Socialist Worker

Protest demands freedom for anti-fracking three

by Kim Hunter
Issue No. 2625

A busy march in Preston

A busy march in Preston (Pic: John Atkinson)


Hundreds of anti-fracking campaigners marched on a prison in Preston, Lancashire, last Saturday to demand the release of three activists.

Simon Blevins and Richard Roberts were given 16 month sentences. Rich Loizou was sentenced to 15 months. All three took part in a “lorry surf” at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road (PNR) fracking site in 2017.

Demonstrators shouted, “Free the anti-frackers” and, “Fossil fuel bosses should do time” as they marched through Preston town centre.

Speakers at the rally outside the prison included the father of one of the prisoners. He said, “You’ve got to continue to demonstrate to bring an end to fracking.”

Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group chair Suzanne Jeffery said the prisoners’ sacrifice must not be in vain.

Policing

She said the government is using policing and the courts to intimidate people.

One of the prisoners managed a phone call to the demonstration.

The demonstration follows a victory last week. A last-minute interim injunction was granted to pause the fracking at PNR.

The high court was due to look into emergency planning procedures at the site near Blackpool this week.

The Tories are under pressure. MP Lee Rowley told a Tory conference fringe event the party has “so many problems” it should drop its support for fracking. But the party will continue to back fracking unless there is more resistance.

We need a mass campaign to defeat fracking and fight climate change.

National anti-fracking gathering, 12 noon, 20 Oct, Maple Farm, Preston New Road.
Write messages of support to the imprisoned anti-frackers. Go to bit.ly/FrackPrison

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