Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 11:24 UK

Power station 'invasion' planned

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station
The coal-fired facility was chosen in an online poll

Environmental activists are planning a "mass invasion" of a power station following a vote by supporters of the Climate Camp in London.

E.On's Ratcliffe-on-Soar plant in Nottinghamshire was named as the next direct action target after a debate at the camp in Blackheath.

The activists described the coal-fired plant as Britain's third most polluting power station.

Groups are now aiming to force a plant shutdown on 17 and 18 October.

A statement released by Climate Camp said thousands of people would "descend on the "E.On plant by land, water and air"

Camp organisers held the Great Climate Swoop online poll over recent weeks, attracting more than 2,000 votes, with Ratcliffe coming ahead of other suggestions including the Drax power station near Selby in North Yorkshire.

We are doing this because it's time to imagine a world without coal
Charlotte Johnson, protest organiser

E.On also owns Kingsnorth power station in Kent, which was targeted by Climate Camp last year in protest at plans to build the UK's first coal-fired power station in 30 years there.

Charlotte Johnson, one of the people organising the protest, said: "We are doing this because it's time to imagine a world without coal.

"But coal power stations must be shut permanently if we are to have any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change.

"Climate change is happening now, and the political and economic systems are not preventing it so we are taking power into our hands."

In a statement, E.On said: "Planet change is a key issue within the UK and on a global scale and at Eon we recognise this.

"Essentially people have a right to protest as long as they do this peacefully and do not jeopardise the safety of others while doing so."

An E.On spokeswoman added the company had worked closely with police and climate groups before and that the utmost importance was the safety of the employees on site.

In April police arrested 114 people at a school close to the Ratcliffe-on-Soar plant, claiming they believed protestors were due to take part in an "unlawful action".

So far no-one has been charged with any offence.

Model 'swoop'

Activists said the success of last week's "swoop" on Dartmouth Field in Blackheath for the week-long camp is being seen as a model for the October invasion.

"Now those skills will be used to enter the Ratcliffe site and stop emissions from the site's 200 metre-high chimney," said a statement from Climate Camp.

People attending the camp in London were being trained in non-violent direct action techniques to use at the protest in October, it added.

Paul Roberts, who has been staying at the camp in London, said he voted for Ratcliffe because of the "greenwash" it used to persuade the public it was helping the environment.

"And it's colluding with the government so it can carry on its polluting business as usual and protect its profits," he added.

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