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Ratcliffe Trial Day 14 – Jury Still Retired (Tash [alan lodge]) | 13-12-2010 23:27 | Sheffield

Monday 13 Dec 2010

10.00am and all back in court yet again.

Sitting in Nottingham Crown Court, His Honour Judge Teare reminded the jury that although the press was full over the weekend, of the progress [or lack of it], of the talks taking place in Cancún climate summit in Mexico, they were to discount all of it.  He says the verdict they reach is to be on the evidence introduced here, during this trial.

Today was much of a re-run of friday.  The jury retired at 10.22am. Then, at 12.33 PM the court reconvened to answer a further jury question concerning the burden of proof. As with all trials, the judge reiterated that it is the duty of the prosecution to make the jury sure that the defendants were unreasonable in their actions, rather than the duty of the defence to make the jury sure that they were reasonable.

In common with the defendants, a few of us hopped from one foot to the other, just hoping. Then, at 3.46PM this afternoon the jury came back into the court room, looking tired, and passed another note to the judge asking to go home for the day.

Before they left, the judge said that he would now accept a majority verdict – this means that he will accept a verdict that 10 or more jurors are agreed on.

Adding friday and today, the jury will have now had some 10 hours of deliberations.

The case continues more  ...... onwards.

Ratcliffe on Trial Blog

Waiting for the jury to decide the matter means more time, wondering and waiting. As before, I would like to offer my very best wishes to all involved in this enterprise and wish all the very best of luck in receiving the just outcome you deserve.  Tash xx

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham.  UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
                                   It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"


English Defence League Hacked & Member Information Leaked

JohnSmith03 | 13-12-2010 17:14 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Technology | Birmingham | Sheffield

EDL Clothing Website Hacked
A list showing the full contact details of shoppers and donors who used the far-right English Defence League’s (EDL) clothing website has been published online.

The website was compromised by hackers early on Sunday morning who replaced it with their own page. Almost 350 people who used the website have had their names, addresses and email addresses published online.

Read more | 2 comments >>

Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance: Communiqué No.1

Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance | 12-12-2010 22:23 | Public sector cuts | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Sheffield

Communiqué No.1 to our supporters 6th December 2010

Please note that the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance Steering Committee will have its first meeting on Tuesday 14th December at 7pm at the Trades & Labour Club on Talbot Street (downstairs room).

Read more | 1 comment >>

UG#529 - Unite and Conquer 1 (The Realisation of Unity)

Robin Upton | 11-12-2010 23:27 | Anti-militarism | Culture | Globalisation | Sheffield

This week we question the reductionist science of the discrete and separate self. Our opening talk, by Paul Bloom, looks at research into the human moral sense, and presents findings which suggests that children even only a few months old are possessed of some kind of moral sense. We follow this up with a heartfelt talk from peace activist Brian Willson, on the need for US culture to break out of its self-imposed box and relate healthily with the world at large. Our major talk, by evolutionary biologist and gift economy activist, Elisabet Sahtouris, is a wide ranging one. She directly challenges reductionist models of evolution, preferring a holistic view, concluding that humanity is undergoing a change akin to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.


UG#528 - The Bilderberg Group (Conspiracies and The Fiction of Government Power)

Robin Upton | 11-12-2010 22:38 | Analysis | Other Press | Social Struggles | Sheffield | World

This week we took a look at the Bilderberg Group, a secret meeting of about 120 hierarchs from Europe and US. Senior members of national governments, multi-national companies, royal families, media corporations and financial institutions have met up annually since its inception in 1954. Little is known of the contents of their meetings, due to strictly enforced privacy - which may finally be weakening, as more leaks are emerging. We hear a range of voices this week, including Tony Gosling and Michael Parenti as well as Daniel Estulin's speech on the Bilderberg group given this year to the European parliament.


Presstv Journalists attacked with hammer during tuition fee protests

Tom | 11-12-2010 12:48 | Other Press | Repression | Social Struggles | Sheffield | World

A team of Presstv news production staff has been attacked with hammers by unknown mobs during tuition fee protests in London.

The members of the group said the attackers must have been connected with the police as they were also hitting students without officers caring to interrupt them.

Read more | 8 comments >>

No more broken promises

Jilted by Nick | 09-12-2010 22:15 | Sheffield

A must see for everyone in Nick Clegg's constitutency


Manchester hunt sabs new Facebook page

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association | 09-12-2010 20:38 | Animal Liberation | Climate Chaos | Globalisation | Birmingham | Sheffield

Please note Manchester Hunt Sabs now have a Facebook page the link is below.


Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

Craig Murray and others... | 09-12-2010 14:05 | Repression | Technology | Terror War | Sheffield | World

WASHINGTON – December 7 – The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.


WikiLeaks cable exposes NATO war plan against Russia

Bill Van Auken | 09-12-2010 13:10 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Terror War | Sheffield | World

US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks have unveiled secret NATO plans for a US-led war against Russia over the Baltic states.


Australia: WikiLeaks cables reveal secret ties between Rudd coup plotters and US

Patrick O’Connor | 09-12-2010 13:08 | Analysis | Globalisation | Terror War | Sheffield | World

The latest batch of the several hundred leaked US diplomatic cables concerning Australia, provided by WikiLeaks to the Fairfax company’s Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, provide further extraordinary evidence of Washington’s direct involvement in the anti-democratic coup against former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last June.


UK students protest prior to parliamentary vote on increased fees

Julie Hyland | 09-12-2010 13:02 | Education | Public sector cuts | Sheffield

A day of action by student protesters was held Wednesday, ahead of today’s parliamentary vote to raise tuition fees.


Ratcliffe Day 10 – Defence calls more Defendants (Tash [alan lodge]) | 09-12-2010 01:23 | Sheffield

7 December 2010

The defence continued their case. Mr Rees called a further two defendants to the witness box.

LH is a marine biologist. She described how she had observed dying coral reefs in the Middle East and Australia; this is, she says, undoubtedly due to ocean acidification and warmer water as a result of increased carbon emissions. This has a devastating effect on the eco-systems which rely on the coral reefs, as well as the local economy.

She described her energy and climate outreach work with Greenpeace in Australia and other organisations in the UK, educating the ‘ordinary members of the public’ that the prosecution repeatedly had claimed that defendants had not adequately engaged with and ‘abandoned’ in favour of the secret direct action that they had done, to close down the power station.

Her main role in the action was to be one of the lead climbers in the Green team, whose task it was to ascend the chimney of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Her extensive and professionally recognised climbing experience gave her confidence that all safety procedures were in place for that part of the action.

Cross-examined by the prosecution, Miss Gerry, continued to ask why, instead of educating people, LH had supposedly avoided taking steps to educate the general public. She responded that it wasn’t an ‘either/or’ – it was truly possible to continue education at the same time as planning an action, of which the sole purpose was to stop carbon emissions. [Ratcliffe Blog]


Mr Rees calls the next defendant Mr BS. He was initially asked by the defence to respond to a number of the prosecution’s queries in her initial opening statement about whether defendants had spoken to civil society groups like the Women’s Institute in order to raise awareness of climate change. BS was able to state that he had in fact worked with the Women’s Institute, along with a number of other charitable organisations and unions, in order to raise awareness of climate change for the UN climate summit in Nairobi 2006.

When asked why he had decided to take part in the Ratcliffe action, BS said that the World Health Organisation report estimating that 150,000 people die per year due to the effects of climate change. For him, this is a human rights issue; cheap fuel is used to cut corners saying “it’s too expensive [for energy companies and governments] not to let these people die.”

He continued to explain using Dr. Jim Hansen’s statistic that a species is made extinct every 6 weeks due to climate change. Looking at the jury, BS asserted that “we don’t have the right to eradicate species our kids will never see.”

After lunch BS is recalled, to continue his evidence. Turning to the press release, he’s asked what it’s primary purpose was? Although the main objective of the action was to cut CO2 emissions, he thinks that it’s likely that there would be a lot of media interest.  It would probably be a main story. He had been responsible for earlier drafts of the press release and included much about climate change issues at large.

The content was a ‘work in progress’ and had to be edited further to take all the participant views into account.  It needed to be a democratic document. Reference is made to E-on building a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth and peoples opposition to this. E-on had pulled out of the project and carbon capture there due to escalating cost of compliance with government conditions.

He agreed he was a press officer for the enterprise and part of the Green team intending to climb the chimney.

Cross-Examining Miss Gerry says, in climbing the chimney, climbers would go up first with photographer, video cameraman and media liaison [him up next].  Taking him through the list of equipment he had with him including camcorder and the microwave downlink with compass.  He agreed that this was all his. She that went on to conclude that the object of the action was thus clearly a media stunt. Nothing to do with emissions and necessity action at all, was it? BS says he wanted to film the progress of the action, to illustrate its non violent nature.  He thought this might have been necessary and useful, since at an earlier Climate Camp at Kingsnorth power Startion, Vernon Coaker MP a Home Office Minister at the time had alleged violence against the police by those in attendance in the vicinity of the camp.  On a later investigation, it turned out that police injuries had turned out to include a graze shine, when climbing a fence, toothache and bee stings etc.  He was interested in gathering evidence in case of other such untruths. The downlink provided a means of transmitting the information ahead of any confiscation by the police.

Minister Vernon Coaker apologises for misleading MPs over police injuries
Home Office minister says sorry to parliament after Guardian reveals most police injuries from climate protest were from insects or heat
John Vidal, environment editor
Monday 15 December 2008

Moving on to the press release, again, BS agrees he was involved. She takes him through it again, to the passage including reference to the section about Ed Miliband MP the then Energy Secretary. The object was to put pressure on the minister? He say his object was mainly to prevent emissions from this power station.

Miss Gerry continues to suggest that this was part of a campaign against E-on.  But he says Ratcliffe is the 2nd most polluting power station in the UK and if it was owned by another company, then that would have been a stated objective. It doesn’t matter who owned it.

Yet again, he has to tell Miss Gerry as she continues to suggest this was a media stunt, that [as all the times before] that the needs for action are immediate and this opportunity was taken to reduce such a large amount of emissions that could not be achieved by any other means. He had been to Copenhagen and was very disillusioned at the complete lack of progress and continues to feel that immediate action is required.

As ever Miss Gerry asserted that instead of the action, BS and other defendants should have considered other action to ‘get the message across’, such as a slogan or illustration of ‘the earth wrapped in a blanket’, to get the attention of the masses. BS refuted this, stating that there was no slogan which would stop 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. He pointed out that the easily understandable image of the earth wrapped in a blanket, getting hotter, was used by Hansen in Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, a film that attracted millions of viewers, won Oscars, but has failed to contribute significantly to emissions reduction. Global emissions of CO2 continue to rise, as BS pointed out.

His evidence summed up the experiences he had, as a climate change campaigner, which led him to decide to circumvent the more conventional channels in which he has been involved for over a decade.

The trial continues … progresses and continues a bit more …


2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins [Feature]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe conspiracy to trespass trial opens today
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 2 - Prosecution’s Opening
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 3 - Prosecution case continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens [Feature 2]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 4 - Prosecution case concludes
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 – Defence case opens
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 6 – The Defence Continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 7  ‘Snowed off’
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 8 – Defence Calls MP's
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 9 – Defence Calls More Experts

Ratcliffe on Trial Blog

Onwards ... >

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham.  UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
                                   It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"


Wikileaks and media disinformation: North Korea, Iran and Belarus

Gearóid Ó Colmáin | 08-12-2010 22:12 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Other Press | Sheffield | World

Much is being written in the mainstream press about the internet whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. But the interpretation and significance of those Wikileaks stories disseminated throughout the corporate media must be subjected to careful and critical analysis.

There is little that is particularly shocking about the recent Wikileaks. What is striking about many of the latest leaks is their conformity to the lies and disinformation regularly diffused by the mainstream media.

The upshot of this is that, while exposés of American war crimes should damage America’s imperial ambitions, other ‘leaks’ could actually serve the opposite purpose, especially when they are uncritically reported as ‘revelations’. In this article we are going to look at two examples of how Wikileaks stories could be used to further a US imperialist agenda.

Read more | 7 comments >>

Ratcliffe Trial Day 9 – Defence Calls More Experts (Tash [alan lodge]) | 08-12-2010 20:23 | Sheffield

6 December 2010

Mr Rees for the defences calls Prof. Ian Roberts. He is Professor of Epidemiology and Public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Widely published and contributed to issues on health issues and debates worldwide.  Active research interests in the links between fossil fuel energy use, climate change and human health, contributing work to the World Health Organization WHO.

Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that man made climate change, primarily resulting from the burning of fossil fuels, has had and will continue to have serious adverse effects on the health of human populations.

Asked about his health estimates of what are the consequences of global climate change, he says in 2000 150,000 years of life lost, a measure of premature deaths each year due to such changes. Together with 5.5 million disability adjusted life years because of injury, disability and incapacity. Taken together, these amount to a generic measure of human suffering.  These measures are certain to increase, evidenced by the clearly increased incidence of diseases aggravated by climate change.

When trying to understand the evidence, a first step would be to make a classification of diseases that are sensitive to climate change can be divided thus:
•    Malnutrition
•    Diarrhoea
•    Deaths due to flooding
•    Drought and its consequences
•    Temperature related Cardio-vascular diseases

Dr Roberts mentions the difficulty in predicting extremes. Pointing to the European heatwave of 2003 that directly resulted in 70,000 excess deaths in France.

The second step involves estimating from the science literature how changes in climate factors, influence the occurrence of disease.  There is much uncertainty here, taking into account the surprises of extreme events [like 2003] probably resulting in vastly underestimating the consequences.

The third step involves making estimates of the effects of man made greenhouse gases on human health. Again, hardly an exact science, but the links between climate changes and food production, air and water quality and hence human health have all strengthened.

These global changes are resulting in mass migrations of people, the consequences of which are directly leading to lack of food, shelter and water. Land areas are being rendered uninhabitable and such mass migrations are leading to war and conflict, all clearly detrimental to populations’ health.

Dr Roberts continues that climate changes are leading to higher incidents of diarrhea, bacterial and viral infections, food poisonings and malaria. As global temperatures have increased, the spread of cover for malaria gets wider. All accentuated further by extreme weather events. The effects on food yields are already apparent, and that they have a disproportionate effect on those areas that are already suffering food insecurities.

Population migrations due to sea level rises are on the increase . For example, look at the pressures on Bangladesh and Pacific island populations.  Migrations and food riots leading to violence, obviously has health implication for personal injuries and death.

Moving onto a short discussion about bio-fuels.  Plant crops grown to produce ethanol fuels for both vehicles and power stations. The priorities in land use for these over previous crop growing has a direct effect on food prices and is leading to crop displacements.  Problems occur in eco-systems if species can’t adapt to new conditions, leading to life distress. Many species of plants and animals cannot adapt to the unprecedented rapidity of man made climate change. It can be expected to find effects such as species extinction occurring and in a worst case the eco-systems complete collapse on which life and human existence depends.

Many species have areas of presence and timing. For example it matters when plants flower and the availability of insects of the right sorts to enable pollination to be effected. Thus, concern about the interdependence of species and their actions, within the ‘web of life’.

Concluding, Dr Roberts says that there is a public health imperative in reducing and in fact stopping, CO2 emissions.  There is in fact a public health emergency and we are sleepwalking into disaster.  There is and will be much increase in interpersonal violence: a generation genocide.

Miss Gerry for the prosecution cross-examines. She has no dispute about Dr Roberts evidence.  She asks in relation to public health emergencies .. what do you do about it?  He says he publishes research, he teaches and continues research on energy use and influences on human health.  She seeks to get him to explain how to go about changing public attitudes.  He again says research and publishing, explains these concerns to the media, Lancet etc. The dissemination of information to raise the public awareness.

Dr Ian Roberts, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Mr Rees calls his second witness today, one of the defendants Mr BD

By way of introduction, says he’s had involvements with various climate issue related charities. Has been a volunteer researcher for Greenpeace. Since 2005 has been doing some research of human impacts on climate changes and their effects.  An obvious example being regions like Darfur and its associated water stress. 

Mr Rees [in dealing with prosecution continued accusations], what efforts at public engagement has BD had previously made?  He replies he has made talks to a variety of groups including,
•    Rotary club
•    6th Form groups
•    Christian Youth Groups
•    Factories
•    Parish council within Oxfordshire
•    Vale of White Horse District Council organised meeting, inviting his local MP Ed Vaizey and the Manager of the Didcot power Station.

Moving onto the intended action, why did you go?  BD replies that he was aware in 2009 of the lack of agreement being achieved at Copenhagen.  The collapse of any post-Kyoto agreements. Thus he wanted to take part in some direct action himself to prevent coal-fired emissions because it did not seem to be happening by any other means. He became involved in the action from around January 2009. Initially the group only consisted of 5 people but within weeks has grown to over 100. BD say he was much involved in the planning of these operations. Safety being a prime consideration. He helped to shop for essential equipment. Produced documents already discussed in evidence.

Mr Rees goes to the 'Environment Show Stoppers' leaflet. Agreeing that it was a sham, BD says he designed and printed this. It contained directions and preparations for the action.  He also helped with the 'Important notice for those working at the power station' leaflet.  Distributed to all involved in the action.  Included within this is mention of the required transition to a low carbon future. Reassuring existing staff about job creation in ‘green industries’.  Not just about wrecking their prospects for those already employed. BD say he had also dealt with the ‘operational plan’, distributed to the Green team, whose task it was to ascend the chimney and to safely deal with all eventualities.

BD had been involved in briefings at the Iona School to help and ensure a ‘safe and effective’ action.  He added that it was a condition of those taking part that no violence would be shown to police in attendance or to power station staff.

Turning to the mobile phones, discovered at the School during the police raid, he agreed he had been involved with their organisation, adding relevant numbers and labels to ensure the right groups got the right phone. To explain which phones were for what purposes.

Miss Gerry rises for cross-examination. BD, if you took the trouble to engage with meeting in Oxfordshire, why didn’t you do this in Nottinghamshire? He replies that in this instance, out purpose was to simply stop CO2 emissions at Ratcliffe. He adds that his efforts in Oxfordshire, had been in a more optimistic time.  She continues with the notion that without public meetings in Nottinghamshire, he could have had no idea on what the effects of organising the action could be [thus still suggesting irresponsibility].

BD had made ‘no comment’ during interviews with the police. She says that you knew that police would have to respond, hence publicity for your action was intended for after your arrival. Thus, all was secret before. You could have said to police much of what we have learned during this trial. People of Nottinghamshire should have been informed through public meetings if you wanted to act responsibly.  BD says that the object of this exercise was to reduce carbon emissions from the 2nd largest coal-fired power station in the UK, Drax being the biggest.  It was owned by E-on, but that was a secondary concern.

Miss Gerry says, but you made no effort to thing of reasonable alternatives? He says but this action was reasonable. I say you made no investigations on what else could have been done in Nottinghamshire. He again disagrees saying much else had been done, but those at this action and many people in this locality for years previously.

Miss Gerry sits down very abruptly, without further acknowledgement. To all, it’s not obvious she’d finished!

Mr Rees re-examines: You’ve just been sneered at!  That criticism, was any of that fair?  BD says no, it wasn’t. We and others had tried at every stage to stop substantial CO2 emissions and had also taken other alternative actions and public engagements.

Witness is excused and court adjourns

After lunch, Mr Rees calls Dr Geoffrey Meaden now retired, recently been Principle Lecturer in the Department of Geographical and Life Science at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent. Additionally, he provides consultancy to the United Nations. His specialties are specifically:
•    Biogeography – The study of the distribution of plants and animals around the planet.
•    Local physically geography of Kent, including coastal geography and water supplies in the region.
•    Geographical Information Systems [GIS]. Computer based mapping and analysis. Helpful in siting a variety of service and systems.

He says that there is an increasing body of evidence, backed by the Royal Society, to suggest that the world temperatures are significantly raised compared with the last 10,000 years. More recent rises are unprecedented in history.  Mr Rees says it cold outside, more snow and ice for a November in more than 70 years, can you help the jury [and the rest of us] why this is so if the planet is getting hotter?  Dr Meaden, I’m glad you asked me that  The current difference between sea and land temperatures are quite exaggerated, at the moment there is much evaporation.  This results when passing over colder lands, tuning to snow.  The point of this current weather forecast is of course to illustrate that climate change and weather are two different things.  Throughout seasons and years, we have allsorts of changes up and down a scale, but implied by the average trend, the planet is warming.

The use of coal is growing on a world-wide scale and now contributes about 40% of power generation and about 20% of the total carbon emissions.

There are a number of climate change indicators that help us qualify observations we’re looking at:

1.    Greenhouse gas emissions        rising exponentially
2.    Generally increasing temperatures    in 85% of the earth
3.    Drought heat waves & forest fires        becoming more frequent
4.    Rainfall                    concentrated precipitation events
5.    Severe storm events            rise in energy within storms
6.    Sea temperatures                increasing, but far more recently
7.    Ocean acidification                killing plankton base of marine web
8.    Sea level rise                increasing & more rapidly recently
9.    Polar ice cover                 25% reduction of arctic in 30 years
10.    Melting of glaciers                30% loss in volume in 40 years
11.    Day of snow [or ice] cover            Ski resorts season shortened
12.    Total length of growing season        increase can be both pos & neg
13.    Earlier leafing or flowering            can affect species feeding patterns
14.    Species migrations                changes in animal migration habits
15.    Increased human mortality            cover this in Dr Roberts evidence

During this listing, in noted Dr. Meaden said increasing or exponential rise and increase, lots.


Mr Rees then takes him onto the effects of climate change on sea levels.  As far as the UK is concerned, a rise of 1cm per year had been observed but this is increasing exponentially.

More locally, the Ratcliffe power station is located close to the confluence of the River Trent and River Soar.  There are several characteristics of the Trent basin making it particularly susceptible to flooding. Area has impervious rock structures.  Further, there are large areas of urbanised towns and cities. Again, these provide for larger areas of impervious structures from which vast amounts of ‘run off’ could be expected, rather than ground absorption.

Nottingham and area can expect that flooding will occur more frequently and such events will become more severe and problematic. A 1 in 100 year event, might result in 40% of the city flooded. We might not have to wait for 100 years for such an event, it might be next year or quite soon.  It is becoming more likely because of the rise in urbanisation, building on flood plains etc

Climate is moving to warmer summers and very wet winters that may include what I’ve called ‘concentrated precipitation events’.  These are likely to lead to severe flooding and more likely in prevalence. Insurance figures are showing these trends.  Flood defences are become more vital, but are going to be progressively more expensive to build or maintain as the heights required to deal with become progressively higher. As I said ocean level rises are accelerating.

The coast of Britain has a ‘shoreline management plan’.  Drawn up by local authorities and the Environment Agency and reviewed every couple of years.  But priorities have to be made in which areas are to be chosen for protection. Urban over rural etc .. But, loosing increasing areas of low lying farmland would thus result in diminishing food production.

Miss Gerry cross-examines.  Has anyone of the defendants in the dock asked you to come to Nottingham before.  No.  She then says what if the UK took measures to ‘go-eco’, what would that do to global changes you’ve described. Not very much!

Dr. Geoff Meaden   Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent

Later in the afternoon, Mr Rees for the defence now calls another of the defendants to the witness box. Mr OB. He has a doctorate in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology. He say he first became concerted around 86-87 about climate change matters. His concern had been enlarged on reading ‘Heat; How to stop the Planet Burning’ – George Monbiot [2006],

Mr Rees says dealing with the prosecution usual suggestion that no emissions would have been saved by the action, it this true. No he says, the book describes the slack and spare capacity inherent in the grid. Its resilience in fact.  When the power stations manager, Mr Raymond Smith said that other stations might have been fired up to replace Ratcliffe loss in generation, these would also produce emissions. But coal-burning stations provides the baseline of supply in the UK, since the fuel is cheaper.  Replacements would thus most probably come from gas-fired stations, since the coal-fired ones would already be online and generating.

Mr Rees asks what would your action have achieved? OB says a quantifiable amount of CO2 emissions would have been prevented by stopping the burning of coat at the Ratcliffe power station.  The Stern Report says that every ton of CO2 emitted has a knock-on effect. It equates to a measureable cost and effect on lives lost.

With respect to this specific action, OB say he had first been involved from about March 2009 on hearing of the plan to try to shut down the plant.  Convinced it would offer him the best chance of reducing emissions personally.  Mr Rees reminds the court that the prosecution suggests the whole thing was a bit of a jolly! No, certainly not.  This was very serious.

OB says he’s been a climber for about 10 years. He is skilled in ‘single rope’ techniques. Was part of the ‘black team’, the object of which was to shut down the coal conveyor.  People would have pressed the emergency stop buttons and locked-on to the plant there through the arm-tubes.  These would have prevented their easy removal.  As a climber, he would have been suspended in a position to prevent the operation of the coal conveyor and again to make their removal harder.

The climbing harness is displayed to the jury and OB makes quite a lengthy explanation of its operation, components and purpose. Much of which was about the safety features in the equipment to avoid injury during the action.

Miss Gerry for the prosecution cross-examines. She asks about the purpose of being there?  OB replies the same as all the other defendants, to do his best to save emissions from the power station. She says the banners you had with you were all about coal.  The people of Nottingham are not shown any alternatives are they?

Moving on to a publication, she initially asks if an address in Cherwell Street, Oxford means anything to him. Yes it’s the offices of Corporate Watch.  Did you author a report from there called ‘Broken Promises: why the nuclear industry wont deliver’.  She is seeking to demonstrate OB media experience, since there previously been much questioning of others about the press release, prepared ahead of the action. Although he replies his was a minor role in the Corporate Watch publication, Mr Rees objects, since this appeared to be a ‘back-door method’ of introducing the document. He had been ambushed. This had not been initially disclosed to the defence. There was then a bit of legal argument, but the prosecution say that nothing is outstanding to be introduced.

Miss Gerry goes back to the events.  This action wasn’t about saving carbon was it, It was just a media stunt? OB says no, it wasn’t. That because of the scale and immediacy of the situation, we need to take action on CO2 emission right now.  She questions if he had tried canvasing the public on these issues.  He said he had, but had seen the limitations of such a process.  Next to the scale of the present situation, it could be nowhere near as effective in stopping these emissions.

‘Heat; How to stop the Planet Burning’ – George Monbiot 2006, Penguin Press

‘Broken Promises: why the nuclear industry wont deliver’. Corporate Watch 2007


2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins [Feature]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe conspiracy to trespass trial opens today
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 2 - Prosecution’s Opening
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 3 - Prosecution case continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens [Feature 2]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 4 - Prosecution case concludes
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 – Defence case opens
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 6 – The Defence Continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 7  ‘Snowed off’
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 8 – Defence Calls MP's

Ratcliffe on Trial Blog

Onwards ... >

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham.  UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
                                   It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"


WikiLeaks founder jailed in London on bogus charges

Patrick Martin | 08-12-2010 14:50 | Repression | Sheffield | World

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police Tuesday morning, denied bail by a London magistrate and then jailed. Assange faces a hearing December 14 on an extradition request by Swedish authorities, who issued a warrant last week on fabricated charges of sexual misconduct.

Read more | 7 comments >>

National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts - 15/12

no benefit cuts | 07-12-2010 23:53 | Public sector cuts | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Sheffield | South Coast

Take action now to defend the Welfare State. We will not pay for their crisis.

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False flags a fluttering: The history of deception and the London 7/7 bombings

Tom Secker | 07-12-2010 22:42 | Anti-militarism | Terror War | Sheffield

We know from history that there is a wide range of possible deceptions taking place about what happened on 7/7. In the absence of forensic evidence of precisely what happened and why, we are left with an ever-shifting story that conveniently fits the policy of the ongoing War on Terror. However, just because some terrorist attacks are inside jobs does not necessarily mean that 7/7 was an inside job, even though the event has been used to suit a manipulating agenda. It is entirely possible that 7/7 was a false flag operation, but it is also entirely possible that the way in which it has been used as a psychological warfare operation is merely exploitative after the fact. The only way we can ever truly know is through the disclosure of evidence and information pertaining to what happened, something that has been jealously guarded by the authorities since day one.

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UK government outlines frontal assault on education

Jean Shaoul | 07-12-2010 15:01 | Education | Public sector cuts | Workers' Movements | Sheffield

The British Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition’s Education White Paper is a frontal assault on teachers, the right of children to a decent education and the state provision of education.


WikiLeaks and secret diplomacy

Joseph Kishore | 07-12-2010 14:59 | Analysis | Free Spaces | Repression | Sheffield | World

As diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks continue to be published—revealing each day new information on the sordid maneuvers of American imperialism in various parts of the world—the US government is going on the offensive. It is leading an international campaign targeting WikiLeaks founder Jullian Assange and the organization’s web site.

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