Power station action

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Blacknred Ned
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Aug 31 2006 12:36
Power station action

I daresay that most people on Libcom don't give a flying toss about this ("Build bigger coal-fired power stations; let's have one on every street corner" I can imagine being the response) but two interesting points emerge from the action in North Yorkshire this morning:

1)Some of those arrested have been nicked for possessing weapons which suggests to me that they were equipped for getting through fences and have been hit with a trumped up charge &

2)This "demo" was, regardless of police platitudes about talks with the organisers, always about direct action and an attempt to close the power station down.

By commenting on this I don't mean to express support for this action as such but it does represent an interesting development in environmental campaigning in this country; what does anyone else (who gives a monkey's) think?

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Joseph Kay
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Aug 31 2006 12:54

the 'weapons' were apparently a fork from inside a lunchbox, the support strut for a solar panel and small-bladed swiss-army knives (they're camping).

This kind of 'direct action' is always going to be little more than radical lobbying, and at that its doing a fairly good job - with a top story on BBC news and an big Independent splash. I'm not sure to what extent the camp just reflects an empty summer calendar for the participants of last year's dissent! though ...

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Steven.
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Aug 31 2006 12:58

That's some interesting information ned, shame you preface it with nonsensical sniping though. Not only is it not true of anyone on here in any way, how would that look to outsiders looking at the forum? To remind you, this is a no-flaming forum.

As for an interesting development, well to me it looks like it will be just an activistoid flash-in-the-pan. The police actions sound pretty much like the usual, trumped-up charges-wise.

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madashell
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Aug 31 2006 13:03

Fucking idiots. What the fuck were they thinking, anyway?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/5300560.stm

Quote:
Michelle Bernstein, 28, from York, said: "Many of us are prepared to break the law, because the powers-that-be are addicted to planet-trashing economic growth.

"Shutting down a power station isn't enough to stop climate change but it's a start."

What's it meant to start? Completely discrediting sane people who argue for greener energy? Or ruining thousands of people's day by fucking up their power supply?

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Joseph Kay
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Aug 31 2006 13:17
madashell wrote:
What's it meant to start?

our liberation from the tyranny of electricity - fight the power! tongue

ftony
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Aug 31 2006 13:18
madashell wrote:
What's it meant to start? Completely discrediting sane people who argue for greener energy? Or ruining thousands of people's day by fucking up their power supply?

well it's a stunt. but it got widespread media attention, which is rare, and dare i say it, probably a good thing [*ftony prepares to scarper*]

now i don't want to get into the boggy ground of 'oh well do we really want poeople participating in The Spectacle' and blablablah, but i don't see much harm in it, except that a few dozen people might end up with a criminal record. people there knew what they were risking, and it's their perogative at the end of the day.

oh yeah, and there's also that little thing called the 'national grid' that deals with energy supply quite comfortably. there's so much excess energy put onto the national grid that 7% of the UK's power really isn't hard to replace, even though it sounds like a lot.

come on madashell, let's not get hysterical, yeah?

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Aug 31 2006 13:36

i support these actions even though they are desperate and focusing on spectacular headline grabbing - they have their place. In fact there is very little i dont support in efforts to curb climate change!

The camp itself has been over a week of education, organising, networking, exchanging ideas etc. So it would be stupid to dismiss this headline grabbing action as "why dop they do X, why dont they do Y".

BB
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Aug 31 2006 13:45
JDMF wrote:
i support these actions even though they are desperate and focusing on spectacular headline grabbing - they have their place. In fact there is very little i dont support in efforts to curb climate change!

The indiscriminate knock on effect, that'll have em filling the ranks!?

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Steven.
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Aug 31 2006 14:12
revol68 wrote:
I just don't see the point. Shut down the coal powered station, okay, have a nice nuclear one instead says the government.

This is why this action will be getting lots of publicity, because it will tie in with the govt's nuclear power push. But still you can't blame them for that.

Madashell I can see that you might think the action is pointless but you can't slag them off for causing disruption. Coal power has no place on this planet. Slagging them off for the disruption instead of the bosses is like blaming strikers for disruption.

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By the way are there filters that can be used to diminish Co2 emissions in power stations?

not as far as I know. I know some people have worked on them, with bacteria IIRC, but to no avail yet. Problem with most methods of CO2 storage is at some point they spew it all out again.

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the button
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Aug 31 2006 15:05

The SWP are already saying on various bulletin boards that this will be the start of a new mass movement, to rival what CND was in the 80s.

So basically, they're fucked.

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Joseph Kay
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Aug 31 2006 15:14
the button wrote:
So basically, they're fucked.

the SWP, CND, ecoactivisoids? :?

the SWPies aren't saying its 'elitist' then, another remarkable 180o u-turn? I thought this was mostly organised by the dissent!-circa types so SWPie praise is a little odd (but probably just opportunistic)

Blacknred Ned
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Aug 31 2006 15:16

Sorry John, I intended no flaming; I guess I should know to use a smiley if I mean to say anything with tongue-in-cheek.

For what it's worth I agree with you that this kind of thing is activistoid and fairly ill-thought out even in those terms.

The problem here is that although the direct action does focus attention on the power generation mix, it does not highlight the most important elements of the debate from a revolutionary perspective.

We need to be considering not just how we generate electricity from a technical point of view but how much; in facilities of what scale; in a decentralised way with community control or in a centralised technocratic way. "Greener" technology is not necessarily ecological or liberatory technology.

I can appreciate why the trots are already trumpeting the start of a new mass movement because for them a few thousand potential recruits are good news; for us the question should be if this isn't the way to bring people to thinking about the issues then what is? If this isn't the way forward then where is our alternative praxis?

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the button
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Aug 31 2006 15:18

I might get in bother for cross-posting, but this is what a prominent SWP member has just posted on another bulletin board. And those fuckers don't post unless they're sure it's the party line first....

Quote:
Solidarity with Drax protestors

I think this demonstration at Drax is incredibly significant and marks the beginning of a new mass movement in the UK. Coming on the heels of Campaign against Climate Change's 10,000 strong Climate March in London last December (part of a global day of demonstrations), and many other political developments such as the formation of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition (which while have grave reservations about this organisation is still a step forward) it shows the beginning of a campaign that could and needs to be bigger than CND in the 80s or the anti-war movement of the last 5 years.

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Aug 31 2006 15:49
revol68 wrote:
I mean cars are probably the biggest populants (and the least rational) but i'd think you'd laugh me off the boards if i proclaimed "Cars have no place on this planet".

Cars aren't inherently bad, coal power is. OK i worded it badly because i couldn't think of better ones. But coal power stations should never be used in a libcom society say, they're too polluting. In current society any movement or campaign against them should be supported, as should any others against any other inherently environmentally destructive capitalist industries like nuclear power etc.

Button - i was wondering what bandwagon the SWP would try to jump on next now the war issue is basically over. Muppets roll eyes I reckon they'll stick with this 6 months, tops.

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Aug 31 2006 15:58
revol68 wrote:
Surely they'd be like cars, on the whole not used but with some exceptions?

Or do you think we can move straight from a fossil fuel power base to a renewable one?

yes we could if the will was there (will, as in either capitalist motives, or some collective decision). Its not really rocket science. Some professor dude calculated that the whole finnish power needs could be met with a off shore windfarm which cost would be earned back in 10 or so years time and he challenged anyone to prove him wrong. It was not that he was wrong, its just that it doesn't really work that way with government and capitalism wink

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Aug 31 2006 16:00
revol68 wrote:
Surely they'd be like cars, on the whole not used but with some exceptions?

I think cars will be heavily used, just not petrol-based ones. There's nothing *inherently* wrong with cars, they're not inherently polluting whereas coal power is.

Quote:
Or do you think we can move straight from a fossil fuel power base to a renewable one?

i think this is kind of a moot point. now, it's not our job to manage capital, and a libcom society is a long way off so it might not be an issue by then.

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Aug 31 2006 16:09

I’m on my way home now, but v quickly I reckon the people behind the protest are thinking the best way of “supporting” renewables from a grassroots level is to oppose non-renewables and make using them as expensive as possible – trying to make it unprofitable. This sounds like a sensible plan, but I think the issue is – is it viable at the current time? I’d guess probably not.

Jason Cortez
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Aug 31 2006 16:52

and massive job losses. But this is a bit more complex, the current amount of air taffic is at preent unsuitainable so moves to reduce this are rational, the problem is how do you do this without penalising the poor. Tricky one this without widespread movents to socialise travel, i can't see a way out. Any move to less air traffic would also need to deal with the problems caused to tourist dependant ecomonies too (yet more massive job losses)but within a context of developing a more balanced (for the country) holiday industry.

Oh and revol capitalism continues uninterrupted anyways ( althogh i suspect a air fuel tax would create a lot of headaches for our current system).

The protest was symbolic, in an attempt to raise climate change up the political/media agenda. Climate change represents a massive challenge to the future of our lives (and possiblity some great oppotunities).But i guess you already know this.smile

Blacknred Ned
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Aug 31 2006 17:18

The problem is that raising climate change up the political/media agenda achieves nothing. Look climate change has been increasingly in the news for the last decade and a half; it was first mooted by, amongst other people, Murray Bookchin in the 1960s; where it is in the media/political agenda is fairly meaningless.

It is also quite fruitless for us to discuss whether this specific technology or that specific technology will be suited for a libcom society. We need to talk about how we decide what our attitude is to technology & how we link this with a programme or a practice to advance an ecological and libertarian position.

Big Brother
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Aug 31 2006 17:20

Dam and here I am thinking that Coal Power Station use to make those Fluffy White Clouds in the sky. Soory John but I'm with Revolt with this one.

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Aug 31 2006 17:44
revol68 wrote:
JDMF, Finland ain't the world.

but it was just an example. UK shouldn't be any different, in fact the energy consumption here is lower per capita than in heavy industry finland.

Quote:
but them surely protesters would be better doing an action to support renewable energies than acting like stupid stunts.

ah there goes the "they should have" argument grin Listen, you know fuck all about what those folks have been doing for over a week in the climate camp - in fact i have very little idea either, but i do know that there has been wide ranges of topics discussed, activities planned, networking and so on.

of course that was just a stunt - but any other action would have not even got in the news so fair play to them, seem to have done their job, got even the libcom cynics talking grin

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madashell
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Aug 31 2006 18:38
John. wrote:
Slagging them off for the disruption instead of the bosses is like blaming strikers for disruption.

Are you feeeling quite well?

Besides the ludicrous comparison, part of the reason that the disruption is unnacceptable is because it had no chance of actually achieving anything.

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Aug 31 2006 18:43
madashell wrote:
John. wrote:
Slagging them off for the disruption instead of the bosses is like blaming strikers for disruption.

Are you feeeling quite well?

Besides the ludicrous comparison, part of the reason that the disruption is unnacceptable is because it had no chance of actually achieving anything.

Yeah I'm fine. And I've noticed lots of your posts criticising activistoids way too strongly. Sorry but the comparison is entirely accurate. A large amount of strike action has almost no chance of achieving anything - that's why unions let it happen. Makes no difference to the principle that you don't attack those workers who cause disruption in opposing something damaging to the working class, you oppose the interests who are running the thing which is damaging - you get me?

and revol:

revol68 wrote:
ahhh so like all the other liberal green bollox implies that those with money have more right to pollute than those who don't.

it's the same shite with taxing airfuel, all it means is that the less well off can't fly, brilliant., capitalism continues uninterrupted whilst the working class take the blame for their "selfish" consumerism.

what the hell? that has nothing to do with anything I said. I'm sure their reasoning is - if they take profit out of fossil fuels companies will move over to renewables quicker. This has nothing to do with passing costs over to consumers.

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Aug 31 2006 18:56

*peeks over baricades*

The oil is going to run out anyway. Is it not a good idea to try to force their hand before global warming really kicks off? Better than leaving it till the last minute, when things will get really fucked up for the world's poor.

*ducks back down again*

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Aug 31 2006 19:15

I understand that, and I understand that the story is getting the coverage it is because it adds to the pro-nuclear argument. But we still need to cut emissions asap, and waiting for coal to run out is probably not a good idea. Combine it with anti-nuclear protests, and maybe the government would be forced to go after another option. (Burning poor people, most likely.) So I don't really see any problem with a few hippies pratting about. Besides, they could do with the fresh air.

john
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Aug 31 2006 19:28

I don't see any problem with pointing out the hidden environmental costs of capitalism; I also think this is something that can feed into a wider debate about how capitalism is unmanaged and how if we had somehting closer to democratic deliberatoin, discussion and mutual agreement as the principles according to which our lives were organized then we could have a more rational form of energy production.

I don't see why we need to criticize this, even if it's not your personal preferred form of action.

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Aug 31 2006 19:30
john wrote:
capitalism is unmanaged

oh its managed alright, just not by us wink

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Aug 31 2006 19:43
revol68 wrote:
who said anything about waiting for coal to run out? You'd be waiting a very long time. The point is that no one is going to seriously back the closure of a massive power station "coal fueled" or not, without some sort of alternative to take up the loss or to drop electricity demand. The government is in the process of setting out such alternatives, and it has backed Nuclear Fuel This is the issue that needs dealt with, so the symbolic targetting of a coal power station is useless, and serves only to obscure the debate.

basically you are talking out of your arse.

climate change is in public debate all the time, but demands for closure of facilities like this has not been mentioned at all. Face it revol, had these folks been targetting nuclear power plant, you would be here bitching about why didn't they target the coal plant, you are just making a big deal out of something remote and obscure. Far from mystifying the debate, they are making it more concrete: combatting climate chaos starts from closing facilities like the one targetted. Talking of obscure emission cuts and vague promises needs demystifying and that is what i think these activists have done.

where is that fucking green abd black bad boy, oh here:
star green black

john
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Aug 31 2006 19:52
Joseph K. wrote:
john wrote:
capitalism is unmanaged

oh its managed alright, just not by us ;)

the problem is those people who try to manage it are also in a competitive relationship with both each other and with the non-managing class (us) - the end result being an unmanaged (or partially managed) mess

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Aug 31 2006 20:24

the way gov is implementing these changes is to build nuclear to meet new energy demands, not replace it. Though some gov ministers are talking of shutting down coal plants as well, but it is not a serious option at the moment.

Blacknred Ned
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Aug 31 2006 21:49

.....or alternatively you could all just ignore me.

I've re-read my contributions to this debate, they've not been that bad, in fact I think they might just raise some interesting points, but not a word. Thank you all! 2 points:

1) John, if you are going to criticise one person for flaming then criticise everyone who flames & I suppose that must include saying that someone is talking out of their arse &

2) Sometimes, no much of the time, Libcom really does seem like a bit of an in-crowd kind of place.

And with that I take my leave (for now). Goodnight all.

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