At 5am today a team of around 25 grandmothers, mothers and others from the Blackpool area set up a protection camp in a field earmarked for development by shale gas industry operators Cuadrilla. The protestors stated that over the past three years they had tried all lawful methods available to them to stop ‘fracking’ and it was now a matter of necessity. Cuadrilla has applied for planning permission for access roads on the field off Preston New Road to enable the building of the drilling rig if Lancashire County Council (LCC) grants permission.
A few hours later some 5000 objection letters to the planning application were handed into the council offices in Preston by others from the Frack Free Lancashire coalition of local anti-fracking groups. A spokesperson said a further 10,000 would be delivered over the coming weeks.
Today’s action comes exactly one week before another event by national group Reclaim the Power who plan to bring over 1000 people to camp in the Blackpool area (location not yet confirmed) in order to support local groups. The Reclaim the Power camp will run 14-20 August, holding workshops and training as well as a day of direct action targeting Cuadrilla and its partners.
Commenting on the action one participant said: “There has been massive growth in resistance here in Lancashire as well as across the UK and despite this, our government continues to push for fracking. We have done our research, spoken to those living in places across the world where fracking has already caused untold harm and come to the conclusion that this is an industry we will not have near our families. We don’t do this lightly, it is an awful thing to have to do but it is now a matter of self-defence”.
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