114 people from Nottingham were arrested on 13th April under conspiracy to commit criminal damage and aggravated trespass during a protest at a local power station. The pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners comprised 200 police officers from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and British Transport Police.
The environmental activist group, Climate Camp, is thought to have been behind the alleged plot – the latest in a series of carefully-planned protests. Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, located 8 miles southwest of Nottingham, is coal-fired and provides energy for about 2 million people. It is owned by E.ON, an energy company long targeted by climate campaigners.
The group have previously instigated protests at other power stations, including Drax in West Yorkshire and Kingsnorth in Kent, both involving around 600 people. They were also prominent in the demonstration against the building of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, where 2000 people attended a weeklong camp a few hundred metres away from the operating terminal. Started in August 2006, the group’s primary aim is to, “kick-start a social movement to tackle climate change.” Climate Camp also had a strong presence at the recent demonstrations for the London Summit of the G20.
Although not involved, fellow campaigners Eastside Climate Action condoned the action, stating “Ratcliffe is the third biggest single source of CO2 in the country; it has got to be closed down if we are serious about climate change.”
The majority of those arrested have now been released on bail.