Socialist Worker

Anti-fracking campaigners in the dock

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2566

Protesting at Preston New Road

Protesting at Preston New Road


Twelve protesters, including three local councillors, were brought before Blackpool Magistrates Court on Monday for resisting firm Cuadrilla’s attempt at fracking.

Nine were charged with wilfully obstructing the highway and under anti-union legislation offences relating to impeding Cuadrilla employees’ work.

They were arrested on 3 July at the Preston New Road fracking site near Little Plumpton in Lancashire.

Local residents and environmentalists hold daily protests there.

They were the first of nearly 100 due to face charges.

If Cuadrilla is successful it will be the first fracking to go ahead in Britain since 2011. That year another Cuadrilla rig in the area appeared to cause small earthquakes.

Fracking poses a danger to environmental conditions locally and adds to global warming. And despite the claims of its supporters, it creates very few jobs.

But despite the consistent backing of the government, the fracking industry is in crisis.

Provoke

It has faced difficulty getting rigs operational.

This has much to do with the opposition fracking firms provoke wherever they turn up.

Trying to overcome that opposition involves intense and vicious policing.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that cops used force 165 times at Preston New Road in the 19 days from 1 July.


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