5 Detained as Work stopped on Muir Dean open cast coal site in Fife.This afternoon at 2pm five protesters stopped work at the Muir Dean open-cast coal mine near Crossgates in Fife, operated by ATH Resources.
They climbed onto a huge excavator in the centre of the pit, displaying a banner demanding “No New Coal”. Unexpectedly, Fife police detained all five protesters despite them agreeing to come down off the excavator, even though workers at the site were happy for them to just leave. They are currently being held at Dunfermline police station
One activist said “We're here to send a message to ATH Resources that mining the dirtiest fossil fuel and fuelling climate change is not acceptable. As mining companies such as ATH don't appear to be listening, we've come to stop them mining, too.”
Controversy surrounded the Muir Dean site as the original planning application was refused by Fife council and unanimously voted against by the council planning committee following hundreds of objections from local residents .
The decision by the local council to refuse the application was overturned by the Scottish Government sparking anger in Crossgates. Work at Muir Dean started in April 2008, being one of the “new coal” sites opening across Scotland and the UK.
The protesters are acting to oppose the thirteen new open cast coal mines due to open in Scotland as well as existing mines that significantly impact upon the quality of life of local communities. Scotland’s CO2 emissions are increasing significantly because of the burning of coal, and with the current push for new coal it will be impossible for Scotland to meet its 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
Another activist stated “The time to take action to prevent runaway climate change is now. People need to take responsibility for their surroundings as well as the wider world. The companies causing climate destruction must be stopped”.
The ATH Resources operated site produces around 450,000 tonnes of coal per year and will produce 4 million tonnes in total – equivalent to around 7.32 million tonnes  of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. The protesters apologize to any workers affected by today’s demonstration, but in recognizing the desperate need to stop burning coal see no other choice but to target the companies responsible for mining it.
- For further information please see: ttp://coalactionedinburgh.noflag.org.uk/
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- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal – Relative carbon cost: every kilogram of coal once trapped in CO2 weighs approximately 1.83Kg