INDEPENDENT NEWS

Happy Valley Activists to Appear in Court

Published: Fri 25 Aug 2006 09:45 AM
Happy Valley Activists to Appear in Court
Three Save Happy Valley activists will appear in the Christchurch District Court at 10am this morning to defend their choice to take action to save a pristine ecosystem from destruction.
They face charges relating to an action at the headquarters of SOE Solid Energy in February this year. They have all been charged with unlawfully being on a building, while Daniel Rae also faces a charge of wilful trespass.
"To highlight the environment destruction that will be caused by Solid Energy's proposed mine in Happy Valley, we scaled the three storey high building in the middle of the night. In the morning there was a vocal protest outside the building and two of us hung of the concrete facade of the headquarters and unfurled banners," said Mr Rae.
"We have no choice but to take direct action against the proposed mine in Happy Valley. When the operations of a SOE push native species to extinction, destroy prime kiwi habitat and contribute to climate change then it's up to people to challenge business as usual," said Kristin Gillies, the second activist.
"Happy Valley, in the upper Waimangaroa valley, is home to thirteen threatened native species. The coal that would be extracted would be exported to Asia to be burnt largely in steel manufacturing," said Frances Mountier, Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson.
"With its support for a huge boom in the mining of coal and gold in Aotearoa, the Labour Government is sacrificing some of our most wild and pristine indigenous habitats for the sake of short term profit. People can't stand aside and let that happen," stated Mr Rae.
Notes:
The Save Happy Valley Campaign have been running a creative grassroots environmental campaign since April 2004 that has seen thousands of postcards sent to the government, coal trains blockaded, numerous protests at Solid Energy's headquarters, an extensive public education campaign and a continuous occupation of the proposed mine site that is into its seventh month. The group is planning further actions this summer in order to defend the Valley from any mining preparations.

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