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Activists To Descend From MarsdenB 9 Day Protest


Emotional welcome to ground expected for for Marsden B occupiers

Ruakaka, Thursday 24 February, 2005: This morning, on the ninth successive day of occupation, the remaining trio of originally four activists who ascended Marsden B early on the morning of Wednesday 16 - the day Kyoto came into force - will be descending from the roof of the dormant power station.

They are Kate Lowe (23 of Wellington), Malcolm Wren (35 of Auckland) and Raoni Hammer (23 of Christchurch). Gareth Moon (24 of Wellington) had to return to ground on Friday for family reasons and is on bail awaiting a court appearance in Whangarei on 10 March.

"After extensive discussions last evening we determined that the best thing was for us to come down from the Marsden B rooftop today," said the activists, in a statement issued this morning.

The trio have sustained the action with supplies hauled onto the roof at the time they ascended 9 days ago. They include: A solar panel that has enabled them to charge their phones, CB radio and laptops, water, food, 2 tents, a basic toilet facility, climbing gear and protest banners. All of which will be loaded down this morning as they descend.

Statement continues;

The issue of climate change is a national and international issue of critical importance which requires urgent action now and that's why we took action to stop this coal fired power station and we did not do it lightly.

We decided to come down today for a few reasons. Yesterday the Government finally responded to our request that the Minister call in the Mighty River Power application to recommission Marsden B as a coal fired power station. The Minister decided to not call in the application. We are dismayed that the Government have not shown more vision and leadership on the urgent issue of addressing climate change.

Secondly, it is the last day for submissions against Marsden B and we wish to make and deliver our personal submissions to the Northern Regional Council, and to deliver the extensive Greenpeace submission against this coal project.

Thirdly, we feel that this occupation has been a huge success. We have had an amazing feeling of support from the local community and felt like we've helped to strengthen local opposition to Marsden B. It has been a huge honour to be here. We also feel this action has helped highlight to the nation this ludicrous proposal for a coal fired power station in this beautiful place.

Though our action ends today we feel it is really the beginning of the end for Marsden B. Our resolve to continue this battle against the archaic use of coal for electricity generation is stronger than ever.

We want to again thank the community of Ruakaka and Whangarei and people all over the country and the world for their amazing messages of support and also our families and friends for understanding how important it is for us to take action against the destruction of the environment.

Kia kaha - the fight continues.

Kate Lowe, Malcolm Wren, Raoni Hammer

Updates from the roof continue at:

http://weblog.greenpeace.org/nz/

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