Socialist Worker

Protesters keep up the resistance to fracking at Preston New Road

by Sarah Ensor and Martin Empson
Issue No. 2580

Protesters on Preston New Road

Protesters on Preston New Road (Pic: Martin Empson)

Up to 200 trade unionists and environmental campaigners joined an anti-fracking solidarity rally and march at the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool, Lancashire, on Saturday.

A long-standing camp at Preston New Road has been protesting against Cuadrilla's fracking plans in the area.

The Tories overturned the county council's vote and gave Cuadrilla permission to drill last year. But today the drill stands behind heavy metal fencing guarded by private security guards and a heavy police presence.

The continuous protest against Cuadrilla means that drilling has only just begun at the site.

Activists from the Bfawu, PCS, UCU, NUT, Unite and Unison unions joined the protest with campaigners from the Campaign against Climate Change (CCC).

Judy Paskell from CCC said, "It is really good to see the unions come out in support of the campaign to stop fracking here. We need a mass movement that forces the government to ban fracking like in Scotland."

Cuadrilla and its allies have tried to drum up support in the Fylde region with promises that fracking would create jobs. But investing in renewable energy would create more jobs, as the Million Climate Jobs report has shown.

The demonstration follows another on Saturday of last week at Kirby Misperton in Rydale, North Yorkshire, where Third Energy threatens to begin fracking imminently.

The government supports fracking because it is committed to fossil fuels.

Clara Paillard of PCS union told Socialist Worker, "almost the entire trade union movement is for climate resistance. Climate resolutions passed at TUC support public ownership of energy which must be a game changer.

"Anti fracking resistance is part of global struggle and 2018 will see a national demo against fracking uniting local communities, workers and the climate movement."

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