Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Greens object to police tactics at Vestas occupation

Police at the Vestas wind turbine factory occupation on the Isle of Wight have been preventing food being brought to protesters.

Acting without an injunction on private property, police officers have forcibly removed people, and repeatedly tried to break into the office where the protesting workers have barricaded themselves.

Police have also threatened the workers with arrest for aggravated trespass, despite no damage to the property where the protest is taking place.

Jenny Jones, home affairs spokesperson for the Green Party, said:

"This is a very heavy handed response and will do the police no favours with the general public who will understand the need to keep the company going. Factory occupations are usually a civil matter and using the police to deny people food is shameful and far from progressive policing. Workers protesting to keep their jobs shouldn't be starved out by the police."

Darren Johnson, the party's spokesperson on trade and industry, and parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, will be speaking at an emergency demonstration in front of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place (next to Trafalgar Square), at 6pm tonight.

Johnson said that:

"The government says it supports a seven-fold increase in renewables, but it is failing to stop the loss of 600 wind turbine manufacturing jobs at Vestas. The closure of the Vestas plant would lead to a 20% increase in unemployment across the Isle of Wight. Now is the time for Ed Miliband to match actions with words, starting with Vestas."

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