Greenpeace invades parliament square, as fracking battles heat up around the country [TWEETS, VIDEO]

Support us and go ad-free

Westminster Square has been turned into a mock fracking site, complete with 10-metre drilling tower, uniformed workers and harris fencing. A sign reads ‘Frack&Go – Your Friendly Local Frackers’. The stunt was organised and carried out by Greenpeace UK in protest against hydraulic fracturing corporation, Cuadrilla, which is trying to overturn the June decision by a local council, that prevented it from drilling in Lancashire.

Meanwhile, locals opposed to fracking rallied outside Blackpool FC, where a public inquiry into the decision was held. In 2014 local protesters Frack Free Lancashire, fought a campaign in co-operation with environmentalists across the country. In June 2014, one of the fields where Cuadrilla intended to frack was turned into a protest site, and dozens of direct actions on fracking industry and government buildings were carried out over a 24 hour period.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

In July, Frack Free Lancashire and the nationwide anti-fracking movement, won a victory when Cuadrilla’s drilling application was rejected at the next level, by the Country Council. Greenpeace activist Daisy Sands called it, “a Waterloo for the fracking industry” and “a triumph for local democracy.” But it was understood that Cuadrilla would make an appeal and feared that the decision would be taken over the heads of local government.

Cuadrilla’s appeal, beginning February 9, may take as long as five weeks and the government has decided that the final decision will be made by Communities Minister Greg Clark. However, as the Tories have repeatedly stated that they are wholly committed to fracking, it is unlikely that local people will have their views taken into account.

Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy has pointed out the government’s inconsistency here, saying:

It’s hypocritical for ministers to support devolution and local democracy for decision-making over windfarms, only to then trample over the views of local communities when it comes to fracking. The government has completely failed to win public support for these drilling projects, which is not surprising as they abandoned important environmental safeguards. By seeking to impose fracking, public concern is only likely to deepen.

Pressure is also being put on the government from celebrities like Mark Ruffallo, who has released a video message warning David Cameron that he is making a ‘legacy mistake’ on fracking, and that he will lose all credibility if it goes ahead. The Prime Minister has previously stated that local decisions on fracking sites will be respected.

Public opposition revolves around well-founded fears of water pollution, and methane leaks, but also noise and traffic concerns. For Marie and Rowland Taylor, who live near the proposed Cuadrilla development site, the gripe has been the value of their home which has plummeted by £50,000 since the company announced its intention to drill.

The fracking industry, despite an inside track on government and huge PR campaigns, is failing to convince anyone on the science, or win the debate in the public eye. Those protesting against fracking have seen what happens in the US. The protest is persistent and well-informed. They are also organised as the #Frackminster stunt shows. Cuadrilla has proved that it is willing to override the wishes of locals. If the government wishes to flog a dying horse they will find it increasingly costly to do so.

Get Involved

Find out if your area been licensed for fracking.

-Let Greg Clarke know what decision you want him to make through Twitter.

Sign the Greenpeace petition.

Donate to Roseacre Awareness Group, a local group fighting fracking in Lancashire.

Image via twitter.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed