Send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone, here’s a poem. I couldn’t have written it without you; your stories and memories. Not sure if it’s finished or about the name. I welcome any constructive criticism, comments. Thank you for the insiration you have given to us all. Good luck with the unfair dismissal tribunals and hope you get to meet Miliband,
love and solidarity, Anne.
Let the light shine, always.
A Breath of Fire
“All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.” Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
The turbulent power of a latent force,
inexhaustible, turns a blade, pulsing
beauty sweeps the air, spun light and invisible
fire are born from the collision of hope,
science and profit, in opposition to the burning
that, unchanged and unrenewable, could spread
the parched floodfiremelt to the horizons.
This is the earth we’re talking about.
Inside the factory that moulds the blades,
despite scant time to prepare or call out,
a war is waged; for justice and jobs,
against the word can’t, in the courage
and imagination of the workers occupation.
Sleeping on the hard floors, waving from a balcony,
breathing light around the world, into time.
A man sits for hours, outside the occupied building,
hunched under an umbrella over bags of food,
while security, stony faced look on and shuffle.
Later the crowds outside the gate will call for
one hot meal for the occupiers and the management
will concede. Meanwhile a kaleidoscope of tents
springs up among floating trade union banners,
on a roundabout where time pauses and leaps.
This is what solidarity looks like.
Forget metaphors, let’s have some facts,
as this poem is specific, not an elegy.
Carbon Dioxide 387 parts per million and rising
Vestas Blades made £575 million profit in 2008
before the 600 redundancies on an island where 3000
bid for 300 vacancies, Just days before we heard,
“You have to give people green hope not green despair,”
Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband 15th July 2009.
The glow in a steel drum under a waxing moon.
A book shelve that shines with words of resistance.
Red, green, coarse hewn, care sown banners.
Scorched rubber as bikers, visors down,
circle the campsite, fists high under the sun.
A picnic in a job centre. Marching time and again.
A song, a rebel song uniting voices, playing outside
the factory gates, playing on the streets, playing on.
This is what solidarity looks like.
Picketing the back gate where blackberry bushes
sing from the earth that this is the end of summer.
Waiting for a spring tide, by the glint of the Medina.
Straddling steel poles twenty five feet high from
dawn to dusk. Clinging to moving cranes in a harbour.
Calling for the lightning that holds a ship in the dock
and turns it back from the other side.
This turbulent power of a latent force,
inexhaustible, turns history, spinning the light
of our fire, visible , born from the collision
of dreams, organisation and need, checking
the pulse of change and beauty, in opposition
to burnt potential and will renew, spread
our floodfiremelt, return eternal, no horizons.
This is the future we’re talking about.
– Anne Edda Cooper
Please let sanity prevail – we can’t eat money – the planet needs some harm reversal – please support the vestas appeal xxxxx
– S Howe
Keep up the fight, if we don’t fight we don’t have a chance of winning. Time for those who are silent to start speaking up. The tide is turning……and that is something the government can’t change.
– Neena Beeharry
Let us all come together in this fight against job losses, all too common in the UK at the moment!!!!!
Yours in solidarity,
– Jim McCartan, Branch Officer Health & Safety PCSU, Dalston JCP
I am writing in support of the current struggle to save the Vestas factory. I’ve followed this story over the summer with utter disbelief, and am delighted to hear from colleagues at the World Development Movement about the day of action in Cardiff on 17 September. I’ll get along to the demo if I can.
– Dr Gideon Calder, University of Wales, Newport
When I first heard about your campaign it really warmed my heart and it gives me hope that workers in the UK are fighting for change. I am campaigner myself with the World Development Movement and I am angry at the UK government about pouring billions of pounds into banks but not doing more to build sustainable energy generation. I am supporting your actions. Also, there are hundreds of factories all around the world that have been occupied by workers and are run successfully, which goes to show that we don’t need managers and bosses. I just heard that the workers at the ceramics factory in Argentina that was occupied for 8 years have won an important legal victory. Very inspiring.
– Susanne Schuster, Brighton
I was at the Plymouth meeting last night that Dave (Arbo) [Arbuthnott] came down to talk at – just the most fantastic talks – we are all in admiration of you all and totally support what you do.
Keep up the fight
– Suzy Franklin, Unison Health Steward
All the very best to you all. As one who was involved in occupations during the miners’ strike and who occupied thier own work place for over six months in the 80’s I know how tough it can be. You have right on your side and the support of people who know you are doing this for us all. Stay strong. All the very best.
– Jan Koene, Chair of the UCU Branch at Carshalton College
Brilliant work! Stay strong! The government should absolutely be nationalising Vestas and why don’t you all manage it yourselves and never have to put up with the kind of appalling treatment you have had to, ever again? Solidarity!
– Maggie Bremner, Regional Organiser NASUWT
As a graduate in renewable energy who can’t find work in the sector I know that as well as your jobs being important to you and your families they are also so important not just for the UK but for the future of the planet. Stay strong,
You are inspiration to us all. It is so easy to sit in meetings and discuss theories for change, you are changing society. Well done & good luck today. Please don’t get injuries in the struggle.
– Margot Lindsay
I hope you get what you want and keep your jobs. Too many capitalist companies out there, who do not care about families and the devestation that being made redundant causes. My thoughts are with you at this trying time, and hope common sense prevails. Unity and solidarity always brothers.
– Doug Oxer, RMT
Just a quick message of support from Adam Fisher and Orly Razgour to the brave workers occupying Vestas, and all the protesters and union organisers supporting them there.
We are currently carrying out conservation work in the south Devon area, and are not able to physically be there with the workers, but today we are going to do us much e.mail activism as possible, in solidarity with all at Vestas.
next stop, is an e.mail to Ed Milliband to let him know just how hypocritical it would be of an environment minister promising so much to deliver so little and to fail the workers of vestas and beyond.
Anyways, WELLDONE!, KEEP UP THE OCCUPATION, KNEES UP MOTHER EARTH!!
– Adam n Orly xxx
Your campaign and occupation of your plant has been such an inspiration to so many people and has foregrounded issues that are crucially important. Whatever happens, you have already won a great victory. Our hearts at Ruskin go out to you for what you have done.
– Dr Philip Walden, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Ruskin College, Oxford, and member of Democratic Socialist Alliance
I am an ex coal miner and fought for my job for 12 months 84/85. We occupied Coal Board premises and barricaded ourselves in also. The police tried the same ‘starving’ tactic!! Our families threw food in to us in footballs and tennis balls!! I believe in your cause and support your battle. Miliband and our disgusting government state one thing on one hand, and allow the fascist law enforcers to employ draconian tactics on the other. Dont give in!! This country looks after fascists and the corporate capitalists, unfortunately, since the scandalous thatcher years, there has been no let up only acceleration. Good luck
– “Flowers of Manc”
Talk about green shoots, here’s a real one so come on Ed get this plant nationalised and put your green credentials where your mouth is. Power to you all. Up the revolution!
– Jacqui Burke, daughter of an ex-miner
Thanks for fighting back, our kids need to see that it’s possible to stand up to the bosses, you’re an inspiration.
– Julie Donovan
I am a researcher into the global market in wind turbines at Edinburgh University and I’m supporting the protest. Britain has much to gain from this industry and the government need to put their money where *our* values lie; renewables, green technology and innovation. Keep going guys!
– Corra Boushel, University of Edinburgh
I so admire your strength, honour, humour and humanity. I wish you a successful outcome and thank you for the glorious sight of such human unity that has come about since you started this protest. “We, the people” are looking good through you 🙂
Two thousand years ago, a Roman Senator suggested that all slaves wear white armbands to better identify them. “No,” said a wiser Senator. “If they see how many of them there are, they may revolt.”
– Tina Louise x
good luck to you all stick out you have nothing to lose
it has been lost but you can win if the Goverment back you up to save your jobs go fight
few of us from Visteon are planning to come over to show our support
we won but yes its hard work sleeping on the floor i myself nearly sixty
can do so can you young ones
see you all soon
– linda bartle ex visteon
I’m so so pleased you’re doing this! I was really upset and angry when I heard about Vestas closing, but felt so powerless to do anything about it – I’m so glad that you didn’t feel the same! Well done! You’re an inspiration! Thankyou!
– Tim Halpin (Slightly less miserable recent graduate in Tamworth)
It’s heartening to hear the news of your occupation; well done! This is a great step forward in the fight to save your jobs and our environment.
– Frank Ormston, Railworker and TSSA member, York
On behalf of my soon-to-be born daughter, I wish you all at Vestas the absolute best of luck in finding a way to survive the current crisis! Personally I think you should get Fred Goodwin’s pension!
– Adam Hardy & family
Bravo to you. Many people are behind you and I am one of them
– Arthur Smith (low grade comic)
If we can bail out banks driven to bankruptcy by greed and hubris, we can guarantee jobs in clean industries, and support communities. Anyone who supports the fight against climate change and for social justice should give the Vestas workers their full support. Best of luck!
– Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur, authors of Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?
I have only just learnt through my UCU contacts that the Newport plant is under threat.
I am the nephew of Trevor Phillips, sadly no longer with us, who I believe your members may recall from the start of the Newport plant. I feel that this is something that would totally appal him.
As a member of the trade union movement (UCU) here at the University of Leeds who are also fighting swinging job cuts; also working for environmental issues within TUs may I send you my support and hopes for your endeavours.
– Nigel Bubb BSc PhD, Member UCU committee, Leeds Association
Writing as a supporter of you’re exemplary action I can only suggest you tell others under impending threat and trade unionists in general, ‘admire us less and take hold of you’re own workplaces more’. It is only in this way we can build on strength in solidarity.
– Ray Rising
Congratulations to the Vestas workers. You deserve the support not only of all trades unionists but all who care for the environment. There could not be a clearer case for a publicly owned and democratically controlled industry. You are leading the way. Best wishes and solidarity,
– Ken Loach
It is a scandal that your factory is threatened with closure at a time when wind turbines are needed more than ever.
– Dave Packer
Dear Mr Miliband,
I wanted to email you to urge that strong action is needed to save the Vestas plant. The most recent issue of New Scientist, summarising the latest research on rising water levels was chilling, so the idea of letting the UKs only wind turbine plant fall apart because of the whims of the market, seems insane at the least.
Can I also suggest a possible solution; that the government should offer to put money into the enterprise, with the aim of the creation of a co-op there, and for each £1 the government puts in, you ask the workers, and the public (like me) to also invest £1 in the plant. The idea of raising capital for co-op enterprise has worked excellently for the Fenland Power Co-op (http://www.fens.coop/) where the subscription to invest it in was oversubscribed. It also gets people to put into the idea thus seeing it as a positive that we can act on, rather than a negative – but it needs the government to start the ball rolling. There is more on these ideas of peer-finance here; http://p2pfoundation.net/Direct_Finance
Thanks for your time,
– Tomas Rawlings
To All the Brave Workers at Vestas,
Congratulations on your principled stand. It is madness, when we are all worried about non-renewable resources and global warming , that a factory in this country, staffed with skilled and dedicated workers & producing eco-friendly equipment is threatened with closure.
I am proud that fellow trade unionists (many of whom are RMT brothers) are prepared to stand up to this idiocy and I wish you every success.
– Dave Rowland
Ed Miliband: We are unlikely to be a centre for onshore wind
production, if up and down the country, and indeed on the Isle of Wight, onshore wind applications are consistently turned down. So we have to win a political argument that environmentally and industrially, onshore wind is part of the solution. Vestas are keeping a protoype plant and we are considering an application from them for government help to test and develop offshore wind-blades in a factory employing 150 people on the Isle of Wight initially and potentially more later.
Independent 25th July 2009
Please save your plant! Do what you must. I felt like adding for England! But it sounds a bit St Crispins Day. But it is for us for England.
We have been trying to get a windmill for 5 years on our property near Exmoor. Even prepared to pay 25K for the privilege! It’s a bit like trying to swallow a whale. The obstructions and impossibilities are endless. We need you to stay put and make those windmills!
Nothing could make me happier than to know you have saved your plant. (and the planet) What else can I do? Stay strong!
– Dr Eva Chapman
I write to you with regards to the proposed closure of the Vestas Wind Systems factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight. I will not claim to be an expert on Climate Change and neither will I claim to be an expert on Wind Turbines. However, I grew up on the Isle of Wight and I still have family and friends there, and I know that good jobs have always been in short supply on the Island. It seems that those working in the Vestas factory are skilled workers in a specialised industry which happens to be very important if we hope to achieve the very ambitious cuts in carbon emissions which the government have promised and which, more importantly, are required to curb climate change.
I understand that climate change may be on the backburner given the tough economic times, and I have read with interest your article on the Guardian website, but given the government’s pledges to create thousands of green jobs I don’t see how it makes sense to let this factory close. Surely it makes more economic sense to keep existing jobs rather than having to create ‘brand new’ jobs from scratch? As I have stated, the Isle of Wight already suffers from a lack of jobs, with many being seasonal in the tourist industry which is also surely suffering during the recession, so the loss of further permanent jobs is going to hit the local economy and the businesses suppliers very hard. I may also be missing something in terms of wind turbines, but I’m not sure why the plants wind-turbines are unsuitable for Britain. You say they are different-sized but surely they can be adapted? In fact, surely the wind doesn’t mind what size the turbines are? They may be ‘non-standard’ for the UK, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the other ‘non-UK-standard’ parts to create working wind turbines… It’s not like the wind in the UK is somehow incompatible with these different sized turbines.
Disregarding this completely, your reasoning for closing the plant is that Vestas could not get sufficient orders even if the factory were to convert to the UK standard. Apparently subsidies aren’t the problem, but volume of orders. Well then why don’t the government order some wind turbines rather than attempting to subsidise others? You talk of the need to ‘rally round’ our wind turbine industry, but unfortunately most members of the general public don’t have the money to buy industrial sized wind turbines.
The argument regarding planning permission is all very well and good, but we’ve all seen that when the government want something to go ahead, be it a new runway for an airport, a huge new shopping mall or an Olympic stadium that forces small businesses to close and residents to move, it gets the go-ahead. Don’t pretend that the government doesn’t ride roughshod over residents’ legitimate concerns when it wants to. Please note, I am not saying this is a good thing, I am merely pointing out the fallacy that planning permission is out of the governments hands and that you can’t or won’t ignore residents when it suits you. It’s clear where the priorities lay when coal power stations and new runways are pushed through despite massive public opposition but politicians bemoan local residents for refusing to let them put wind turbines up.
I would also like to voice my disgust at the police blockading the site that workers are occupying and refusing to let people in to deliver them food and supplies. This is yet another example of the police at best being heavy-handed in regards to a peaceful protest and at worst abusing their powers. It should be noted that this peaceful protest has been surrounded and blocked off by police in riot gear who have threatened protesters and those supporting them with legally tenuous charges, and who have attempted to force entry into private property without any injunction.
I thank you for reading and I very much hope you will take these opinions into consideration,
– Andrew Sibley
just want to let all of you in there know that you are a MASSIVE inspiration for so many people – in your defiance, in your resistance of state authority, in highlighting the gaping holes in our economic system, in your work on climate change. thank you thank you, and best of luck
Published letter in the ARGUS:
Springfield Road, Brighton
As a concerned citizen, with strong connections to the Isle of Wight, I am writing to complain at police actions since the workers at Vesta began their protest. Acting, apparently without injunction, local constabulary have:
a) repeatedly tried to break into the office where the workers have barricaded themselves,
b) threatened workers with arrest for aggravated trespass, despite the fact that no damage has been done to the property, and
c) forcibly removed people from private property.
The officer involved in the latter action was number 3606. The officer who appears to be in charge is 3115.
It appears that, rather than behaving in a neutral manner, local police are colluding with management to starve the occupation out. I trust you will be investigating these matters with the officers involved, and look forward to hearing your reaction as a matter of urgency.
– Mark Cassidy
Now those NIMBYs (not in my back yardies) who think wind turbines are an eyesore, will vote Labour. Gordon’s first bit of good news this year.
– Geoff Lange
KEEP ON GOING! I’m willing you on! Just don’t turn to eating each other. Thinking of you 😀
– Red Fred
Last summer on a walking holiday in the Isle of Wight, we walked past this company and saw the turbine blades ready for loading – it was great! We were so pleased to see this business and to see the blades being produced. This form of energy production is not invested in enough and it’s so important.
In my work in Christian Aid we see the effects of climate change on the poorest people’s in the world – people who’ve done little to cause the problem and who are suffering disproportionately. They desperately need us to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050, with milestones for reduction starting now. Wind energy is one way of doing this.
And as a recent report indicates, wind energy can help us to reduce emissions:
Britain ready for huge increase in wind power as new report scuppers anti-wind arguments
Britain’s energy system is already capable of taking a large amount of wind power, according to a new report released today by a leading energy expert. The report shows that there is no technical reason why a significant amount of energy generated by wind cannot be used to supply the National Grid. Report author David Milborrow, an energy expert with 30 years experience in the field, said:” Utilities worldwide generally agree there is no fundamental technical reason why high proportions of wind cannot be assimilated without the lights going out.” (OneWorld)
All power to the workers at Vesta: how can we support you?
– Lindsey Pearson, Yorkshire Unit Manager, Christian Aid
Solidarity with your struggle for the right to work and construct renewable energy capture machinery. Your struggle epitomises the ruthlessness of the capitalist system not only on our livelihoods but also on our environment. The workers united will never be defeated!
– Chris Marks, Vice-President Education, Hull University Union (pc)
We need Wind energy, wind power, using natural resources has to be the way forward to save our planet. We totally fully support wind tubine power for our Island.
– Julie & Hugh Whitehead
It is sickening that the planetary crisis is being exploited by the very corporations that always have exploited the planet and its inhabitants, squeezing out the genuine people who are working for the good of the planet not to line their pockets. In solidarity.
– Julienne Ford
I offer my support and solidarity to stop the closure of yet another resource being taregetted for closure.
The planet is all of our responsibility, it is high time that this tory esk government created laws, that are of use to us the people to help protect our planet and those that persist in global destruction are brought to justice. We know who they are and so do they.
– Peter Chadwick
It’s outrageous that after spending £trillions bailing out the greedy bankers and sending our troops to fight unwinnable and unjustified wars, the New Labour government is not rushing in to rescue your 600 jobs and the vital technology you are producing. It makes no sense for Britain to consider importing this technology from elsewhere at greater economic, environmental and social costs whilst sacrificing your skills and expertise and Britain’s potential to be at the forefront of this globally important green energy technology just when we need it most urgently. In solidarity.
– Stephanie Prior
I wish you personally, and from many friends and family, huge support. Your jobs are of value to your community, our country and our future on this planet. The Government’s short sighted policies are nothing short of criminal and it seems horrific that at times of such hardship, tax payers money is being used to try to stop workers defending their livelihoods and fighting for the future sustainability of our planet. There are many people who believe in your fight and are trying to support you. Your success at this time is of course vital to you all personally but it is also of great importance to our country’s future.
– Jane Ambrose (NUT)
Good luck you determined people. You inspire me and others to think about the bigger picture and believe in our power to do something, which should be the norm in a democratic society, but appears to not be what our ‘democratic’ government wants. Keep going.