Dr. Jim Hansen gets ready to deliver his message at the Washington DC power plant protest on March 2nd 2009. On February 22nd, WUWT covered Hansen’s announcement that he was endorsing civil disobedience. Now one has to wonder; what hath Jim wrought? (h/t to timbrom)
From the Telegraph UK: More than 100 campaigners arrested over ‘power station plot’
More than 100 people are in custody after police smashed a major plot to sabotage one of Britain’s biggest power-stations.
Officers swooped on environmental protesters as they prepared a mass raid that could have disrupted supplies to tens of thousands of homes.
The demonstrators are thought to have gathered at night in readiness to move on Ratcliffe-on-Soar power-station, Nottinghamshire.
They were rounded up shortly after midnight on Sunday at the Bakersfield Community Centre in Sneinton, Notts, by scores of officers.
Detectives later revealed they recovered specialist equipment that suggested the group represented a “serious threat” to the station’s safety.
Supt Mike Manley, of the Nottinghamshire force, said 114 men and women from across the UK were detained during the dramatic swoop.
They were being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and criminal damage at Ratcliffe-on-Soar.
Supt Manley said: “In view of specialist equipment recovered by police, those arrested posed a serious threat to the safe running of the site.
“This was a significant operation, with large-scale arrests. There were no injuries during the arrests, and the police investigation is ongoing.”
Witnesses told how officers in more than 20 police vans descended on the plotters’ apparent rendezvous point in the early hours.
Tess Rearden, who lives near the scene, said: “We were woken up by the sound of doors slamming and saw all these police vans and riot vans.
“My son came out of his bedroom and said: ‘Have you seen what’s going on?’ They were all up and down the roads. It was bedlam – real bedlam.”
Another resident added: “I was leaving my house when I saw a line of traffic approaching me, which seemed strange for the time of night.
“It was only when the vehicles got closer and started to pass me that I noticed every single one was either a police car or a police van.
“I counted 20-plus vans, all one after the other, with police cars at the rear. Then they blocked off all the roads around the community centre.”
One resident told how the protesters did not fight with officers during the swoop but signalled their defiance as they were being led away.
She said: “The police jumped out of their vans and ran behind the community centre. The people they brought out were singing: ‘We’ll be back again.'”
It is thought detectives had prior knowledge of the plot but chose to wait till the demonstrators were together in one place before moving in.
Local city councillor David Mellen added: “I understand there was some kind of gathering of people here in connection with the power-station.
“If the police had information that there was a danger to the power supply in the East Midlands then obviously they had to take action.”
The Derbyshire and Leicestershire forces helped in the operation and later provided additional custody facilities for some of those arrested.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar has been the target of a number of protests in the past, including one two years ago in which protesters tried to shut down the plant.
Environmentalists who stormed the site on that occasion later failed in a landmark legal bid to prove they were acting in the interests of humanity.
Climate-change campaigners admitted they attempted to force the site’s closure by chaining themselves to conveyor belts and filtration systems.
But they argued that, because they were saving the planet from global warming, their actions were legal under the so-called “defence of necessity”.
Had they won their case they would have paved the way for campaigners around the country to stage similar protests without fear of prosecution.
At the time Eastside Climate Action, the group involved, said the break-in reflected “the threat climate change poses to the human population”.
A spokesman said: “We argue that the threat to human life is so serious that it is a proportionate and reasonable response to take direct action.”
Giving evidence at the court hearing, station manager Raymond Smith told how production at the site was threatened during the incident.
He said: “People chained themselves to the conveyor system and the filtration system. They were non-violent, but none had permission to be on the site.
“If the protest had continued to the extent that the power station ran out of coal we would have had to shut it down. But we called the police.”
Eastside denied any involvement in yesterday’s events – thought to be linked to plans for a new coal-fired power-station in Kingsthorpe, Kent.
E.on, the power giant behind Kingsthorpe, owns Ratcliffe-on-Soar – allegedly Britain’s second-largest producer of carbon-dioxide emissions.
An E.on spokesman said: “While we understand everyone has a right to protest peacefully and lawfully, this was clearly neither of those things.
“We will be assisting police in their investigations into what could have been a very dangerous attempt to disrupt an operational power-plant.”