Isle of Wight police prepare for activists after cancellation of green festival

michael gardiner michael_gardiner at
Wed Jul 29 08:49:49 BST 2009

Isle of Wight police prepare for activists after cancellation of green festival
					Thousands of Big Green Gathering ticketholders urged to show support at Vestas wind turbine factoryPolice in the Isle of Wight are bracing themselves for the possible
arrival of thousands of environmental activists who are heading to the
island in a show of support for workers facing the closure of the
Vestas wind turbine factory.
Around 25 Vestas workers are continuing their eight-day occupation of the the plant.
of protesters have already flocked to the island in support of the
staff, camping nearby in a show of solidarity that has been described
as a new "red and green" coalition.
Their numbers could surge tomorrow after 15,000 festival-goerswith tickets for the now-cancelled Big Green Gathering festival in Somerset (BGG), were urged to head to the demonstration instead.
today blogs, emails, Facebook messages and Twitter feeds have carried
messages urging those who would have attended BGG, a four-day event
featuring music, debates and practical green living demonstrations, to
book ferry tickets to the Isle of Wight .
There was no official
call from BGG's organisers for disappointed ticketholders to divert to
the Vestas protest, but the idea has spread quickly via word of mouth
among green activists.
Some are calling the mass gathering in the
Isle of Wight "Vestival", a play on the music festival Bestival that
takes place on the island in September.
The BGG gathering was
cancelled on Sunday, after Mendip district council and Somerset police
sought a high-court injunction to prevent the family-friendly event
from going ahead, claiming that it posed a safety risk.
The festival's directors have accused the police of taking a politically motivated decision to shut down the festival,
possibly because it woud have raised money for the protest group
Climate Camp, which is planning a major demonstration in London next
A convoy of several hundred Climate Camp activists are
today heading to the Isle of Wight with the food, drink and camping
equipment they had intended to use at the BGG. They will be joined by
activists from other environmental groups, including Campaign Against
Climate Change, Climate Rush and Plane Stupid.
A group called
Workers Climate Action, composed of socialist environmental
campaigners, has already been on the island for almost a month, and
helped to persuade staff that occupying the factory was the right
course of action.
"We don't want to overburden the people already
there, but the the message we're getting back is the more the merrier,"
said Steve Milligan, of Climate Camp.
"The idea is we'll be self-sufficient. There are various bits of grass where we can put up some tents ."
of the new influx of protesters are planning to arrive in time for a
court hearing at Newport tomorrow, in which Vestas Windsystems will
seek permission to regain possession of the plant. The company says its
factory must close, with a loss of 625 staff, because the UK wind
turbine market is not growing fast enough. The hearing could set in
train the legal process allowing bailiffs to remove protesters from the
site, which is scheduled to close on Friday.
Energy secretary Ed
Miliband, who was heckled by Vestas protesters in Oxford yesterday ,
announced the UK government has awarded £6m to Vestas Technology, to
help fund a turbine research centre at the Newport site.
the Danish firm said this would not prevent the closure of the Isle of
Wight factory. Vestas plans to move production to Colorado in the
United States.

Windows Live Messenger: Celebrate 10 amazing years with free winks and emoticons.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list