By Sven, Renewable Energy campaigner
When I arrived at the harbour to join the media boat heading out to watch the Rainbow Warrior flotilla, it was already pretty busy. Journalists registering at our desk, cameramen carrying heavy equipment - it was just before 9am - but already hot and humid. Our Indonesian team was still fighting paper work to complete permission for the Rainbow Warrior to sail in.
An hour later out at sea with a charter ship - the Warrior appeared on the horizon. More 40 than tiny little fishing boats surround here. It was a peaceful picture, somehow emotional. It reminded me of the less peaceful "welcome" we received just a week ago, when we took action against a coal power plant near Jepara, on the North Coast of Central Java.
That day started with a pretty early morning- my alarm clock was ringing at 4.30 am. Then it was "all hands on deck" at 5am to get ready for the demonstration against the coal plant near Jepara - on the North Coast of Central Java. The power plant is just a stones throw away from where they are planning to build a nuclear power plant. The same one we had joined the protest of over 1500 local residents the day before. By the way, that planned nuclear plant is right next to a volcano…
Back to the coal action. Two teams of activists from Asia, Europe, and USA arrived at the plant at around 6am. The scenery was surreal – the plant’s chimney filled the sky with a straight line of smoke. The light of the dawn made the power plant seem unreal and somehow threatening.
Coal is the number one climate killer. This plant is one of thousands around the world. And an expansion of this particular plant is planned.
The security was already there, when we approached the pier with the 3 inflatables. Despite this we managed to climb up the 4 metre high pier. The situation was quite tense, but peaceful.
We talked to the security to make clear that this was a non-violent Greenpeace demonstration and no-one would be put at risk. About 10 minutes later 4 climbers were on the crane.
We heard a gun shot…, then another one. 4 shots. The other climb team who had made it onto the cooling tower – were getting serious hassle from the security. Meanwhile a truck arrived and more police came to us. The situation on the pier began was also getting more tense. Two small banners were already up on the crane.
A gun shot! Very close to us!
The climbers - just preparing to unfold the big banner saying "Coal Kills Climate" were threatened with knives. The security guards become quite violent. More and more arrived shouting angrily at us.
The workers are scared to lose their jobs if this coal power plant will be shut down. This is understandable. But sooner or later, we need to quit coal - not only in Indonesia, but globally. This is a great opportunity to build up a sustainable energy supply! This will provide more jobs and- as renewable energy like wind, solar and geothermal don't need fuels -cheaper energy in the future.
No fuel, means independence from rising coal and gas prices. No fuel means no CO2 emissions. And we need to drastically cut our CO2 emissions to save our climate. And it is possible! Our energy vision - the Energy (R)evolution for Indonesia - shows how we can do this.
We presented this concept recently in Jakarta to politicians. What we really need is policy shift - and there's a great chance to start this shift with the Climate Conference in Bali.
Well, there was definitely no time to explain all of this to the workers and policemen on the pier. That's for sure. I wish we would have time to get our message across to those people. But they were busy shouting at us. Next time - maybe. We'll keep fighting against coal, but for that day, the demonstration was over.