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Stop Hinkley Wins Victory for Free Speech Against EDF
The campaign group Stop Hinkley and other anti-nuclear campaigning organisations won a victory in the High Court today when a legal action against them by French energy company Electricite de France (EDF) was thrown out by the Judge, Mr Justice Floyd.
EDF was aiming to ban Stop Hinkley not only from entering its land at Hinkley Point, where it wants to build two giant nuclear reactors on the Somerset coast, but from encouraging anybody else to do so. The injunction was rejected by the Judge on the basis that there was no evidence that the campaign and other organisations intended to encourage illegal activity.
“This is a victory for free speech,” said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey , “and our right to publicise events in opposition to the Hinkley C development on our website. EDF is proposing to trash up to 400 acres of land even before it has planning permission to build the nuclear reactors. We need to keep people informed about action to resist this”
In a statement to the court Crispin Aubrey said earlier: “ We defend our right to free speech and the right to protest at actions which we consider promote an energy source which is hazardous to the local population and environment, uneconomic and not needed. We feel EDF's attempt to seek an injunction against us is ill-conceived and intended to intimidate us from acting in a way that is contrary to their interests.”
Earlier the Judge did grant a possession order to EDF to reclaim Langborough Farm, a deserted building on the proposed Hinkley C site which has been occupied by protesters for the past two weeks.
Protester Theo Simon told the court that their action was against the threat by EDF to start major construction work even before they have received consent from the Infrastructure Planning Commission. “They are even ploughing up land to stop the skylarks from breeding,” he said. He added that there were bats hibernating in the barn, which is due to be demolished under EDF's plans.