On 22nd December, two Bristol Rising Tide activists appeared at Lanark Sheriff's Court to be sentenced following an action to stop work at the Mainshill open cast mine back in March 2011. The two were fined £400 each for aggravated trespass by Sheriff Stewart.
They were part of a group who entered Scottish Coal's Mainshill mine in South Lanarkshire to disrupt coaling operations. The two Bristol activists managed to reach and scale a huge 260 tonne 'prime mover' in the bottom of the pit, one of the two biggest machines on the site. Other activists there to support them were brutally attacked by Scottish Coal employees and Trustcare Security. The action lasted over 4 hours before a specialist police team from Glasgow removed the people occupying the excavator, which had been in the process of loading coal from the seam on to dump trucks.
The action in March was part of the on-going campaign by Coal Action Scotland to resist the expansion of the open cast coal mining in the Douglas Valley in South Lanarkshire. In 2009/2010 there was a 7-month occupation of the site by the Mainshill Solidariy Camp; over 70 people were evicted from the site, with 45 being forcibly removed and arrested
Coal Action Scotland are now focusing their efforts on resisting the proposed new mine at Glentaggart East. This would involve the extraction of 4 million tonnes of coal, twice the size of Mainshill. Bristol Rising Tide will be hosting an info tour by Coal Action Scotland in the New Year - watch out for further details on Indymedia.