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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Protesters end power plant action
The chimney at Kingsnorth Power Station
Protesters wrote Gordon Brown's name on the side of the chimney
Five Greenpeace campaigners who spent the night on top of a chimney at a Kent power station have ended their protest.

The four men and one woman scaled the 656ft (200m) smoke stack at Kingsnorth Power Station, Hoo, on Monday, over plans for a new coal-fired plant.

Along with 18 others who were arrested later that day, they had walked through security at the site unchallenged.

The five were arrested on Tuesday after the prime minister's name was painted on the stack.

Kent Police said they were being held on suspicion of criminal damage and unlawful trespass.

One other man was also detained at the power station site on Tuesday, bringing the total number of arrests in connection with the protest to 24.

The activists want Gordon Brown to reject proposals for the site.

We want to have a planet we can live in and bring up children in
Ben Stewart, protester

Greenpeace spokesman Robin Oakley said: "What we've done is branded this power station with the prime minister's name to leave him in no doubt that this is a problem he has to address.

"There's an application for the first new coal-fired power station in over 30 years on this site, and if that goes ahead and Gordon Brown fails to stop that, then he can basically kiss goodbye to tackling climate change."

E.ON UK wants to build a plant on the Kingsnorth site that could supply electricity to 1.5 million homes.

Activists have warned it will pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and claim it will create a precedent for more coal plants in the future.

Protester Ben Stewart, 33, said: "We want to have a planet we can live in and bring up children in. This will be difficult if countries like Britain build new coal-fired power stations."

Kingsnorth is a 1940-megawatt dual-fired power station
Each of its four main units is currently capable of using both coal and oil
E.ON UK plans to build two new cleaner coal units at Kingsnorth by 2012
It plans to cut carbon emissions by about two million tonnes a year
The units will produce enough electricity to supply about 1.5 million homes

During the protest on Monday, some of the Greenpeace campaigners chained themselves to the station's conveyor belt, while others abseiled down the smokestack in protest at E.ON's plans.

They had threatened to stay at the site for a week but a court injunction halted their plans.

One woman was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass after she gave herself up to officers.

Three more people were arrested at the pump house area of the plant on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage, police said.

And a further 14 were arrested after that in connection with aggravated trespass, a spokeswoman said.

Emily Highmore, from E.ON UK, said a thorough investigation into how the protesters got into the plant was under way.

"Everybody is perfectly entitled to have an opinion about any of our projects, but it's absolutely the wrong thing to do to break into an operational power station.

"It was thoroughly irresponsible. The protesters put their lives at risk and they put the lives of the people who came in to get them at risk as well," she said.

The company, which said it was investing heavily in climate change, said the plant remained operational throughout the protest.

Greenpeace campaigners end their power station protest

Plans for two coal power stations
14 Mar 07 |  UK Politics

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