Socialist Worker

Thousands march against fracking in Manchester

Issue No. 2530

Protesters march in Manchester against fracking

Protesters march in Manchester against fracking (Pic: Martin Empson)


Two thousand environmentalists, socialists and trade unionists marched in Manchester yesterday, Saturday, against Tory plans to frack for shale gas all over Britain.

From the Highlands of Scotland to Somerset in the south west, they came to protest against the government's overturning of local democracy and imposition of licences for energy companies to drill for the fossil fuel.

Lots of people had made placards. Chantelle Dhont, a Playcentre worker from said, “We don't want fracking, it destroys the water, the airand contaminates animals.

“I've got five younger brothers and sisters and I care about their future. Renewables make perfect sense.”

The noisy march with drummers was clapped by bystanders and people chanted, “Frack free Rochdale, frack free everywhere!” And “Cuadrilla, frack off”

Veteran campaigner Anne Power and Green Party mayoral candidate Deyika Nzeribe marched with the green block.

Deyika said, “The government has overturned local democracy on commercial grounds, it’s about money."

“Tonnes of money”, Ann added. “It's the total arrogance of the ruling classes with their tax havens cheating everyone else.

“At Barton Moss I saw how the police treated people, I saw young people beaten and bleeding on the ground and got angrier and angrier.

“We know fracking is a disaster, we've got evidence from across the world that renewables beat it hands down.”

Demanded

Speaker after speaker at the finishing rally demanded that fossil fuels stay in the ground and investment be made in renewables.

The crowd booed each time a speaker mentioned Tory minister Sajid Javid who is heading up the plan to force fracking past local opposition.

Andy Burnham, the Labour party candidate for the Greater Manchester mayor said, “As MP for Leigh I've seen the consequences of fossil fuel extraction, how it damages the land and people's health.

“Fracking risks our ground, water and green spaces and I cannot support it anywhere.

“Westminster is riding roughshod over local people. If I'm elected, as the law stands I cannot ban it but I can oppose it.

“If fracking isn't good enough for New York then it isn't good enough for here."

Student Andrea Moya Romero said, “There's no democracy, we're getting fracking when we should be fighting climate change.

“I'm here today to build the movement against fracking and the government who will destroy the earth for profit.”

She added, “I think the end of capitalism is the main solution but while we live with a capitalist society, we need to invest in renewable technology.

“If the system is based on making profit it will be limitedwhat we can do. But fighting this government will make the fight against capitalism easier.”


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