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Protester speaks of relief as energy supplier drops £5m lawsuit
12:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News
A protestor has spoken of his relief after an energy firm announced it has dropped a £5 million lawsuit against him.
Alistair Cannell, of Bevendean, was part of a 21-strong group who broke into an EDF Energy power plant to protest against plans to build up to 40 new gas power stations.
The activists, who formed part of the No Dash for Gas campaign group, scaled towers and abseiled inside chimney stacks as part of a week-long protest in October last year.
Each protester was convicted of aggravated trespass this month but were then slapped with a civil suit by the energy provider.
However in a humiliating climb-down, the suit has now been dropped following strong public opposition, including an online petition which attracted 64,000 signatures in less than a month.
Mr Cannell told The Argus: “It’s great news and shows that people power works and has forced EDF to back down.
“The suit had started to cost them money with the number of people starting to switch providers.
“It is a relief because there was no way I was able to pay off that ridiculous amount of money.”
Mr Cannell said he was still subject to an injunction which prevented him from going near power stations but said it would not affect him or his fellow protesters.
The 23-year-old was among the first in the country to be arrested under new anti-squatting laws in September last year.
He is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on April 22 charged with squatting in a residential building, abstracting electricity and obstructing a police officer.
He was also arrested for gluing his hands to the BHS shop window in Brighton in 2011, but the case was never prosecuted.
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