Vestas Crane Activists Charged and Released
16th September 2009 – 3pm
The four Vestas supporters arrested yesterday have just been released after 17 hours of detention in Southampton police station.
Originally threatened with arrest under the Terrorism Act they have now been charged with aggravated trespass after spending seven hours locked on to Vestas cranes in Southampton Docks. They have been bailed to return to court on the 29th of September. Their bail conditions include non-association with one another and they have been banned from entering all Vestas sites in Southampton and on the Isle of Wight. One of the activists suffered minor injuries during the traumatic police removal.
The four now intend to press charges against Vestas’ shipping manager for ordering the two crane drivers to recklessly endanger their lives by turning on both cranes and moving the boom whilst one protester was attached to the moving parts that were then pulled violently through her arms and legs whilst police watched on and videod the incident.
One of the four, Jacqueline Sheedy said:
“Throughout the action we were peacefully occupying the crane and Vestas’ arrogance and quest for profits drove them to risk our lives in order to remove us in an attempt to carry on loading the blades as quickly as possible. The behaviour of Vestas management throughout has shown scant regard for the health and safety of their workforce and little sign of humanity in dealing with the closure of the factory. Dock workers in Southampton were calling us during this incident incredulous that this could happen, as did the RMT legal team.
“We were inundated with messages of encouragement from workers and activists around the country while on the cranes and this is yet more proof that this campaign is far from over and that it is only a small part of what will soon prove to be a much more widespread struggle for workers’ rights and the environment.”
It has been revealed that the actions have delayed transport of the wind turbine blades to the US by a day, as was intended. However, there is little doubt that the blades will eventually be moved due to the lack of demand for wind farms in the UK.
We have the components for green energy right here, right now so why are we not using them to full effect?
Vestas workers have been talking about their struggle at the TUC conference happening this week in Liverpool. There is also a national day of action taking place in support of Vestas workers tomorrow, September 17th.
The protest will continue untill the demands of the campaign have been met.
For further information please call: 07950 539254 or Jaymie ex-vestas occupier: 07875 441668
For further campaign information see website: savevestas.wordpress.com
[Sorry for the delay in posting this press release on the blog – WordPress was not working for a while.]