Between 3-10 August the first Camp for Climate Action was successfully held in Scotland. Climate Camp Scotland occupied Mainshill Wood, the site of a proposed new opencast coal mine. The location was chosen in solidarity with local residents who are outraged at the proposed development, and to support a tree-sit already set up in the area to resist the mine.
Why were we there?
Scottish Coal, the UK’s largest opencast producer, has been given permission to mine 1.7 million tonnes of coal from Mainshill Wood by South Lanarkshire Council, a decision that enraged local residents who for years have campaigned against the mine. There are four other mines in the area, making it one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe, as well as an area with the highest cancer rates in Scotland.
What did we do?
Around 150 people attended the camp, greatly raising the profile of this important campaign of resistance in South Lanarkshire. Over the course of the week anonymous activists disabled a coal conveyor belt, gained entry to an estate belonging to Lord Home (a key backer of the development), played games in his garden, and dumped coal outside South Lanarkshire Council Headquarters.
Scotland is currently under threat from the development of an additional 20 new mines which have recently been given planning permission. These developments are completely unjust in the face of climate change and serve only to benefit the rich and wealthy, including corporations like Scottish Coal, upper class bureaucrats, and corrupt MPs who refuse to listen to the pleas of their constituents. Coal means misery and death, not just for the thousands of people seriously affected by mining in South Lanarkshire but also for disadvantaged communities around the world who are being hit first and hardest by climate change.
Climate Camp in Scotland has packed up its marquees, but the fight continues – come to Mainshill Solidarity Camp today!