Extinction Rebellion’s protest at Didcot power station today, with a blockade of the entrance road, has brought memories of previous demonstrations, which took place before coal-fired Didcot A closed in 2013.

Over a decade ago, in 2009, environmental protesters claimed they cycled past security staff before forcing their way into the power station.

More than 20 protesters broke into Didcot A — the coal-fired power station — at about 5am and occupied the tall chimney and a coal conveyor.

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The protesters met at the Camp for Climate Action in Blackheath, London, earlier that year.

A climate protest in 2009 Picture: Dave Fleming

A climate protest in 2009 Picture: Dave Fleming

Nine members climbed the steps of one of the chimneys and said they would stay at the power station, run by RWE npower, for "as long as possible".

A further 13 occupied the station's coal conveyer, before they were all removed.

Speaking from the chimney, Joanna Bates, 21, from Leeds, told the Oxford Mail at the time: “A group of us cycled past the security guard at about 5am and he couldn’t stop us — we were too quick for him.

“We then used an angle grinder to cut down the gates to get to the chimney.

“People have come from across the country for this demonstration and we have enough food, clothes and water for a week.

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“We know we are going to get arrested but we think this is a very important issue.”

Protester Amy Johnson, a 20-year-old student from Oxford, added: "RWE npower have become at the forefront of trying to push for more coal, and want to build 30 more coal-fired power stations. We're here to tell them that can't possibly happen.

"We're planning on staying as long as possible.”

Campaigners at Didcot power station protest about acid rain in 1985

Campaigners at Didcot power station protest about acid rain in 1985

Sunita Patel, a spokesman for RWE npower, said: “We can confirm that approximately 20 people entered Didcot A Power Station by forced entry, some time before 5.30am this morning. At this stage, power generation is not affected.

“We are co-operating closely with the police and our priority remains the health and safety of staff and also protesters.”

The break-in follows a similar incident on November 3, in 2006 when 25 Greenpeace protesters broke into Didcot A.

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Coal-fired Didcot A power station was shut down in 2013.

Extinction Rebellion activists today claimed RWE has continued to use fossil fuels while presenting itself as ‘green’ and committed to renewable energy.