On the 3rd of May 2016 the climate justice action group Reclaim the Power led a group of activists that closed down an open cast coal mine in Ffos-y-fran, Wales, as part of a two-week global wave of actions to encourage a shift to a more fossil fuel-free economy.
"The justice system is, in theory, a beautiful thing - but it was created in the 19th century and is outdated in so many ways. I risked arrest because I believe that some laws are hindering rightness. We cannot continue to exploit the planet in the way we have been doing, and I took the decision to follow what I believe to be right, rather than socially accepted wrongs.
The truth of climate change is a hard one to swallow: we cannot continue to consume energy to the extent we have grown accustomed. It isn't going to be easy - we are all used to having constant 'entertainment', comfort and distraction from computers, phones, TVs, central heating etc etc (although the alternatives - human interaction, creativity, self sufficiency etc - are actually far more nourishing).
To reduce consumption, we must stop digging new fossil fuels out of the ground. This is something that our government has, supposedly, agreed to; and yet it must fall to the grassroot movement to put political promises into action. Shutting down a coal mine, even for just a day, surrounded by wonderful, interesting, lovingly committed people, symbolised this to me; it felt like an incredibly important thing to do.
I am involved in Direct Action because my own fears and worries of arrest, of discomfort, of being accepted pale into insignificance when I think of what will happen if we continue to do nothing."
"I was not concerned about whether I was risking arrest or not. The important thing was to resist more dirty coal being dug up and to show the public that if we want to stop climate change then we must change our energy habits.
Shutting down a coal mine is important to me because climate change is one of the two existential threats that face mankind, the other being nuclear weapons, and both are connected to the abuse of power by governments and corporations and a money system based on debt and controlled by banks.
I am involved in direct action because we do not have a working democracy where issues are discussed and decided upon in the public interest. Non-violent direct action can sometimes create the pressure needed for change."