rage Against the Machine - to the gates of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday evening, demanding to speak at the podium inside.

They left the packed rock concert at a stadium about four miles northeast of the Democratic National Convention at around 3 p.m. local time. The Iraq war veterans, many in full uniform and chanting in a military cadence, led the procession.

"My buddy's in the foxhole with a bullet in his head,
I called to get the medic, but he's already dead."

The veterans drew cheers from pedestrians and delegates who crowded the sidewalks to watch them as they marched toward the Pepsi Centre.

The vets said they wanted to hold Obama to his promise to end the Iraq war and called for him to pull troops out immediately.

"We're here to hold the Democrat Party accountable," said Jason Hurd, (Iraqi vet)
"We voted them in to end this war. They've not done that. . . . We want our brothers and sisters to come home now, not later. Now."

As they approached the convention site, tensions heightened. Scores of riot police followed them to the barricades that separated the public from the convention site.

Marchers demanded to be allowed to read a letter to the convention from the podium.

"They are running a campaign based on an anti-war platform," said former Marine Lance Cpl. Jeff Key. "We want to send one veteran to read [our] letter from the podium."

Armoured vehicles filled with riot police pulled up as police told a few veterans they could go inside the convention perimeter.
They later emerged and told the waiting crowd of vets and on-lookers that Obama campaign's veterans liaison, Phil Carter, had agreed to meet with them.

The crowd cheered and broke into the protest chant the Obama campaign has adopted: "Yes, we can!"

Then satisfied, the veterans marched off into the night.


http://ivaw.org/files/images/jono_080828_dncveteran3_028.preview.jpg
http://ivaw.org/files/images/jono_080828_dncveteran3_016.preview.jpg

"THIS IS DEMOCRACY" said one veteran to the press.

http://ivaw.org/files/images/jono_080828_dncveteran3_047.preview.jpg

more photos (by Jon Orlando)
http://ivaw.org/dnc/photos
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 06:37 pm
Scenes from St. Paul -- Democracy Now's Amy Goodman arrested


This from Glenn Greenwald - constitutional law and civil rights litigator

(QUOTE) Following up on this weekend's extreme raids on various homes, at least 250 people were arrested here today in St. Paul, Minnesota. Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 -- with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured. I'll have video of the day's events posted shortly.

Perhaps most extraordinarily, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now -- the radio and TV broadcaster who has been a working journalist for close to 20 years -- was arrested on the street and charged with "conspiracy to riot."
(END QUOTE)

Glenn Greenwald Continues.....
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/01/protests/index.html#

I have been truly stunned to hear of Amy Goodman's arrest. Goodman is a well respected journalist and I am just as shocked not to see this story in the mainstream news- although there is coverage on Alternet here

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested at RNC
http://www.alternet.org/rights/97194/amy_goodman_and_two_democracy_now%21_producers_unlawfully_arrested_at_rnc/

Shamefully i've seen nothing in the British press about this.
Sorry Amy

Updates and more info at Democracy Now
http://www.democracynow.org/

********

RNC Raids Have Been Targeting Video Activists

(QUOTE)] This is Eileen Clancy. ... The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms …

... We are asking the public to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman at 651-266-8510 to stop this house arrest, this gross intimidation by police officers, and the detention of media activists and reporters.
(END QUOTE)

http://www.alternet.org/rights/97110/rnc_raids_have_been_targeting_video_activists_/

I don't really know what to say - except i once read something that stays in my mind these days

"If you are afraid to speak out now - then now is the time to do so - because if you are afraid to speak out now - soon you will not be able to."




0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 08:04 pm
Published on Thursday, August 28, 2008 by TruthDig.com
Poverty Is the Real Scandal

by Amy Goodman

DENVER - Former Sen. John Edwards was supposed to speak in Denver at the Democratic National Convention. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was to speak also. Poverty was their focus. But they are not here because John Edwards had an affair. Will the Democrats now forget about poverty?

Chris Chafe is a former senior adviser to the Edwards campaign. He is now the executive director of the Change to Win coalition, the group of unions well known for their early endorsement of Obama. They split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. I asked Chafe about the absence of Edwards and his message at the convention:

"We miss him being here. He is an important voice in our party. ... It is certainly a loss. ... We have to look within ourselves in a moment of crisis when we have somebody of symbolic and strong value and leadership who takes a fall ... we have to continue moving forward with all of the values, strengths, priorities and leadership that he brought to the race, we have to carry that forward ... far beyond this election season."

Change to Win supports the unionization of workers at Wal-Mart. Last month, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Wal-Mart has been warning managers that a Barack Obama victory would lead to unionization. In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings discussing the downside of unionization and told that a vote for Obama is tantamount to inviting unions in. Chafe said: "The company had been holding what we would consider captive-audience meetings where they are on company time, they are paid but they are required to go to meetings. ... This is going beyond the normal routine of intimidation. Now they are trying to deny workers rights at the ballot box, and that is something we felt we could not allow to take place and had to let the world know this is happening in the country's largest employer. ... You are not allowed to tell your employees how they are supposed to vote. It is the most sacred right in our democracy." Change to Win and others have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, challenging Wal-Mart's actions.

During the primaries in the blue-collar battleground states, Obama effectively pointed out that Hillary Clinton served on the Wal-Mart board for six years, implying an anti-worker, anti-union association. Shortly after she dropped out of the race, however, the Obama campaign appointed Jason Furman as a senior economics adviser. Furman has rankled labor activists, writing that the benefits of Wal-Mart's low prices outweigh its low wages. On that appointment, Chafe said, "We've met privately with [Obama] about it, and we've met privately with Jason. The senator brought Jason on to manage the day-to-day war-room operations of their message to illustrate contrast with [John] McCain. ... We made it clear, as did the senator, that there were certainly differences of viewpoint between he and Jason on a series of issues. We believe that Barack Obama has stood firm and clear on our agenda and the [Wal-Mart] workers' agenda."

On low prices trumping low wages, Chafe chafed: "Absolute hogwash ... Wal-Mart gets a pass because they pass along savings, they are passing along poverty. Poverty to workers across the world who are producing their goods. Poverty to the people that are working in their stores representing them who are trying to make a living, many of whom probably have multiple jobs to afford to raise their families. ... You name it, they find every way to cut corners and cut their workers out of their success."

The U.S. Census Bureau released a poverty report on Aug. 26. More than 37 million people are in poverty in the U.S. With Edwards iced out of the discussion, and free-trade economists advising the Obama campaign, the question remains: What of poverty?

Obama's nomination acceptance speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" address. King related poverty and justice: "We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check-a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. ... Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy."

Denis Moynihan contributed to this column.
© 2008 Amy Goodman


http://www.commondreams.org/images2008/0902-0a.jpg

read more about Amy's arrest (see above post) here
http://www.commondreams.org/
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 11 Sep, 2008 11:35 pm
At last - someone with the balls to speak out about the corruption of the BBC

A Murderous Theatre of the Absurd

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger examines news as parody as those prominent in the British media seek to justify the official versions of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

By John Pilger

11/09/08 "ICH" -- - Try to laugh, please. The news is now officially parody and a game for all the family to play.

First question: Why are “we” in Afghanistan? Answer: “To try to help in the country’s rebuilding programme.” Who says so? Huw Edwards, the BBC’s principal newsreader. What wags the Welsh are.

Second question: Why are “we” in Iraq? Answer: To “plant a western-style open democracy”. Who says so? Paul Wood, the former BBC defence correspondent, and his boss Helen Boaden, director of BBC News. To prove her point, Boaden supplied Medialens.org with 2,700 words of quotations from Tony Blair and George W Bush. Irony? No, she meant it.

Take Andrew Martin, divisional adviser at BBC Complaints, who has been researching Bush’s speeches for “evidence” of noble democratic reasons for laying to waste an ancient civilisation. Says he: “The ‘D’ word is not there, but the phrase ‘united, stable and free’ [is] clearly an allusion to it.” After all, he says, the invasion of Iraq “was launched as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’”. Moreover, says the BBC man, “in Bush’s 1 May 2003 speech (the one on the aircraft carrier) he talked repeatedly about freedom and explicitly about the Iraqi transition to democracy . . . These examples show that these were on Bush’s mind before, during and after the invasion.”

Try to laugh, please.

Laughing may be difficult, I agree, given the slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan by “coalition” aircraft, including those directed by British forces engaged in “the country’s rebuilding programme”. The bombing of civilian areas has doubled, along with the deaths of civilians, says Human Rights Watch. Last month, “our” aircraft slaughtered nearly 100 civilians, two-thirds of them children between the ages of three months and 16 years, while they slept, according to eyewitnesses. BBC television news initially devoted nine seconds to the Human Rights Watch report, and nothing to the fact that “less than peanuts” (according to an aid worker) is being spent on rebuilding anything in Afghanistan.

As for the notion of a “united, stable and free” Iraq, consider the no-bid contracts handed to the major western oil companies for ownership of Iraq’s oil. “Theft” is a more truthful word. Written by the companies themselves and US officials, the contracts have been signed off by Bush and Nouri al-Maliki, “prime minister” of Iraq’s “democratic” government that resides in an air-conditioned American fortress. This is not news.

Try to laugh, please, while you consider the devastation of Iraq’s health, once the best in the Middle East, by the ubiquitous dust from British and US depleted uranium weapons. A World Health Organisation study reporting a cancer epidemic has been suppressed, says its principal author. This has been reported in Britain only in the Glasgow Sunday Herald and the Morning Star. According to a study last year by Basra University Medical College, almost half of all deaths in the contaminated southern provinces were caused by cancer.

Try to laugh, please, at the recent happy-clappy Nurembergs from which will come the next president of the United States. Those paid to keep the record straight have strained to present a spectacle of choice. Barack Obama, the man of “change”, wants to “build a 21st-century military . . . to stay on the offensive everywhere”. Here comes the new Cold War, with promises of more bombs, more of the militarised society with its 730 bases worldwide, on which Americans spend 42 cents of every tax dollar.

At home, Obama offers no authentic measure that might ease America’s grotesque inequality, such as basic health care. John McCain, his Republican opponent, may well be a media cartoon figure " the fake “war hero” now joined with a Shakespeare-banning, gun-loving, religious fanatic " yet his true significance is that he and Obama share essentially the same dangerous prescriptions.

Thousands of decent Americans came to the two nominating conventions to express the dissenting opinion of millions of their compatriots who believe, with good cause, that their democracy is evaporating. They were intimidated, arrested, beaten, pepper-gassed; and they were patronised or ignored by those paid to keep the record straight.

In the meantime, Justin Webb, the BBC’s North America editor, has launched a book about America, his “city on a hill”. It is a sort of Mills & Boon view of the rapacious system he admires with such obsequiousness. The book is called Have a Nice Day.

Try to laugh, please.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 12:47 am
Other interests of mine

Afghanistan
http://able2know.org/topic/82057-10#post-3394546

Pakistan
http://able2know.org/topic/122097-1#post-3398317

Venezuela
http://able2know.org/topic/122066-1#post-3398990

World floods
http://able2know.org/topic/122112-1#post-3397453
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:03 am
YES! It has happened again Smile

http://www.commondreams.org/files/article_images/Greenpeace6.jpg
Huw Williams, Kevin Drake, Ben Stewart, Tim Hewke, Emily Hall and Will Rose (L-R) outside Maidstone Crown Court. (Photograph: Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace)

Published on Thursday, September 11, 2008 by The Independent/UK
Cleared! Jury Decides That Threat of Global Warming Justifies Breaking The Law

by Michael McCarthy

The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.

Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage - such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.

The not-guilty verdict, delivered after two days and greeted with cheers in the courtroom, raises the stakes for the most pressing issue on Britain's green agenda and could encourage further direct action.

Kingsnorth was the centre for mass protests by climate camp activists last month. Last year, three protesters managed to paint Gordon Brown's name on the plant's chimney. Their handi-work cost £35,000 to remove.

The plan to build a successor to the power station is likely to be the first of a new generation of coal-fired plants. As coal produces more of the carbon emissions causing climate change than any other fuel, campaigners claim that a new station would be a disastrous setback in the battle against global warming, and send out a negative signal to the rest of the world about how serious Britain really is about tackling the climate threat.

But the proposals, from the energy giant E.ON, are firmly backed by the Business Secretary, John Hutton, and the Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks. Some members of the Cabinet are thought to be unhappy about them, including the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn. Mr Brown is likely to have the final say on the matter later this year.

During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed to the Prime Minister personally to "take a leadership role" in cancelling the plan and scrapping the idea of a coal-fired future for Britain. Last December he wrote to Mr Brown with a similar appeal. At the trial, he called for an moratorium on all coal-fired power stations, and his hour-long testimony about the gravity of the climate danger, which painted a bleak picture, was listened to intently by the jury of nine women and three men.

Professor Hansen, who first alerted the world to the global warming threat in June 1988 with testimony to a US senate committee in Washington, and who last year said the earth was in "imminent peril" from the warming atmosphere, asserted that emissions of CO2 from Kings-north would damage property through the effects of the climate change they would help to cause.

He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine, who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.

The acquittal was the second time in a decade that the "lawful excuse" defence has been successfully used by Greenpeace activists. In 1999, 28 Greenpeace campaigners led Lord Melchett, who was director at the time, were cleared of criminal damage after trashing an experimental field of GM crops in Norfolk. In each case the damage was not disputed - the point at issue was the motive.

The defendants who scaled the 630ft chimney at Kingsnorth, near Hoo, last year were Huw Williams, 41, from Nottingham; Ben Stewart, 34, from Lyminge, Kent; Kevin Drake, 44, from Westbury, Wiltshire; Will Rose, 29, from London; and Emily Hall, 34, from New Zealand. Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe, Kent, helped organise the protest.

The court heard how, dressed in orange boiler suits and white hard hats bearing the Greenpeace logo, the six-strong group arrived at the site at 6.30am on 8 October. Armed with bags containing abseiling gear, five of them scaled the chimney while Mr Hewke waited below to liaise between the climbers and police.

The climbers had planned to paint "Gordon, bin it" in huge letters on the side of the chimney, but although they succeeded in temporarily shutting the station, they only got as far as painting the word "Gordon" on the chimney before they descended, having been threatened with a High Court injunction. Removing the graffiti cost E.ON £35,000, the court heard.

During the trial the defendants said they had acted lawfully, owing to an honestly held belief that their attempt to stop emissions from Kingsnorth would prevent further damage to properties worldwide caused by global warming. Their aim, they said, was to rein back CO2 emissions and bring urgent pressure to bear on the Government and E.ON to changes policies. They insisted their action had caused the minimum amount of damage necessary to close the plant down and constituted a "proportionate response" to the increasing environmental threat.

Speaking outside court after being cleared yesterday, Mr Stewart said: "This is a huge blow for ministers and their plans for new coal-fired power stations. It wasn't only us in the dock, it was the coal-fired generation as well. After this verdict, the only people left in Britain who think new coal is a good idea are John Hutton and Malcolm Wicks. It's time the Prime Minister stepped in, showed some leadership and embraced the clean energy future for Britain."

He added: "This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement. When a jury of normal people say it is legitimate for a direct action group to shut down a coal-fired power station because of the harm it does to our planet, then where does that leave Government energy policy? We have the clean technologies at hand to power our economy. It's time we turned to them instead of coal."

Ms Hall said: "The jury heard from the most distinguished climate scientist in the world. How could they ignore his warnings and reject his leading scientific arguments?"
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 07:42 am
@Endymion,
Endy-

What do the Kingsnorth Six do for a living?
Endymion
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 08:04 am
@spendius,
No idea
The woman is from New Zealand - maybe she shears sheep
Who cares?
I was never expecting this verdict - and i don't think they were either - the media certainly were not.
It says more about the state of the environment than any statement by any scientist.
A part of me is happy to see them walk free - but another part of me is thinking shiiit.
If the threat of global warming is so great that a court of law found these campaigners justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, maybe what they do for a living isn't the question we should be asking.

Also - i've done a bit of climbing in the past, but not able anymore - i kind of envy them their commitment and audacity.


spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 08:07 am
@Endymion,
I was wondering if their own jobs and leisure activities were contributing to carbon emissions. And the jury's too.
Endymion
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 09:13 am
@spendius,
lol

no doubt

just like the rest of us humans

just wondering were you? And what else were you wondering? Hmmm?






0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 09:35 am
@Endymion,
I wonder if a higher court is able to overrule that verdict?
Endymion
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 09:50 am
@edgarblythe,
i don't know that either
but the more i think about it the more incredible it seems

Quote:
During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed to the Prime Minister personally to "take a leadership role" in cancelling the plan and scrapping the idea of a coal-fired future for Britain. Last December he wrote to Mr Brown with a similar appeal. At the trial, he called for an moratorium on all coal-fired power stations, and his hour-long testimony about the gravity of the climate danger, which painted a bleak picture, was listened to intently by the jury of nine women and three men.

Professor Hansen, who first alerted the world to the global warming threat in June 1988 with testimony to a US senate committee in Washington, and who last year said the earth was in "imminent peril" from the warming atmosphere, asserted that emissions of CO2 from Kings-north would damage property through the effects of the climate change they would help to cause.

He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine, who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.


Anyone who takes this to a higher court will have to prove Hansen wrong in order to win their case.... impossible, surely
This one is going into the history books

spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 11:12 am
@Endymion,
You'll have to make allowances for Ed. He has me on Ignore so you might have to repeat something I've said just for his benefit. The silly sod.

He's a scientist who think hypotheses should be rigorously tested except those he holds to.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 11:15 am
@Endymion,
Isn't flying from America a greater crime?

spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 11:26 am
@spendius,
Quote:
Miss Widdecombe, in whose constituency the power station is sited, drew a parallel with her own anti-abortion views.
Protest: The group scaled the chimney at Kingsnorth power station and painted 'Gordon' on it

'This verdict strikes me as ludicrous,' she said.

'The law says that the power station can operate - therefore it's quite ridiculous to argue that you can cause criminal damage to it because you don't like it and say that justifies your actions.

'On that basis, I can go and damage any abortion clinic. Of course I'm not going to, but there's no stopping people once you allow that sort of defence.

'This decision will give a green light to other protesters, and I hope the attorney general does something about it.'

The incident took place at the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent last October, when the Greenpeace team scaled a 656ft tower and began painting the slogan 'Gordon, bin it' in a bid to persuade the Prime Minister to close the redeveloped facility.

They succeeded in shutting down the power station temporarily but only got as far as painting the word 'Gordon' before they were threatened with a High Court injunction and stopped their protest.

The activists included Greenpeace employees Ben Stewart, 34, of Lyminge, Kent, Emily Hall, 34, of London, and Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe Kent, along with mountain rescue expert Huw Williams, 41, of Nottingham, climbing professional Kevin Drake, 44, from Westbury, Wiltshire, and photographer William Rose, 29, from London.


I can tell you Yanks that if Ann says it's "ludicrous" that's enough for me.

Anyway--there you have a guide to their occupations.

Threatened with a High Court injunction were they? Gee. Not much bottle.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 11:34 am
@spendius,
Quote:
Under current legislation the defendant has a right of appeal at the end of the trial against both conviction and sentence but the prosecution has no equivalent right of appeal against an acquittal, whether the result of a jury’s decision or a judge’s ruling that has the effect of bringing the trial to an early end.


It is possible, I think, for the Crown Prosecution Service to bring another charge. Conduct unbecoming say or likely to cause a breach of the peace.

And I think they could be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Endymion
 
  0  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 01:37 pm
@spendius,
yeah well you should know

Bitter ain't ya?
 

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