Action Consensus – End Coal Now 2016
On 3rd May 2016, Reclaim the Power is hosting a mass trespass at Ffos-y-fran opencast mine near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. The invitation to join is open to anyone who can envision a cleaner, fairer future beyond coal, and who wants to take action to stop the expansion of opencast coal in Wales.
For nearly a decade, the 11-million-tonne Ffos-y-fran mine has scarred the landscape and the community in South Wales. Despite massive public and political opposition locally and nationally within Wales, the mine’s operator Miller Argent now wants to dig another vast coal mine just over the brow of the hill at Nant Llesg.
This is a massive affront not only to local democracy and protest, but also to the international climate agreement signed by the UK and other governments in Paris last December. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and we cannot transition to a just, democratic and clean energy system while we continue to open new coal mines. We know we need to leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
On Tuesday 3rd May, hundreds of us will enter the mine at Ffos-y-fran. Through our presence in the mine, amongst the vehicles and machinery, we will force the mine operator Miller Argent to suspend operations. This action takes place two days before Welsh voters choose a new Government for Wales, and hence the minister who will decide whether to permit mining at Nant Llesg. Our aim is to show the strength of public pressure locally and globally, for an end to opencast mining, in Wales and beyond.
This action agreement has been drawn up to explain what you can expect to happen on the day. We respect that movements are diverse and we chose to adopt different tactics in different circumstances. In this case our action agreement has been created in a spirit of respect for the local community campaigners.
The plan is as follows. With our bodies and banners, we will draw a red line across the mine, to show that new coal crosses a red line for the climate. Everyone participating is encouraged to wear red and to bring banners, signs, flags, streamers, props and costumes to make the action beautiful.
We will behave in a calm and cool-headed way, we will not escalate the situation to violence and we will not damage machinery. Safety will be our top priority. We will be well-prepared to enter the site safely, and will ask drivers to turn off their vehicles. We take common responsibility for the success of this action, and for supporting each other. People under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be welcome to participate.
We understand that the mine workers rely on their jobs to provide for themselves and their families. We will treat them with dignity and respect at all times. Our issue is with the company, the bosses and the government. Our demand is not only to leave fossil fuels in the ground, in South Wales and elsewhere, but also for the creation of rewarding employment opportunities for all, in an economy which respects our planet and all its inhabitants, now and in the future.
Everyone is welcome regardless of whether they have experience of protests or not. An action camp will be set up locally from Saturday 30th April, and will be open to anyone who is curious to find out more, with no obligation to take part in the mass trespass. There will be action trainings and briefings on the camp. Up and down the country there are also preparatory action trainings and information events, from Edinburgh to Cardiff, Bristol to Leeds, London to Manchester.
Climate change will impact everyone. From floods to droughts, from hurricanes to the melting polar ice, extreme weather is already wrecking environments, homes and lives. We intend our action to be in solidarity with people already on the front line of climate change.