Activists attacked in Philippines global warming protest

Feature Story - 2005-11-10
One of our activists participating in a peaceful protest against a coal power plant outside Manila has been horrendously beaten by local plant security, who drew weapons and fired warning shots at people armed with nothing but a banner. Four other Greenpeace activists are also in hospital after beatings having stones thrown at them.

German activist Jens Loewe, 36, is being looked after by Filipino Pam Palma and New Zealander Debra Gay Pristor after being beaten by personnel of Masinloc coal power plant in the Philippines. Mr Loewe has been taken to a hospital emergency room and Filipinos Janine Mercado and Pam Palma and New Zealander Debra Gay Pristor have also been taken to hospital after stones were thrown at them. Greenpeace activists were at the plant to draw attention to Australian and Japanese backing of the expansion of climate changing coal dependency in Asia.

German volunteer Jens Loewe, 36, has been taken to a hospital after being beaten with a metal pipe. Filipinos Janine Mercado, Tomás Leonor, Pam Palma, and New Zealander Debra Gay Pristor have also been taken to hospital after they were pelted with stones.

Read the full story at activist Pam's blog with hourly updates and audio from the scene.

Greenpeace condemns this violent attack to a peaceful protest.  It is disproportionate to the nature of the protest which is peaceful and non violent.

Our energy campaigner in the Philippines Red Constantino said, "We're disappointed that the Filipino plant personnel prefers to protect the interests of a power plant that brings more harm than good to people. Coal is the culprit here, not peaceful protest."

The power plant displays the very worst excesses of the Asian coal industry. Its environmental impact has never been publicly scrutinised and yet funds from organisations like the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation are  being earmarked  for a  50% expansion of  the plant's power capacity at a time when there is considerable controversy surrounding  the financing of its privatisation sale.

"Burning coal is the main cause of global warming. Australia and Japan are underwriting climate change at a time when the Philippines and Asia are facing the likelihood of devastating social and economic instability from climate change precisely when the country and the rest of Asia are least able to deal with its impacts. The expansion of coal in the Philippines and Asia must stop. Greenpeace calls on the Philippine Senate for an inquiry into Masinloc's expansion plans," said Constantino.

Clean alternatives to fossil fuel power in Asia are widely available. In the Philippines enough wind power potential exists to produce 7 times over the country's current energy demand. In the Chinese province of Guangdong there exists sufficient wind power potential to meet the equivalent of the current energy supply in Hong Kong.

How can climate change criminals pollute the planet with impunity while peaceful protestors get beaten up and detained by police?

Tell the ADB to promote clean energy!

Tell the Asian Development Bank to promote clean energy!