Drax29 – climate activists on trial

This is a call out for continued support each day outside the Crown Court in Leeds. Come down to the Crown Court from

9:30 to 10:30am

with enthusiasm and support. Banners will be provided!

Public support of climate activism is an essential part of keeping climate change on the agenda.

As the case will depend on the jury’s opinion please dress accordingly.  If you actually want to go into the court room try and come smartly dressed!

Media Coverage from outside the court so far:




From Indymedia:

Drax power station is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in the British Isles. There is overwhelming evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of climate change which is already causing environmental devastation across the globe [0]. Unless carbon dioxide emissions are massively and urgently reduced, climate chaos is likely to lead to an irreversible collapse of the Earth’s ecosystem.

Today emergency health warnings were being broadcast about the latest potentially fatal heatwave to hit the UK [1].

The UK government and power industry have dragged their feet throughout efforts to bring emissions down to safe levels, or even to reduce their rate of growth. Despite decades of reassurances from government and industry, the UK is producing more emissions now than ever. In the face of this global emergency, it’s a source of great hope (perhaps our only hope) that a small but growing number of people are willing to take matters into their own hands at great personal risk.

The "Drax 29" are twenty-nine ordinary people who took direct action against the fossil fuel madness last summer. As was widely-reported at the time [2] [3] [4] [5], they stopped a train-load of coal on its way to the power station.

The defendants are unable to discuss the bizarre strictures imposed on their defense until after the trial. They arrived by bicycle at Leeds Crown Court today. A large crowd gathered outside to show their support, with banners saying, "Burning coal is killing us," "Stopping climate change is not a crime," and "Drax power station kills 180 people per year."

One of the people who came to show their support said, "Direct action is the only option left, everything else has been tried and failed. What people need to understand is that this is an emergency."

The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.

[0] United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

[1] NHS: Heatwave amber alert

[2] Leave it in the Ground: Drax Coal Train Halted

[3] Pictures from Drax train action

[4] Guardian: Climate change protesters hijack coal train

[5] BBC: Climate protest halts coal train

About the Peanut Gallery

In March 2008, with help from Campaign and Democracy Support (CDS), a group of students at Leeds University Union (LUU) got together to create their very own social centre, now known as the Peanut Gallery. Like other social centres, the Peanut Gallery provides a space to discuss ideas, plan strategic and effective actions, nurture grass-roots campaigns and promote alternative ways of living based on autonomy, solidarity and mutual aid.

In the space you can use a kettle to make tea or coffee, warm up your food in a microwave, relax in the cafe, meet like minded people, use a photocopier to make campaign flyers, use the internet on the computers, use the meeting space, take clothes from the free shop, take books from the library and store campaign materials. The Peanut Gallery is run by a collective of student volunteers who you can join as an equal member and help steer the space based on consensus decision making. The Peanut Gallery we be rebuilt in a new, exciting space during the LUU Social Forum.


Future of the peanut meeting minutes

Why are we having this meeting? Since the Peanut Gallery is a collective space and no one person makes the decisions, we meet to discuss anything that is going on. There are lots of things that people would like to do/need to be done so at this meeting we will see what those things are and set up working groups to focus the direction of the PG (Peanut Gallery)

The WGs that were decided on were:
*UPKEEP – Cleaning, organising the store room, kitchen, purging of flyers, waste and recycling and decorations in the PG
*RESOURCES – Supplies, campaigning resources, library, free shop, sheet music for piano
*PUBLICITY – Publicising the PG, outreach to other groups, inclusivity, events, internal communications (minutes, meetings etc)
* TECH – Putting together ‘how to use’ guides for the computers, copier and projector, general go to people about PG website

People at the meeting joined WGs and a temporary point of contact was established for each WG:
*UPKEEP – pt06hg@leeds.ac.uk
*RESOURCES – ee07jm@leeds.ac.uk
*PUBLICITY – pt06hm@leeds.ac.uk
*TECH – jmooney538@googlemail.com

It was also raised that we should try and get the suspended ceiling taken down because it is designed to keep spaces insulated and the PG is not in need of this. ehouk1@gmail.com (Guy) is the contact for the "Taking the suspended ceiling down" project.

Some groups arranged times to meet to discuss the activities of the WG – these can be obtained from the point of contact for the group

While discussing WGs (Working Groups) several other points came up:
* People in working groups aren’t necessarily the people who carry out the activities of the working group. Some are more like advisory groups and will set up the activities and spread the word of things that are happening. This means people are not restricted to working groups that they are signed up with and you do not necessarily have to be in a working group to do something.
*A point was raised, while discussing what was good about the PG that it can appear to be inclusive and that people may think it is only for certain people/groups. To combat this outreach/inclusivity was put down as something for a WG to look at. This would involve not only spreading the word about the PG but also that it is a collective space for everyone involved with anything, to use and share.
*To be discussed at a future meeting, it was suggested that there should be a re-group for the WGs every fortnight so that we can feedback on what has happened with each group as well as reflect and evaluate on things.
*There are some things that need to be done that aren’t necessarily related to any particular WG, eg Taking the ceiling down. This is also the case for ventilation.
*It was also raised, in relation to this last point, that there are some matters such as finances of the PG and large general decision making for the PG, that could not be put to a working group and that large meetings would still be held for these. This is a point that was not discussed in great detail for lack of time but will be raised at the next meeting

Welcome to the Gallery

The idea of the Peanut Gallery Social Centre is to create an open, friendly, welcoming autonomous space run for students by students.

First a bit of…


 Health and safety


Please acquaint yourself with the nearest fire exits, marked by signs on the wall. Make sure to take care with boiling water when tea making, and not to microwave yourself when warming food. If we are all aware of each other and what we are doing we can hopefully avoid any cataclysmic hospital journeys or tragic tea scouldings. And remember: no elbowing at the free shop…
What is the peanut galley? This is the first time anything like this has been set up here. It is a student run social centre. This means it is the one student-run space in the union. It is a space you can use to meet, create, and develop plans to change the world, or simply make new friends over a chunk of cake and a cuppa. Films will be shown, talks put on, and connections made. It will be run by a collective of students. Anyone can volunteer to join this collective and play an equal role.
How does it work?
There are no leaders or hierarchy that run the space, and all decisions are made on a consensus basis. Responsibility and accountability of the space will be taken by the collective. In order that certain small tasks get done, such as tidying the free shop, and maintaining the library, the collective will be split into various necessary working groups. The people in these working groups will meet regularly to discuss any changes needed.

How can I get involved?

Like most social centers, you need to be a member. This costs nothing, and just means you are given a card with the door code on, so you can get in and are briefed on core ethical, environmental and political values of the space. The Food Co-op
Soon to be relocated to the Peanut Gallery, the volunteer run food co-op has been running for over 15 years. Here you can buy everything you need to eat and for your house, at cost price! Buy your washing liquid in bulk, or pick up a slice of cake, there is a wide range of produce on sale at the student run food co-op. Everything is sourced ethically and is organic. You can order deliciously healthy organic veg boxes on a weekly basis, so ask the people behind the counter for more info…


Membership Card

Email: peanutcentre@googlemail.com

Mailing List: peanutgallery@lists.riseup.net

Emergencies: 0113 3801 400

PeanutGallery This card allows you to open up the PeanutGallery. It also means that you are responsible for what goes on in the gallery, and take care to take care of the space. To book the Peanutgallery, go to the website, log on as: Peanutgallery, password: leeds1904, go to the Bookings page, and click the ‘Easy Edit’ button to enter your booking on the calendar. The key is in the security box by the door.


Tea &Coffee

All are welcome to drop in for a chat, to surf online, to read and relax with a cuppa (20p or a donation). Anyone can use it for student related activities.


Booking The Space

If you want to make a booking please be sure that you’re aware of our values and that you are a member (so you know who to contact in an emergency etc..) And leave the place as you would like to receive it!!

So to make a booking go to ‘Bookings’ on the side tab and click ‘easyedit’. It’s a first come first serve thing, make sure you leave your email or contact details…Cheers!


For queries and information contact: