Stroud District Green Party stands in solidarity with those who have been arrested at a peaceful demonstration at Javelin Park. Stroud Greens will not stop standing up for residents and communities who do not want this disastrous project and the impact it will have for the environment and health.
Rachel Smith, Green County Councillor for Minchinhampton, said: “Civil disobedience has a long and honourable tradition. All democratic means of stopping the incinerator have been exhausted; indeed, the local democratic decision was over-ruled by central Government. Civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action are legitimate and necessary for the local community to continue to oppose this polluting, wasteful and backward project.”
The protest, which started as a birthday party on Sunday, outside the main gate of the site, became a peaceful blockade. When Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) realised they would not be able to use the main gate, they bulldozed a second entrance, breaking up kerbstones in the process and breaching their planning consent by using a hastily constructed and possibly unsafe site entrance. Protesters then staged a sit-in at this second location, until they were asked to move. Four arrests were made on the grounds of obstructing the highway.
The controversy around the incinerator continues, with a recent report deeming incineration and so called ‘energy from waste’ projects a threat to reaching recycling targets. Whilst the 2013 contract between Gloucestershire County Council and UBB shows how the pricing structure will undermine recycling, a heavily redacted report from 2015 suggests that process will increase and therefore the now familiar figure of £500 million may be an underestimate of the costs, calling into question the claim from the County Council that the incinerator will save the County £100m over 25 years.
Updates from the protestors will be available via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cancelthecontract/