Wind turbine factory protesters facing eviction

| 24th July 2009
Protesters are calling on the government to prove its commitment to renewable energy
Protesters are calling on the government to prove its commitment to renewable energy
The continuing protest by workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory is shaming the government's green claims

More than 500 people are expected to join a rally this evening in support of workers staging a sit-in protest at a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight.

Around 30 workers occupied an office within the factory on Monday evening in protest at plans by the Danish owners Vestas Windsystems to move production to the USA.

Vestas says most of wind turbine blades made at the plant were for the USA market and not for Europe. However, workers say the factory is a commercial success and that the company only cares about maximising profits.

There have been a number of rallies held outside the factory during the week in support of the protesters but today's is expected to be the biggest yet. Police said they have arrested five people so far outside the factory for minor public order offences.

Vestas is currently seeking to evict the protesting workers. A judge is due to consider the case on Wednesday at which point, if still inside the factory, the workers could be forcefully removed.

However, climate change campaigners, who have joined the strike in support, say the protesters are sending a strong message to the government to stop the closure of the factory.

'The longer they hold out the stronger the message, and even if they are pushed out we must use their example to continue the campaign outside the factory, calling for their jobs back and investment in wind and other renewable energy,' said Jonathan Neale from Campaign against Climate Change.

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