Today (25th April) people dressed as Rebecca Rioters protested against the Welsh Government’s failure to deliver a complete ban on coal mining on the steps of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament). The Rebecca Riots took place between 1839 and 1842 with the destruction of the toll gates which taxed rural people’s produce. The modern ‘Daughters of Rebecca’ dressed in 1800’s costume and demanded Members of the Senedd take urgent action to end coal mining and end the climate toll caused by coal mining and consumption.
Tomorrow (26th April) Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council planning committee will decide whether to allow Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine to continue mining coal until 31st March 2024 before refilling the void they’ve created. The Planning Officer has recommended that the application is refused, as it is not in line with Welsh Governmental policy on coal.
Rebecca from Merthyr Tydfil said, “We live opposite the massive Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine which, despite years of valiant community resistance, was forced upon us in 2007.”
Residents of Merthyr Tydfil have had to suffer its impacts for 15 years of our lives, but not suffered in silence - we've fought it tooth and nail for all those years to try and manage its excesses. We were sickened to have to endure another 8 months of them mining coal illegally, and now the threat of even longer! No more; enough is enough!”
In the 1800s, poor people, in rural west and mid Wales rose up against the punitive toll system that was taxing their produce and destroyed the toll gates, in what is called the ‘Rebecca Riots’. In their footsteps, Coal Action Network and its supporters—modern day ‘Daughters of Rebecca’—are protesting the Welsh Government’s lack of concrete action against coal mine expansion. We are pushing the Welsh government to implement a comprehensive ban on coal mining, as Scotland passed in October 2022.
The original Rebecca Riots were a series of protests and direct action by tenant farmers against the payment of fees to use the roads. During the riots, men disguised as women attacked the tollgates. They called themselves ‘Rebecca and her daughters’, all answering to the name Rebecca for anonymity from prosecution.
Further, the Daughters of Rebecca are calling upon the Welsh Government to prevent the extension at Aberpergwm underground mine, near Glynneath, Neath Port Talbot, to stop its climate toll. Coal Action Network took both the Welsh Government and the Coal Authority to court in March 2023, challenging their permitting Aberpergwm to expand when it goes against Welsh policy and the urgent need to take action on climate change. A judge’s decision is awaited. If she decides that either the Welsh Government or the Coal Authority misjudged their powers the relevant public body will be asked to remake their decision, which could close Aberpergwm coal mine.
‘Energy Recovery Investments Ltd’ is proprosing to extract the coal from 3 large coal tips in Bedwas, Caerphilly, South Wales. The company claims that it would use some of the sales of the coal to restore those coal tips later. The coal tips lie above a coal seam, which the company claims it would coincidentally have to dig into to create ‘lagoons’ for processing the coal from the coal tips…
The Crown Prosecution Service has dropped all charges against the four Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists who blockaded the entrance to the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine, last summer with a pink boat. While removing the immediate burden of legal confrontation for the defendants, the decision has left a “crater of unfinished business” in the fight for climate justice and accountability for local residents…
Citing different grounds to the High Court, the Court of Appeal has nevertheless found against our appeal. The Court of Appeal judges disagreed with the judge in the High Court, and decided that current statute limits Welsh Ministers to only deciding whether a new conditional licence may be issued…
Today, 6th February 2024, Coal Action Network was back in court, this time appealing last year’s decision by the court that the Welsh Government couldn’t prevent an extension at Aberpergwm coal mine.
After months of campaigning, five more major insurance companies have announced they will not support the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)!
EMR Capital, the company that owns 81% of the proposed West Cumbria Coal mine is currently operating another coking coal mine – Kestrel.
On 23 October 2023, over 30 Wales-based NGOs, businesses, and community groups signed an open letter to Wales’ Climate Change Minister, Julie James, calling for the Welsh Government to ban coal mining once and for all (sent by Climate Cymru). On 10th January 2024, Julie James wrote back…
How did we get here? Ten years of events that have led to where we currently stand with the proposed Whitehaven coal mine
Port Talbot Steelworks in South Wales is the largest producer of virgin steel in the UK. Along with British Steel steelworks in Scunthorpe, Port Talbot steelworks is expected to shut down its blast furnaces in 2024 and build a 3 million tonne (MT) electric arc furnace (EAF) to recycle scrap steel. This is a measure to reduce the steelworks CO2 footprint by cutting out coal used in traditional blast furnaces in virgin steelmaking.