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Police dogs bit power station protesters

Neil Millard
Monday 19 October 2009 00:00 BST

Climate change protesters attempting to prevent a coal-fired power station from operating were bitten by police dogs yesterday as they tried to tear up fencing.

More than 1,000 activists descended on the huge Ratcliffe-on-Soar site in Nottinghamshire on Saturday, and at least three protesters managed to breach the perimeter. Confrontations continued yesterday with police arresting four people, in addition to tthe 52 arrests made on Saturday. Earlier reports indicated 80 had been detained.

The so-called "Great Climate Swoop" included members of the Camp for Climate Action, Plane Stupid and Climate Rush. They chose their target in an online vote following an earlier, peaceful Climate Camp held in London in August.

Protester David Martin, 28, said his friend had been treated in hospital for a bite to the stomach. The student from Hackney, east London, said: "A lot of people had puncture wounds from the dogs. People were bleeding. I saw at least 10 or 20 people who had been bitten."

The energy company E.ON, which owns the power station, had earlier won a High Court injunction giving police the power to arrest anyone trying to enter the site. Chief Inspector Linda McCarthy, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the injuries were "regrettable" but blamed the protesters' "reckless" behaviour.

Natasha Blair, from Camp for Climate Action, said: "We've achieved what we came here to do, to show that coal has no future and there is a growing movement which is prepared to take action on climate change."

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