Freedom News

Climate Camp wraps up after Ineos confrontation

Following well-organised protests at the site of Scotland’s biggest polluter the camp at Kinneil, Grangemouth has been tidied away and legal support is now ongoing for nine people who were detained over the weekend.

The camp was sited just a mile away from Ineos’ headquarters to the east of Grangemouth, a sprawling complex as large as the town itself which incorporates an oil refinery, pipeline terminal and chemical works. It is also the intended site of a new hydrogen generation facility using fossil gas, which critics have said amounts to little more than a greenwashing project.

The environmental protection agency has issued the company with multiple fines for safety breaches at the facility, and premature deaths in Grangemouth town are significantly higher than the national average. The site creates 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Hundreds of people turned out for the planned weekend of action, which was opened by an occupation of the firm’s tanker terminal on Friday. Four activists kayaked into the water beneath the Ineos oil terminal at Hound Point and held banners reading “Resist and Renew”. One person entered the terminal itself and held a banner reading “INEOS: profiting from poverty and pollution”.

This was followed on Saturday by the main event, which saw a large march that defied police cordon attempts, where nine people were arrested.

Among the marchers was Kenny Alexander, a petrochemicals worker for 35 years who grew up in Grangemouth. He said:

“INEOS’ Jim Ratcliffe is a multi-billionaire and the transfer of public wealth into a massive private swag bag is eye watering. While this country that he says he cares about is in massive debt he lives on super yachts in Monaco escaping tax!

“I had a heating bill in the winter one month £600 while I could see Ratcliffe refinery lit up like New York. He doesn’t pay a heating bill he exploits ours, an abuse of power akin to the highland clearances for the population around Grangemouth. Our bills go up while he lives the high life.

“The Industrial Revolution started this pollution but we have the knowledge and solution a non-violent green revolution. Transition must start now and should start here. Lets be world leaders on tackling global warming.”

A second occupation also took place, this time of the roof of the Ineos plant reading ‘Climate Justice for Grangemouth’. The gas-fired power station, which is supposedly “high security”, was occupied for seven hours. Jacinda Rattle was one of the four who occupied the power station on Saturday. She said: “Direct action can spread a culture of resistance and discontent with fossil fuels. Repeated direct action becomes such a problem for an industry that they have to shut down production.”

The protest was rounded off on Sunday evening, when an anonymous group projected: “INEOS: Scotland’s Worst Polluter” and “Resist and Renew” on one of the company’s cooling towers.

Organisers have expressed thanks to everyone who got involved and are now looking to donations to recoup costs/help fund future actions.

Pics from Climate Camp Scotland

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