Thursday, 30 July 2009

Thousands of Big Green Gathering ticketholders urged to show support at Vestas wind turbine factory

Police in the Isle of Wight are bracing themselves for the possible arrival of thousands of environmental activists who are heading to the island in a show of support for workers facing the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory.

Around 25 Vestas workers are continuing their eight-day occupation of the the plant.

Hundreds of protesters have already flocked to the island in support of the staff, camping nearby in a show of solidarity that has been described as a new "red and green" coalition.

Their numbers could surge tomorrow after 15,000 festival-goerswith tickets for the now-cancelled Big Green Gathering festival in Somerset (BGG), were urged to head to the demonstration instead.

Throughout today blogs, emails, Facebook messages and Twitter feeds have carried messages urging those who would have attended BGG, a four-day event featuring music, debates and practical green living demonstrations, to book ferry tickets to the Isle of Wight .

There was no official call from BGG's organisers for disappointed ticketholders to divert to the Vestas protest, but the idea has spread quickly via word of mouth among green activists.

Some are calling the mass gathering in the Isle of Wight "Vestival", a play on the music festival Bestival that takes place on the island in September.

The BGG gathering was cancelled on Sunday, after Mendip district council and Somerset police sought a high-court injunction to prevent the family-friendly event from going ahead, claiming that it posed a safety risk.

The festival's directors have accused the police of taking a politically motivated decision to shut down the festival, possibly because it woud have raised money for the protest group Climate Camp, which is planning a major demonstration in London next month.

A convoy of several hundred Climate Camp activists are today heading to the Isle of Wight with the food, drink and camping equipment they had intended to use at the BGG. They will be joined by activists from other environmental groups, including Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Rush and Plane Stupid.

A group called Workers Climate Action, composed of socialist environmental campaigners, has already been on the island for almost a month, and helped to persuade staff that occupying the factory was the right course of action.

"We don't want to overburden the people already there, but the the message we're getting back is the more the merrier," said Steve Milligan, of Climate Camp.
"The idea is we'll be self-sufficient. There are various bits of grass where we can put up some tents ."

Many of the new influx of protesters are planning to arrive in time for a court hearing at Newport tomorrow, in which Vestas Windsystems will seek permission to regain possession of the plant. The company says its factory must close, with a loss of 625 staff, because the UK wind turbine market is not growing fast enough. The hearing could set in train the legal process allowing bailiffs to remove protesters from the site, which is scheduled to close on Friday.

Energy secretary Ed Miliband, who was heckled by Vestas protesters in Oxford yesterday , announced the UK government has awarded £6m to Vestas Technology, to help fund a turbine research centre at the Newport site.

However, the Danish firm said this would not prevent the closure of the Isle of Wight factory. Vestas plans to move production to Colorado in the United States.


WORKERS occupying Vestas Blades plant in Newport were given a stay of execution today (Wednesday) when a county court judge ruled that managers had not prepared the legal case to throw them out of the factory correctly.

Judge Graham White ordered Vestas’ legal team to come back next Tuesday (August 4) with papers to evict the workers after hearing evidence that workers named by Vestas had not been personally served with eviction notices.

As news filtered through to the hundreds of protestors outside, they began to cheer and chant 'The workers united will never be defeated.’

Steve Stotesbury, a Vestas worker who has been elected to represent the workers staging a sit-in at the factory, said: "This is a peaceful demonstration and that has been proved in court. We now say, management, come and join us at the negotiating table, lets sort this out. We are willing to talk.

"If they still do not heed our warning, I say fight on, victory is in sight."

From inside the factory, Mark Smith said: "We are all over the moon. As soon as the news broke we were all jumping up and down. Last night we all put in letters of appeal against our letters of dismissal on the grounds the company did not follow procedures."

Judge White told Vestas’ legal team he expected them to get their facts straight when they came before the court.

He ruled that Vestas had not complied with rules which govern the length of time that court proceedings can be instigated after papers to evict the workers had been served.

He said: "They must be served two clear days before the hearing date. It is accepted by the claimant that it was not and I can see no compelling reason why I should shorten that period."

He added: "I see no clear evidence of any threat of violence to property or persons by reason of the individuals occupying the property remaining there. It does not mean I sanction them remaining there.

"As far as service on named individuals is concerned, the law is very clear. Any named individual must be personally served and I am not satisfied that any named individual there apart from Mark Smith has been personally served."

For Vestas, Adam Rosenthal argued that the workers had been 'tentatively identified’ but Judge White told him he was 'distinctly uncomfortable’ with Vestas’ position.

He said: "They have not been tentatively identified, they are on the claim form. They are all listed. One does expect claimants to get their facts straight."

Monday, 27 July 2009

Solidarity with Vestas Occupation - save jobs, save the planet!

Solidarity with Vestas Occupation - save jobs, save the planet!
Demonstration: Tuesday 28th July, 6.30pm, London
Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place (off Whitehall, Charing Cross tube)
Called jointly by the Campaign against Climate Change and the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers)

Vestas plan to close the UK's only wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight on 31st July. 600 jobs will be lost immediately, many more jobs that depend on Vestas will follow. This makes no sense from a green or a labour perspective! Workers have now occupied the factory and need your support. Their action has led to mass publicity, a flood of solidarity messages from all over the world, and a growing snowball of joint protests by environmentalists and trades unionists.

The government has just announced a major expansion of renewable energy including wind power. We are calling on Vestas to keep the factories open, saving jobs and offering those who want to leave a better redundancy deal. We are calling on the government to intervene to save jobs at Vestas - through nationalisation if that is what it takes - to show that it is serious about saving the planet.

more info at

On Wednesday 29th the case goes to court for Vestas to take out an injunction to evict the occupiers of the plant in Newport on the Isle of Wight.

Hence the need for a show of support Tuesday evening – there will also be a big demonstration outside the court on the Isle of Wight on Wednesday morning.

Rally - Wed 29 July NEWPORT, IoW Newport County Court, rally to support occupiers defending hearing for a possession order, 10am

Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.

Messages of support to the Vestas campaign can be sent to


If you cannot make it to the Isle yourself there are also things you can do from home to support the workers:

- Send messages of support to as this lets the workers in the factory know that they have the support of people around the country and, hopefully, around the world.

- Donate to the Vestas Fighting Fund:
Cheques Payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union
Send Cheques to:
22 Church Lane
Isle of Wight
PO33 2NB
(suggest writing in with the cheque that you wish it to go to the Vestas Fighting Fund)

- Bombard Ed Miliband: let the government know the public will not let them wriggle out of their commitment to green energy when they have an opportunity to bail out a green energy company the way they did the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Doncaster constituency office tel. 01302 875 462
Westminster office tel. 020 7219 4778

- Sign the Save Vestas
petition on 10 Downing Street website



If you want to go to the Isle of Wight and join the campaign there, as many activists from around the country have already done:

National Express coaches go London to Southampton every hour, with funfares from £5 booking online.

Megabus coaches go London to Southampton at 08:39, 10:39, 12:39. 14:39, 16:00 and 21:39, with prices from £6 (the 16:00 ones tend to be the cheapest).

Both arrive at the National Express station on Harbour Parade in Southampton, about ten minutes walk from the Isle of Wight ferry terminal (the Red Funnel terminal). To get to the terminal:
1. Head south on Harbour Parade
Go through 1 roundabout
2. Turn left at A3057/W Quay Rd
Continue to follow A3057
Go through 1 roundabout
3. Turn right at Bugle Street
Destination will be on the left

Red Funnel ferries cost £7 at the desk, and from £4 booking in advance online. When you arrive on the Island, take the chain ferry from East Cowes to Cowes, then the No. 1 bus to Newport from the stop on Newport Rd.

You can also go by train from Waterloo to Southampton Central and then get the Red Jet ferry service to West Cowes check for times / cost. You can buy a through ticket to West Cowes at Waterloo which includes the ferry. The no1. bus from Cowes to Newport - £3 - leaves from directly outside the ferry terminal building.

To join up with one of the existing support networks on the island
contact Ed Maltby on 07775 763 750.

For more information about the campaign on the Island and what you can do, email or

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Saving Vestas

Solidarity Demo
Vestas Workers Occupation Victory

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Edible Streets

22 July 2009, picking cherry plums in Wood Vale N10.

Haringey sets up a transport forum

We have been agitating for a forum in which residents interested in transport issues could meet with Council officers and others such as TfL and public transport officers to share information and to discuss policies and priorities.

Haringey have now set up a forum and we like to think we had some influence on it.

The second meeting took place on 8th July. Cllr Brian Haley made the introduction and a number of senior transport officers were present. Transport operators were also invited and First Capital Connect was represented. A number of useful presentations were made including:

* Mira Ruskin from Sustrans on DIY streets projects. She showed how it is possible to achieve much of the benefits of home zones at a fraction of the cost with the active participation of local residents. We are looking for suitable streets in Haringey where we might put these ideas into practice.
* Rob Davies from the Road Danger Reduction Forum. He proposes a more holistic approach to road danger with the emphasis not on the victim but on the perpetrator. Some boroughs are creating posts for a Road Danger Reduction officer and the suggestion is that Haringey should think about going down this route.

The next meeting will take place in September, date to be fixed. There will be a discussion on the Local Implementation Plan in which Haringey determines what money provided by TfL for transport works should be spent on. Watch this space.

Campaign Meeting - Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wednesday 22nd July, 6.30-8.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport

We are setting up a campaign for Vestas workers’ families and Isle of Wight residents to show their support for keeping jobs at Vestas. The families and communities campaign will be very important in keeping spirits up through this stressful time. For more details call 07775 763750.



Come to St Thomas Square in Newport at 5:30pm on Friday 24th July where we will be making a very public display of how we feel about the Vestas closures!
Come to the Isle of Wight to support the struggle!
Ring 07775763750 for more information.

Donations etc:

Rush messages of support to 07980 703115 and 07970 739921 and 07733 388888 Email solidarity messages to Visit the plant at Monks Brook, Newport, PO30 5WZ
Send a donation from yourself, your workplace, your trade union or campaign organisation. Cheques payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union Council, 22 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2NB.
Flood Energy minister Ed Miliband with emails and phone calls. His email is His phone number in his Doncaster constituency is 01302 875 462, and at Westminster, 020 7219 4778. Flood him with calls for the government to take over the Vestas factories, guarantee all the jobs, and keep producing under workers’ management.

Solidarity with the Occupation at Vestas - London Meeting

Save Jobs, Save the Planet

6pm, Friday 24th July
University of London Union, Malet St (nearest tubes, Goodge Street, Euston)

Speakers include: Vestas Worker, Chris Baugh, Ass. Gen Sec, PCS (pc), Campaign Against Climate Change.

Further details to be announced ASAP.

Save Vestas wind turbine plant!

Save Vestas wind turbine factory

Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down one of the two wind turbine factories in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.

Join us in a demonstration this Wednesday 22nd July outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, No. 3 Whitehall Place (off Whitehall, Charing Cross tube). Map here. Save Vestas.

Save Vestas wind turbine factory! | Campaign against Climate Change

Monday, 20 July 2009

Sustainable Haringey Summer Gathering

Sustainable Haringey Summer Gathering
Sunday 26th July, 1-5pm

at the beautiful Railway Fields Nature Reserve, Green Lanes, N4 (opposite Harringay Green Lanes train station)
1pm - 2pm Working groups meetings and informal networking
2pm - 5pm General discussions/agenda regarding strengthening the network and borough-wide green activities (including the Copenhagen-related Carbon Reduction Fortnight of local events/activities, Dec 5th-18th).
+ all welcome to bring food and refreshments to share

Sustainable Haringey co-ordination meeting

Sustainable Haringey co-ordination meeting
6.30pm, Tues 21st July
at the Big Green Bookshop
Brampton Park Road, N8

Agenda could include:
- reports from June's sustainability events and The Big Lunch
- reports from local groups, and working groups
- Copenhagen fortnight in Haringey (December)
- general co-ordination
- bulletins/updates

If every local group, and each working group, sends a rep or two along then we will be able to co-ordinate our borough-wide network and activities effectively...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Summer 2009

The Big Lunch - Sunday 19th July
A national day of local food-sharing events in public - including street parties and community picnics around Haringey
Chestnuts Park: 1-3pm
Lordship Rec / Broadwater Community Centre: 1-3pm
Queens Wood: 12noon onwards in the clearing
+ Markfield Park
- and other venues. Or just do it yourself outside your own front door with your neighbours!

+ that afternoon, at 2pm there will also be a special showing of the path-breaking climate change documentary/drama/animation
The Age of Stupid - climate change documentary/drama/animation. With speakers from Sustianble Haringey and Muswell Hill Friends of the Earth.
The Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley High Rd, N2

and then....

* * * * * * * *
Sustainable Haringey Summer Gathering
Sunday 26th July, 1-5pm

at the beautiful Railway Fields Nature Reserve, Green Lanes, N4 (opposite Harringay Green Lanes train station)
1pm - 2pm Working groups meetings and informal networking
2pm - 5pm General discussions/agenda regarding strengthening the network and borough-wide green activities (including the Copenhagen-related Carbon Reduction Fortnight of local events/activities, Dec 5th-18th).
+ all welcome to bring food and refreshments to share

* * * * * * * *

Monday, 13 July 2009

Banding Together to Save the Climate

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This kind of thing should be (Mili)band

Sustainable Haringey's members, Katie Brown and Tamsyn Wills joined the Stop Climate Chaos demonstration at Kingsnorth on Saturday (4 July 2009) to make a band around Kingsnorth by holding yellow sashes.

miliband 4
They came, they stood, they formed a giant human chain around Kingsnorth. The Miliband was formed with bodies and yellow sashes, and made up of over a thousand people!

miliband 5 surround the perimeter fence of Kingsnorth power station...

miliband 2

...with a clear message to the government and E.ON.

"Kingsnorth is a terrible idea. One power plant with a lifetime of several decades will destroy the efforts of millions of citizens to reduce their emissions" James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies

"EON's new power station planned for Kingsnorth will output more CO2 each year than the whole of Ghana" World Development Movement

The Kingsnorth proposal is the first in a string of possible new coal power stations that energy companies want to build in the UK. If it goes ahead it will completely undermine the Government’s objective to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

To find out more about the local and international effects of building a new coal power station at Kingsnorth see: Kingsnorth Film: a Local Issue going Global

If you would like to find out more about direct action, see the workshop below:

**Stepping into Action – 25th July**
2-4.30pm Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London, N1 2PN. Free/donation.
Run by two of Climate Camp's experienced trainers.

Direct action is about using our own bodies to make change – not asking others to do it for us. Direct activists aren’t superheroes, you could do it too!

This workshop is for people with little or no experience of direct action. Come along to meet other people in a similar situation, try out some tactics commonly used, and talk through concerns about taking action.

Places are limited to 20, so book you place today.

Email with "stepping into action" in the subject line.

This workshop is funded by Climate Camp.