Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A day out with our AMs in Cardiff

Thanks to everyone who came along to Cardiff today and all those people supporting this campaign who weren't able to be there. We left Johnstown at 7am in torrential rain, but everything (including most of our damp funereal clothes) had dried up by the time we arrived in Cardiff and by the afternoon the sun was shining.

Protesters had made a really imaginative array of banners and placards, including this one on a dustbin lid:

bin lid close up

and this one, suggesting an alternative landfill material (biodegradeable):

Dump Carwyn Jones!

and wonderful sets of posters like these showing exactly what landfill means to the people of Johnstown:

no landfill in johnstown

We even had our own grim reaper in attendance:

grim reaper

Several Assembly members came out to speak with us, although notably not the Minister who's going to be making the decision about revocation, Carwyn Jones. Carwyn did however deign to meet with a few of the protesters, who presented him with a 5,000 signature petition and 1,500 Evening Leader Coupons. Carwyn's going to pay a secret visit to the Quarry now, after previously refusing to do so, which is some progress. We sincerely hope that the quarry doesn't get any warning of this visit. When Jill Evans came along, landfill conveniently stopped for the duration of her visit.

John Marek, Wrexham AM, talked to the protesters about the possibility of the minority groups within the Assembly (who together constitute a majority), refusing to agree Labour's proposed budget unless Carwyn agrees to revocation. The minority parties were there to voice their support for this plan, although Eleanor Burnham didn't seem sure at first whether she would be supporting it or not. She said she was "thinking about it" but later returned to say that she would support.

Karen Sinclair, who arrived late and nearly missed all the fun, spent some time trying to explain to the protesters how she had been busy behind the scenes protecting their interests even though no-one had seen her at the Quarry. She's got a file "that thick" in her office to prove it if anyone cares to visit and take a look. Most of the Hafod campaigners took a dim view of this excuse, leading to some angry exchanges after Karen implied that the intricacies of the case were too much for the ordinary residents to appreciate. The ordinary residents insisted that the essence of the campaign was very simple, and someone suggested that Karen might be judged, not on having files "that thick" but on whether she succeeds in getting landfill stopped. Martyn Jones, very sensibly, stayed out of the argument and looked like he was wishing he'd stayed in Westminster.

my constituents - I mean my files - are this thick
My constituents - I mean my files - are THAT thick!

Janet Ryder AM, in answer to a question from a protester, said that if Carwyn failed to revoke the permission at Hafod, a vote of no confidence would be a possibility. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

As we were leaving, we laid a wreath at the front of the Assembly Building, mourning the loss of our health, clean air, amenity, property value, democracy and justice. It's up to Carwyn now to put these injustices right.

mourning the loss of

More photos from today can be found here.


At Monday, October 16, 2006 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I stood on the steps outside the Assembly Buildings I just couldn't help noticing the magnificent building opposite. It was really beautiful with little turrets, quaint leaded windows and fancy little bits of ornamentation. The Assembly Building itself was beautiful also made of various slates and designed in a modern style but it was nothing compared to this little building (I'm unsure what it is used for - some sort of office I imagine)

How ironic I thought. Here is a thing of beauty made from Ruabon Brick extracted from the very same Hafod Quarry that they want to landfill.
These beautiful bricks have been exported around the world and have given so much service and pleasure.
This did not come about without a price. Many of our ancestors worked at the claypits. I am sure they never considered that their labours would lead to landfill.
I do hope that Carwyn Jones is reminded of this every time he comes out of the Assembly Buildings.


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