So last weekend we went and camped on a wet and windy patch of common land beside Ffos-y-Fran, the UK’s largest open cast coal mine. Sorry, it’s not a coal mine, it’s a “land reclamation project”, allowing it to break EU law and sit right beside the town Merthyr Tydfill, exposing the residents to constant coal dust, air pollution and noise. A second, proposed 6-million-tonne coal mine on legal common ground just metres down the road would be a disaster for both the local community, the local environnment and the climate.
Around 400 people from around the UK and Europe gathered with local residents, action groups, ex-miners, unions and council members to listen, learn from each other and plan for a clean energy future via a spot of civil disobedience.
This action, which successfully stopped work on the mine and resulted in no arrests or injuries, was the first of 27 mass actions around the world over two weeks, from Canada, through Nigeria and the Philippines to New Zealand to demand the end of dirty fossil fuels and a transition to a clean energy future and a stable climate. To find out more about this head to breakfree2016.org.
On a personal note, it was as always, incredibly moving and inspiring to be around such a cross-section of smart, thoughtful, switched-on people working together to create a better world. We can build a better world.