Socialist Worker

Blades moved after police smash Vestas camp

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2170

Police smashed up the “blockade camp” outside the Vestas wind turbine factory and held back protesting workers as the company moved wind turbine blades on Tuesday.

Workers and their supporters had been camping outside the factory in Newport, Isle of Wight since it was occupied for two weeks last month.

The activists are protesting against the factory’s closure and the loss of 600 jobs.

The camp at the back gate had so far stopped the company’s barges from moving the remaining stock of blades, worth £750,000, from the plant.

But the camp was smashed up by 50 police officers in a dawn raid on Tuesday morning.

The police woke up protesters, pulled down their tents and ordered them to leave the site at 6.30am or face arrest for aggravated trespass.

Vestas worker Chris Ash told Socialist Worker, “It’s a disgrace—they’ve brought in three police boats, a spotter plane and all these police. They’ve gone to massive expense, just for Vestas.”

Activists staged a defiant protest as the blades were taken but were outnumbered by police all day. The company relied on the full force of the state to get the blades through.

But the Vestas workers are still defiant.

Chris says, “They think this is the end just because they’ve got the blades out. But this is nowhere near the end. The campaign goes on.”

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