A speech about a village that has gone to war with corporations over a controversial fracking site couldn’t be more appropriate. As the poignant tribute to campaigners’ efforts encapsulates the broad support that exists for the anti-fracking movement.
Another site, another fracking company
The government has granted Third Energy a licence to extract shale gas via fracking at a site, known as KM8, in the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. The county council granted Third Energy planning permission in May 2016, but local residents and campaign group Friends of the Earth went to the High Court to challenge the decision in December.
Also in December 2016, residents and campaigners set up the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp. It aims to highlight the opposition to fracking that exists in the area around the site. Demonstrations have been ongoing since the start of the year.
But a farmer called Matt Trevelyan perhaps summed up the situation best.
In a speech he gave on Tuesday 7 November outside the gates of the KM8 site, Trevelyan said [1:45]:
Some people are writing great letters… some people are trawling through deadly dull planning documents. Some of you are working on the alternatives to fracking. Some of you are bishops, reading our prayers. Some of you are children, helping to carve a pumpkin with an anti-fracking message. There’s musicians that sing and play the fiddle to keep our spirits up. Some of you are young and agile, and can climb 60 foot high towers. Some then find they are scared of heights and come back down! Only to lock themselves to a metal tube in the road…
These are all valid, worthwhile forms of protest, and they are all essential if we are going to win.
As The Canary has been documenting, protection operations at the KM8 site have been ongoing.
Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Unite and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) held a rally from the village hall to the gates of the KM8 site. And as drone footage shows, the event was a success:
On 6 November, protectors chained themselves to the railings of the local Conservative Party office. They told The Canary the demonstration was to highlight both the government and local Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake’s failure to take people’s concerns over the KM8 site seriously:
No fracking way
Campaigners’ concerns about fracking are over-arching. They range from polluted drinking water and earthquakes to its contribution to carbon emissions. What makes it such a hot topic, though, is the growing public anger it provokes – witnessed at sites such as Preston New Road and KM8. And if the energy companies thought the extraction of this controversial gas was going to be easy, they thought wrong.
– Stay up to date with fracking news from DrillOrDrop.
– Read more about fracking from The Canary.