U.K.: Twenty-one climate activists hit with £5 million civil law suit
Form Nottingham Indymedia, 26 Feb 2013: Energy giant EDF have taken out civil proceedings against a group of activists who scaled chimneys at their West Burton plant last October.
The company is demanding £5 million in damages, despite admitting in court that there's very little chance of getting any substantial amount of money back.
SchNEWS, Issue 838, 25th February 2013 reminds us that sixteen campaigners occupied two chimneys at the West Burton power plant for a week stopping nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, as reported on Nottingham Indymedia at the time.
The West Burton power stations are a pair of power stations on the River Trent near Retford, in Nottinghamshire. (Wikipedea)
The SchNEWS report continues:
The activists - 21 in total - plead guilty to aggravated tresspass at Mansfield Magistrates court yesterday. They will be sentenced in two groups at later dates.
Aneaka Kelly, one of the No Dash for Gas defendants said: "This un-civil action by EDF is not about money - they've already admitted in court that they know we don't have this kind of cash. EDF just want to make sure that anyone who tries to stand up and challenge their profiteering price hikes, shady government lobbying and climate-trashing power plants is quickly silenced by the threat of legal action."
SchNEWS spoke to Ewa, one of those fighting the case: "This attack on us is unprecedented in its scale. £5 million is barely a day's profits for EDF but this case could bankrupt us and force some us to lose our homes. It's not about the money for them - it's about deterrence - and that's the main issue, what EDF are doing by driving for gas-fired power stations is destructive to the environment and has no democratic mandate"
Although court papers were served on the activists in January (some by the carefully partial police) there is as yet no date set for the civil trial.
Obviously they're gearing up for a legal fight, , but as Ewa said "We don't want this to become self-referential, we don't want people to get wrapped up in defending 21 individuals when they could be out there fighting the dash for gas"
Earlier Report: Climate protesters occupy power station. Published November 04, 2012 by Nottingham Indymedia. https://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2977