Radical new anti-windfarm alliance launched

A new alliance of Scottish anti-windfarm campaigners is promising bigger, stronger, more radical action against the Scottish Government’s “ruinous” industrial wind policy. Pulling together thousands of activists across Scotland and in social media, the new alliance is building on the anti-wind protest at the SNP’s annual conference in Perth in October.

One of its leaders, Graham Lang, said: “It’s vitally important to Scotland to have a voice, beyond the excellent work local campaign groups do, to take our concerns to a wider audience, to engage at the political level and to provide media responses on issues as they arise.

There is also a continuing role to provide support and advice to start up groups or individuals with concerns about a development. Following the success of the march in Perth in October I also see the effect more direct action can have so that should play an important part in future.”

Over 300 demonstrators marched through Perth to the conference venue, where they accompanied Alex Salmond’s keynote speech with chants of “No More Turbines!” and “Save our Scotland!”.

In Perth campaigners met Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. “He offered no hope that the target-driven, developer-led energy policy would not continue at full speed. He argued that the Scottish Government had been elected by the people of Scotland and that endorsement gave them a mandate to deliver their renewable targets,” said Mr Lang.

Linda Holt, one of the organisors commented: “How can the SNP claim a popular mandate for turbinising Scotland when only 25% of the electorate voted for them? When numerous delegates at the SNP conference we spoke to were unhappy with their party’s policy? When MSP’s in rural areas besieged by wind developers know their constituents are dead against further development? We know the SNP was shocked and worried by the strength of popular feeling in Perth. Already folk are gearing up for the next protest at the SNP’s spring conference in Inverness in March.”

The new alliance will co-ordinate Scotland’s biggest popular protest to date against current SNP policy, and will work with all groups and individuals who want an urgent rethink of this policy. “A number of NGOs are becoming increasingly worried about the environmental, social and economic costs of industrialising the Scottish countryside with turbines”, said Mr Lang. “While the Government can ignore individual groups, it’s much harder if we are all calling for the same thing.”

“The Scottish Government has decided 2013 is Year of Natural Scotland. This looks like the sickest of jokes when set beside its determination to blanket Scotland’s most valuable landscapes and seascapes in wind turbines.

“It has admitted that there will come a tipping point, although it claims not to know what that tipping point will look like. It’s still merrily ignoring the casualties of its windfarm mania – people, businesses and displaced and dead wildlife. 2013 will be the year when all those who truly champion Natural Scotland come together to demand the Government does the same.”

Highland anti-wind campaigner Lyndsey Ward, whose recent questions to Alex Salmond about renewables jobs during First Minister Questions caused a correction to be made to the Parliamentary Record, said “The time for pussy-footing is past. Turbines are not creating the jobs, energy or carbon-saving the wind industry claims they do. People are angry that the Scottish Government just parrots the industry’s sales talk. Already individuals are challenging the content of the information put out by Ministers and Scottish Renewables, and this alliance will up the ante”.

Last week Communities Against Turbines Scotland, an umbrella group which had been the national voice of the anti-wind farm movement shut up shop and all who were members have been invited to join the new alliance.

Graham Lang was a witness for CATS at the Scottish Government Parliamentary Inquiry into Renewable Energy Targets, and a panellist and speaker at the Scottish Renewables Annual Conference. He has lobbied MSPs at Holyrood and at SNP annual conferences and helped organise the march and blimp flight in Perth. He has also played a key role in many anti-windfarm campaign groups in Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus.

Perth protest video

Photos at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Protest-Against-SNP-Wind-Policy/266909936758127?

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