Activists attacked in Philippines global warming protest

Feature story - 10 November, 2005
One of our activists participating in a peaceful protest against a coal power plant outside Manila has been horrendously beaten by local plant security, who drew weapons and fired warning shots at people armed with nothing but a banner. Four other Greenpeace activists are also in hospital after having stones thrown at them.

German activist Jens Loewe, 36, being looked after by Filipino Pam Palma and New Zealander Debra Gay Pristor after being beaten by personnel of Masinloc coal power plant in the Philippines. The beating occurred during a peaceful protest against coal power plant that is fuelling global warming.

German volunteer Jens Loewe, 36, has been taken to a hospital after being beatenwith a metal pipe. Filipinos Janine Mercado, Tomás Leonor, Pam Palma, and NewZealander Debra Gay Pristor have also been taken to hospital after theywere pelted with stones.

Read the full story at activist Pam's blog with

hourly updates

and audio from the scene.

Unfortunately this is not the first violent reaction to a peacefulGreenpeace protest in the Philippines. In 2002 during a protestagainst the biggest coal-fired power station in the Philippines asecurity guard fired a warning shot over the heads of the activists.

"Greenpeace condemns this violent attack to a peaceful protest," saidGreenpeace Southeast Asia Energy Campaigner Red Constantino. "It isdisproportionate to the nature of the protest which is a peaceful, nonviolent protest.

"We're outraged that the Filipino plant personnel prefers toprotect the interests of a power plant that brings more harm than goodto people. Coal is the culprit here, not peaceful protest."

Greenpeace activists were at the plant to draw attention to Australianand Japanese backing of the expansion of climate changing coaldependency in Asia. "The Masinloc power plant displays the very worstexcesses of the Philippine and Asian coal industry," said Constantinoat the plant site.

Burning coal is one of the primary causes of global warming. Australia and Japanare underwriting global warming at a time when the Philippines and Asiaare facing the likelihood of devastating social and economicinstability from climate change precisely when the country and the restof Asia are least able to deal with its impacts.

How can climate change criminalspollute the planet with impunity while peaceful protestors get beatenup and detained by police?