The police operation here today has been massive. Police boats patrolling the river, filming anyone that took their interest on the banks of the Medina. Strolling police cameramen filming and photographing the protestors. Dozens of ‘ordinary’ Hampshire Constabulary police with the policeman’s helmet and the big hat badge posted on the cyclepath to deal with the public, and lots of more shady looking characters wearing baseball caps stationed on the jetty to deal with anyone foolhardy enough to try some direct action.
All this in addition to the company’s security guards who, I’ve been told, were on £45 an hour throughout this campaign.
In truth, short of flinging ourselves into the river, clambering up the jetty, wrestling several police to the ground, we could not have stopped the blades getting out today. But they did not get them all. Only one barge came at high tide at noon; we think there are more blades and some equipment to go. The cyclepath was closed while the blades were moved and was re-opened afterwards, but the police remain and the riverside footpath has been shut down completely for two days. So we think Vestas will be back for the rest.
It seems likely that the barge will come tonight at high tide or tomorrow again around noon at high tide.
We did not watch the sorry spectacle without protest. All the workers and supporters who have not been warned off going on the footpath (they were the ones who were turfed out of their tents at 6am this morning) ran down and protested on the path. We’ll meet this afternoon to discuss what next.
A planning meeting of the council tonight that will consider Vestas’ application for a research and development facility at Stag Lane, Newport should have some workers in attendance.