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.
We are an environmental organisation dedicated to ending coal mining and use in the UK for the sake of our collective climate and ecosystems. So you’d think we’d celebrate the claim by Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd that it will finally stop mining coal today at Ffos-y-fran in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. But we’re not. Because the abject failure of Merthyr County Borough Council to stop…
People hailing from Cumbria to London, and everywhere in between, descended on the Mines and Money Conference in London across two days (28th-29th Nov 2023). We demanded that investors stop pouring cash into the mining sector, and instead invest in our collective future. Together with Fossil Free London and other groups, we greeted investors with…
The insurers that have ruled out underwriting the mine are AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re and Talanx. These are the first financial institutions to rule out any involvement with the project, and the win represents a new phase in the campaign to stop the project from going ahead.
Today’s global actions focused specifically on the state-owned China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Sinosure is said to be in advanced talks with the Ugandan government about providing credit for the project.
On 18th October dozens of protesters staged a sit-in occupation of the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd’s of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Global mining companies are coming to London soon attempting to find investors in their ruinous projects at the Mines and Money Conference (28th to 30th November). Join our protests against it!
01 September 2022: Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd applies for a S.73 time extension to mine coal from Ffos-y-fran, and to accordingly delay and vary restoration works.
06 September 2022: Planning permission ends for coal mining at the Ffos-y-fran site, after 15 years and 3 months of operations.
12 September 2022: first reports to MTCBC have been made by local residents of coaling beyond the end of planning permission.
Over 30 Welsh NGOs and businesses have signed a letter to Welsh Minister Julie James and Deputy Minister Lee Waters, demanding they draw a line in the sand and announce ban on any further coal mines on Welsh soil. The letter was delivered on 11th October 2023.
On 15th September 2023, The Guardian reported that Tata Steel accepted Government funding to avoid closing its steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales, by decarbonising it instead – but at a loss of up to 3,000 jobs. The UK Government is providing £500 million, and Tata Steel is expected to provide another £725 million…