A key coal facility in Lanarkshire, Ravenstruther coal loading terminal, has been successfully blockaded by climate and community campaigners this morning. The protesters say that the action was taken to highlight the threat to peoples health and the planet's climate that open cast coal mines cause.
At 6.30 this morning ten campaigners, together with local residents, peacefully blockaded Ravenstruther coal loading terminal in South Lanarkshire. Having stopped its reopening after the weekend, they are currently preventing coal being loaded and transported.  Protesters plan to stay in place as long as possible.
Two protesters are locked on top of the coal conveyor belt, holding a large banner with the words “No New Coal” high over the terminal. Others are blockading the front gate with their bodies, arm tubes and bike locks.
The action is aiming to disrupt the operations of Scottish Coal in the region. The protesters are acting to oppose the five open cast coal mines active in the area, and in resistance to the thirteen new open cast coal mines due to open in Scotland.  
Bill Reid who is at the site said: “In the face of dangerous runaway climate change, increasing our dependence on coal – the most polluting of the fossil fuels – is simply unacceptable. We urgently need to switch to renewable energy and close existing mines. We shouldn’t even be thinking about new ones.”
The demonstration today is in support of the Lanarkshire communities who are opposing new open cast mines.  Anna Mackenzie, a local resident said: “We’re here today to send a clear message that we don’t want parts of Scotland such as South Lanarkshire to become the most heavily mined areas in Europe, as they will be if permission is granted for all the new open cast coal mines currently being proposed. Direct action is not just the only avenue left open, it is also an effective one, as demonstrated by the occupation of Mainshill Wood which has been preventing an open cast mine from starting and furthering highlighting the negative health impact which open casting has been having on the people of Douglas." 
Another protester, Helen Forbes said: “Local authorities, the Scottish government and companies like Scottish Coal and Scottish Power are ignoring the scientific evidence on climate change. We have to take responsibility for our climate and our future, and stop the coal industry and its expansion. Today at Ravenstruther we're acting responsibly”.
With Scotland’s CO2 emissions increasing significantly, continuing the consumption of coal will make it impossible for Scotland to meet its 80% target reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Jo Price said “The Scottish government is paying lip service to the dangers of climate change. As long as they allow companies like Scottish Coal to dig up our countryside and burn the product we won't meet the targets.” 
It is estimated that 6,380 tonnes of coal were stopped from being loaded, equivalent to 11,675,400 kg CO2 released into the atmosphere.
The blockaders apologized to any workers affected by today’s demonstration, but in recognizing the desperate need to stop burning coal sees no other choice but to target the companies responsible for mining it.
ENDS ~ NOTES SEE BELOW
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 There is currently a coal freight train sitting in Ravenstruther coal-rail terminal, which this action is preventing from being loaded. Five such trains leave Ravenstruther every day.
 3 open cast coal mines deliver coal to the Ravenstruther coal-rail terminal. The new mines proposed for Lanarkshire are likely to use it too (as is the case with Poniel open cast, which started producing coal in
 Ravenstruther coal-rail terminal delivers coal to power stations throughout England including Drax (Drax Group plc.), Rugeley (International Power), and Ironbridge (E.on).
 Douglas hosted a Community Health Public Meeting on 23rd September 2009, after a Community Health Study of the heavily-mined Douglasdale area revealed it as a troubling significant hotspot for respiratory illnesses
“Studies performed in the United States indicate higher lung cancer rates, and higher mortality rates for respiratory, heart, and kidney diseases in communities living in proximity to open-cast coal extraction
operations. ” (See Coal Health Study, below)
Douglasdale Health Study 2009:
“Opencast mines will lead to public health disaster, warns poison expert”
(The Herald, 26/09/09)
“Health should come before opencast profit in Douglas” (Lanark Gazette,
 According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 160,000 people
already die each year as a direct result of global warming.
 For more on the case against coal mining in Lanarkshire, see Coal
Action Scotland's excellent briefing.
Today's campaigners are NOT from the group Coal Action Scotland.