Fracking company Cuadrilla began building its new drilling site at Preston New Road near Blackpool, Lancashire, last week—and local activists are already resisting.
The Tories hope to make it the first of many fracking operations in Britain.
Hot on Cuadrilla’s heels, Third Energy is preparing to frack at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. (see below).
Anti-fracking “Nana” Tina Louise Rothery from Lancashire told Socialist Worker, “Cuadrilla was supposed to liaise with the community before starting.
“But the first we heard about it was a text from the police saying temporary traffic lights were going up.
“We went down there that afternoon and started slow-walking in front of the trucks —we’ve been doing it every day since.”
Caudrilla has been given use of one lane of the road for several hours a day. Tina said, “One of our signs tells motorists, ‘Your traffic jam today was brought to you courtesy of Cuadrilla Resources’.”
Protest camps have been a focal point of resistance at sites marked for fracking.
Tina said, “Here the opposition is so ingrained that we have enough people living locally who can disrupt and delay drilling.
“But we do need help, especially from the trade unions. We want construction unions to impose a ‘green ban’ like they did in Australia in the past—to strike to stop projects that are bad for the environment.”
Tina added, “We’ve asked people to tell the primary building contractor AE Yates not to take part. They are a local company and will worry about losing business.”
“They’ve already said they’ll stop operating on Saturdays until the protests are ‘dealt with’.”
There has been no fracking in Britain since 2011, largely due to widespread opposition. But the Tories are determined to overcome that and grant licences across England and Wales.
Fracking is dangerous for those who live nearby and a disaster for the climate.
The fights in Lancashire and North Yorkshire will set a precedent. We must make sure it is the right one.
Hundreds protest in Sherwood Forest
Over 300 people protested against fracking at the village of Edwinstowe in Sherwood Forest last Saturday.
Gas firm Ineos has been granted licences to carry out fracking across the North East Midlands and South Yorkshire, and is trying to carry out seismic tests.
There was a great turnout from across the region, where anti-fracking groups are being set up.
Some 40 people also met in the Derbyshire village of Marsh Lane where Ineos has identified a site to carry out test drilling.
They are planning a local protest on 31 January when Ineos plans a local “consultation event” to try and sell fracking.
Solidarity day for Kirby Misperton camp
activists plan to hold a solidarity day on 5 February at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp in North Yorkshire.
Support has poured into the camp, set up against potential fracking at a nearby site.
There will be a reception from 11am with food, a rally at 12 noon and other events through the day.