In response to the Amey Roadstone Corporation's (ARC) appeal to the Somerset County Council for doubling the size of its Whatley quarry in Mendip Hills, Somerset, British environmental NGOs recently organised one of the year's biggest direct action campaigns. Hundreds of activists camped on December 4, blocking the quarry site's approach roads, shutting it down for the day. Whatley quarry is one of the biggest in Europe. The ARC plans to dig 50 m below the water table which, environmentalists say, would jeopardise water supply to 300,000 residents in Bristol and North Somerset, and affect the famous 2,000-year old Roman baths in the town of Bath, 18 km away.
No to nuke plant
Taiwan's Asian Ecological Society is organising protests against the government's plans to build the country's fourth nuclear power plant. Around 5,000 demonstrators have been marching the streets of capital Taipei over the last few months. Several are from the proposed plant site at Kungliao village, 40 km east of Taipei. Tribals from the southeastern islands of Lanyu - Taiwan's nuclear dumping ground - have joined the protests against the plant.
The NGO, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), has demanded a ban on live animal exports from Australia and New Zealand. Over 6 million sheep are shipped annually from these countries to the Middle East in pitiable conditions. They are crammed into inadequately ventilated pens, and remain standing amidst their excrement during the 3-4 week journey.
Some 120,000 animals die every year en route on this horrendous odyssey. The CIWF has appealed worldwide for sending protest letters to the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions against this barbaric practice.
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