Socialist Worker

Solidarity protest and more food for Vestas occupiers

by Siân Ruddick, in Newport, Isle of Wight
Issue No. 2162

Around 250 people gathered in St Thomas Square, Newport today to show solidarity with the Vestas occupation, in a protest that ended with occupiers getting big bags of food.

Vestas workers, members of the community and other activists heard speeches from trade union leaders, other Vestas workers and climate change activists.

Mark Chiverton, of the Isle of Wight Unison union, said, 'This is the most brilliant example of trade unionism on the island that we have ever seen. The Vestas boys are fighting for the future of green jobs.

'We're here to expose the Tories who have never allowed a single wind turbine on the island.'

Paul, a Vestas worker, said, 'I've made more friends over the past 12 days than in the past 12 years. People have been talking to each other like I've never seen before.'

Addressing the crowd, he said, 'We're making such a big difference.'

The protest then marched to join the picket outside the Vestas plant, to cheers from the occupiers.

The rally was told that the RMT union had put in a legal challenge over the small food rations the occupiers are receiving.

After negotiations with police, the rally ended with an RMT rep being allowed to walk past the steel fence and get three large bags of food into the occupation, to massive cheers and applause.

Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be a 'Family Funday' at the site. Activists also plan to leaflet the Cowes Festival.

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