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Save Happy Valley Members in Court

Save Happy Valley Members in Court

Press Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition
21 February 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Four members of the Save Happy Valley Coalition appear in the Christchurch District Court this Wednesday. Two face sentencing at 9.15am for their train blockade action against Solid Energy's proposed Cypress Mine. The three activists who demonstrated on the rooftop of Solid Energy's Headquarters last week in support of the ongoing occupation of Happy Valley will appear at 10am.

The indefinite occupation of Happy Valley is into its fourth week. Members of the public have joined the Save Happy Valley Coalition to protect a pristine ecosystem from state owned enterprise Solid Energy's proposed opencast coal mine. "Happy Valley is home to thirteen threatened species, including great spotted kiwi (roa), South Island kaka, western weka, long-tailed bat, South Island fern bird and the endemic land snail Powelliphanta patrickensis. It must not be destroyed" said Frances Mountier, Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson.

"The rooftop demonstration was in solidarity with those in the valley," said Daniel Rae, one of the three who ascended Solid Energy's headquarters. He faces a charge of Wilful Trespass, while all three face Unlawfully Being on a Building. "The occupation, and solidarity actions, will not end until the Labour Government brings its state owned enterprise under control," said Daniel.

"Solid Energy is well aware of the precarious position it is in. They have tired intimidate opposition by claiming reparations of $US150, 000 – a ridiculous sum," said Frances, who faces this claim for the train blockading action. "Two weeks ago, Solid Energy stated that they had never asked for this sum – yet it appears on our reparations schedule."

"Save Happy Valley groups around the country will not be quietened by such threats. Around the country, groups and individuals are increasing their campaigning, meeting with Ministers, and saying NO to a mine in Happy Valley," said Frances.

ENDS

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