Monday, 29 September 2014

OCCUPY DEMOCRACY - 17th - 26th OCT

OCCUPY DEMOCRACY - 17th - 26th OCT - FRACKING - YouTube



Recorded whilst camping with the Nanas and considering the 3rd anniversary of Occupy London as it approaches and we face so many challenges and threats:

Transcript: 

"We did everything legally and lawfully - First of all
we went to the toolbox marked 'Democracy' and said "OK what's available to
us in our community to prevent this from causing harm". So we went through
everything, petitions, objections to planning ... This year we put in 14,000
objection letters ...

But we're fighting this ridiculous PR & marketing
campaign, not just by the industry, but by our own government trying to shove
this down our throats

You only have to look at what our politicians do after they
stop being politicians. And you can tell who they gave the favours to by who
they're working for now.

..you can't talk to people about fixing the system, without
them first being acutely aware that it's broken. Because, like Balcombe - most
people didn't know that it was broken until they had to call on it for help ..
and suddenly when you call on it for help, you realise it's a fa├žade

Make time to be outraged.

I have to do it because if I don't, I leave this mess for my
granddaughter to clean up.

So, get to Parliament Square, get to a local anti-fracking
group, form a group, be a lone protester. Stand outside what annoys you most
and do something, but just do something."

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Reaching for the matches...

I have felt a lot like Russell Brand about voting ie: how the hell could I choose a 'best' when I despised and mistrusted the choices? BUT... I have looked at this from all sorts of angles and as far as I can see - there is little chance of changing the system of government into an honest, people-serving body (or scrapping it and starting over), without infesting it with unselfish, good-intentioned people first. Once diseased with people like us - it can be re-formed into a thing that serves our needs; in a transparent and clinical way (not darkly corrupted by self-serving, connected individuals acting for their own agendas).
So for me I am going to put some energy into our system of government - and the only party I have found to support is the Green Party. Not sure if this party changed or if it has only come seriously into view as a result of independent media/internet/social networks etc.? I was genuinely surprised when I discovered the policies of the Green Party - not only in relation to fracking but across the board I find myself in agreement: education, employment, public ownership etc. I also respect this bit: "policies that can only be changed via democratic majority voting at 6 monthly conferences". When we get a party in office based on the promises they made to win votes - they don't then involve us in the decisions they go on to make about the other stuff that happens outside of the policies they mentioned at the start. So we get 5 years of them working without our input - doesn't read like a democracy, feel like one or in any way resemble one.

We grew the anti-fracking movement over the past three years from a handful of groups to over 280 now (and still growing) - residents across the country have become ACTIVE in the defence of communities - perhaps if those active people were willing to put themselves forward for roles as Councillors or MPs (or actively support those who do)... we could overwhelm the system with our determination and begin to get ownership of our government back. I know there is a bit of 'implied inevitability' about us ending up with a blue or red party in the house... but there was a whole heap of 'implied inevitability' about fracking too and that's not proving a smooth journey for the bad guys.

Anti-frackers could apply their good intent to politics to great effect... hmmm  ‪#‎ActivePolitics‬ 

I don't know anyone who (if they are aware of the truth) wants fracking nor do I know anyone who believes war is the answer to the problems we face and yet our government is currently pursuing both with a fervor and doing so in the name of the British people.


ps...
Just thought of an analogy ... I don't want to keep fighting the fire - I want to make sure the bad guys don't control the matches.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

People's Climate March Tomorrow...

In earlier days when less was known about unconventional energy techniques like 'fracking' and few were aware there was threat to notice, our local Residents' Action on Fylde Fracking and the few other groups across the country, were holding public meetings anywhere and everywhere possible.

It was an awful thing to do,
Truly awful

You would take a room of blissfully unaware but curious people who were wondering
…and then you gave them the facts of the processes involved in fracking and there would be silence, then there would be disbelief and at last, anger.

I referred to what we were doing as the bringing of the  ‘Unwelcome Gift


We only brought truth
But once you knew it
Once you realised the implications
You couldn’t UNknow it
You couldn’t walk away and pretend it was probably going to be ok really

The risks were too obvious once you knew the how and the who of this
And so there you had it… the gift of truth and knowledge
And no-one was going to feel like thanking you for it

I see the beautiful faces of everyone who became active along the way… amidst ever growing crowds of those who continue to receive the unwelcome gift and swell our numbers.

I see them apparently tireless at event after event
But it isn’t really a tirelessness that keeps us going

We ARE tired – pretty near exhaustion at times
But we are driven by a force  more powerful than anything else on earth

--We are protecting our young-- 

…and when that’s what you’re doing – there is no way to stop, no exit door and no end until the threat ceases to be.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tomorrow...

The People's Climate March is likely happening somewhere near most people - for us here in the North of England it's the People's Climate March Manchester + Lobby of Labour Conference that most I know are heading to.

Will it matter? Will it have impact? Yes. 

It will have impact on us and on those who need to feel the solidarity and sense the growth of awareness... and as it's coming up to election time - even those in politics are going to have to pay attention.  #PeoplesClimate

Friday, 29 August 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Nanas in Manchester High Court

Nanas Gain High Profile Support From Michael Mansfield QC

Ahead of a High Court appearance in Manchester that lead to a temporary injunction on anti-fracking campaigners from occupying a field in Lancashire, the ‘Nanas’ received a message of support from Michael Mansfield QC:
“You have the spirit
You have the courage
You lead the way
We are all guardians of our planet and some of us show the rest that action speaks louder than words.
Before its too late.
You represent the human conscience
And I will sit with you today albeit some distance down the M62 engaged elsewhere!”
MICHAEL MANSFIELD

Today’s appearance in court saw the Nanas and their Solicitor Simon Pook face a six plus Cuadrilla legal team at the first hearing of the case brought by Cuadrilla and named landowners for possession of the field under consideration for shale gas development and  various claims for damages. Simon Pook informed the Judge that the site had already been vacated by the Nanas. Further the Nanas and their legal team required time to assimilate the details of the charges against them. The Judge subsequently decided after much careful deliberation which lasted most of the day, that the Nanas did indeed need more time to look at evidence.  Most of it was addressed to persons unknown ranging from people on social media to named groups of unknown persons, meaning THE WORLD!

Documents stated that a total of 10 landowners were seeking injunction and three of them from one family seeking possession against the campaigners, who had vacated the site after the three week occupation. The Judge ruled that only the landowners of the occupied field would be granted a possession order as a matter of formality as the field had already been vacated and a temporary injunction would be in place until the date of the next hearing on October 8th 2014.

Cuadrilla’s other demands were refused due to significant concerns that they disproportionately infringed Human Rights.

Campaigners, primarily consisting of parents and grandparents from Lancashire stated there had been insufficient time to understand the documents as they were served just before the bank holiday. The  application in parts was oppressive and infringed significant Human Rights. Campaigners had been camped on a field in Little Plumpton that is currently under planning consideration for development of access roads and a drill pad where energy firm Cuadrilla hopes to exploit shale gas.

A group of fifty supporters gathered outside the Court to cheer on the Nanas.

Julie Daniels one of the ‘Nanas’ and a resident of Blackpool where Cuadrilla aims to extract shale gas said:
“We are happy that the Judge granted the adjournment we requested as it provides  the time required to look more closely into the claims made in documents presented to the court. The 10 Claimants turned out to be three families listed individually but from only three addresses, a clear ploy by Cuadrilla’s team to try to make it appear that there was more opposition than really existed.

“We know from visiting neighbours, seeing signs objecting to fracking on so many properties and by the noise from the cars that beeped their horns in support of our action that villagers are deeply distressed about Cuadrilla’s plans. Three weeks of Nanas and tent pegs is a very minor inconvenience especially when compared to what this landowner and Cuadrilla have planned; industrialisation of the fields, constant noise and traffic, illumination, risks to air and water quality, increased seismicity, potential harm to the health of people, pets and livestock nearby and much more.

If Cuadrilla’s applications[1] were to be successful, it would see the Fylde Peninsula host the largest UK fracking tests to date. Each of the sites require 2 years of works, 20,000 truck movements, the use of 9 million gallons of water per well and the production of 5.6 million gallons of radioactive waste[2].

The applications are on-course for being the most unpopular in British planning history with 14,000 objections already registered with weeks to go until the consultation process ends[3]

[2] http://frack-off.org.uk/new-lancashire-threat-cuadrillas-fracking-plans/
[3] http://rt.com/uk/180256-fracking-protest-camp-lancashire/

Photographs
Manchester personality Bez with some of the campaigning Nanas




Notes to editor
Lancashire nanas set up camp - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/15/blackpool-anti-fracking-camp-im-here-for-my-10-grandchildren

Cuadrilla statement on possession order – http://www.itv.com/news/granada/story/2014-08-22/anti-fracking-protesters-face-legal-action/

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Headscarves, Section 6's & solidarity in a field...


Three weeks ago 25 everyday people (primarily parents and grandparents) gathered in a dining room at 3am, equipped with Section 6 Squatting Notices and 144 Disclaimers... yellow headscarves, aprons, curlers and dedication to stopping fracking - before it ever gets a hold in this country.

We did this knowing that we would be occupying a field that was currently under a planning application for access roads to facilitate Cuadrilla's proposed shale gas operation. I suppose we also knew there was a chance this would end up in court at some point... that point starts tomorrow at Manchester High Court.



Elsewhere in the UK, land had been held, trucks had been stalled and protection camps had stood their ground against the harshest of policing. The shale gas industry though ploughs on and continues its government-supported drive to frack; regardless of known risks to vital air and water and regardless of public opposition.

This camp though, the 'Nana Camp' was born of a different strategy: 

-We wanted to ensure opposition was clearly apparent BEFORE planning applications are granted - so that the Council and investors in the shale gas industry, would realise that this is what is happening before the drill tried to touch soil... should that drill come, then this trickle will become a flood.

-We wanted to ensure that neighbours were well aware of how close they lived to a bothersome site - our presence alerted many initially through concern and then to realisation - that if they were worried about the impact of Nanas and others in a field for three weeks - what the hell would it be like with a full fracking operation for years?

-We wanted to keep the conversation and momentum going and play our part in the vast sharing of information being done by anti-fracking groups across the UK and the rest of the world.



Field of determination, good in-tent-ion and warm appreciation...
We did what we set out to do... raise local awareness of the location defined in planning and engaged with so very many supporters... plus let Cuadrilla know they will at EVERY stage be challenged.
We hope too that we can grow what we started and that more *Nanas (*type of person who cares for future generations... more a Nana-Type person than an age or gender thing as clearly and beautifully shown by Nana-Fluffy  ) will also make a stand in their communities.



Today we said our goodbye to the field on Preston New Road at PR4 3PE - where countless cars beeped support (and must have so irked the land owner), where my great-nephew learned to ride a bike, where mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and others, became ever more determined to protect this precious community (and others) from the intrusion, danger and massive impact of a shale gas operation.


A lovely man from nearby was helping us ensure the field was shiny and clean yesterday and said what good work we had done but that in the end we are up against the government and big business... indicating they were powerful adversaries. I reminded him that there is NOTHING in nature more powerfully determined and unstoppable as a mother protecting her young.





Monday, 25 August 2014

Nana Press Release:

For Immediate Release




Fracking Company Accused of ‘Dirty Tricks’ as Lancashire Nanas Vow Fight-back’

Shale gas operator, Cuadrilla has been accused of using ‘dirty tricks’ by a group of Lancashire Grandparents, after serving them with court papers over a land-dispute. The campaigners , made up of local Lancashire residents and primarily grandmothers and mothers say that Cuadrilla is 
using the opportunity to gain a widespread injunction – which would cover every proposed fracking site in the region and a local landmark, Lytham Windmill - not only against them, but all Lancashire-based campaign groups and national and international campaign groups including No Dash for Gas, Frack Off and Britain and Ireland Frack Free.

In addition to the injunction, the fracking company is also seeking to evict the 'Nanas' from Preston New Road Community Protection Camp, a resident-run blockade situated on land earmarked for fracking near Little Plumpton, on the Fylde Peninsula. The camp was set up to start August 7th and run for three weeks in order to raise public awareness in the region and show uninformed neighbours exactly where the drill site and access roads would be located if Cuadrilla gets planning permission. The residents of the camp site are voluntarily bringing the camp to an end by Wednesday, August 27th as was planned from the start.

The case is due to be heard at Manchester High Court on Thursday 28th August.

Tina Rothery one of the ‘Nanas’ and a resident of Blackpool where Cuadrilla aims to extract shale gas said:
When we occupied the field, we did so in order to highlight a land-use dispute. This is agricultural land in a well-populated area and not suitable for heavy industry on this scale.
‘The fact that Cuadrilla is taking us to court the day after we are due to have left is absurd, and can only be because they want to inhibit our right to protest in the future.  To deliver the paperwork just before a bank holiday, thus not allowing sufficient time to arrange a lawyer by the deadline for evidence on Tuesday 26th  is a dirty trick.’

She continued,
‘This is pure hypocrisy from Cuadrilla, a company that will benefit from a change in trespass laws to allow drilling under our homes. If they are allowed to do this in Lancashire it would have repercussions for people defending their communities throughout the country.  The result here will affect every other anti-fracking campaign in the UK and we know that people are and will continue to  unite with us.’

The eviction attempt targets one of two sites that Cuadrilla is currently  attempting to gain planning permission for via Lancashire County Council. The applications[1], if successful, would see the Fylde Peninsula host the largest UK fracking tests to date. Each of the sites require 2 years of works, 20,000 truck movements, the use of 9 million gallons of water per well and the production of 5.6 million gallons of radioactive waste[2].

The applications are on-course for being the most unpopular in British planning history with 14,000 objections already registered with weeks to go until the consultation process ends[3]
This is not the first time a company has tried to get a wide ranging injunction against a number of campaign groups, in 2007, British Airways Authority suffered a humiliating public backlash when it tried to injunct campaign groups from setting up a climate camp near Heathrow Airport.
Rachel Thompson from No Dash for Gas, a group which held its annual, week-long Reclaim the Power camp on the same site, said,

The UK has a long and proud history of direct action, can you imagine if a private company were able to take legal action to stop the suffragettes?’

‘This is the second time we have been subject to anti-democratic legal action by this billion pound industry, EDF were forced to back down from their attempted £5 million law suit against 21 of us, last year. People in Lancashire and all over the country have clearly shown we will not allow fracking and they now insist on clean, renewable energy.  This legal action is a last grasp attempt by a dying industry that has failed to gain the required social license and refuses to know when it has been beaten.’

[2] http://frack-off.org.uk/new-lancashire-threat-cuadrillas-fracking-plans/
[3] http://rt.com/uk/180256-fracking-protest-camp-lancashire/
Photographs
Nanas set up camp in Lancashire - http://www.frackfreelancashire.org.uk/
Flickr Reclaim the power Day of Action - https://www.flickr.com/photos/126933393@N02/sets/72157646175344150/
List of groups from legal paperwork -
Injunction from windmill -
Notes to editor
Lancashire nanas set up camp - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/15/blackpool-anti-fracking-camp-im-here-for-my-10-grandchildren
Cuadrilla statement on possession order – http://www.itv.com/news/granada/story/2014-08-22/anti-fracking-protesters-face-legal-action/
Heathrow airport attempted injunction - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/jul/27/climatechange

EDF drop law suit against 21 campaigners - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/13/edf-lawsuit-environmental-activists-backlash




Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nananonymous... Occupiers?

lol this image combining an Anonymous mask with a 'nana head-scarf'
got me thinking:



...seems in some ways that resistance to many issues is morphing into a hybrid of general agreement that our current system of government is failing on so many levels and is now positively dangerous. We know that the corporations have more say within our system of government than we do - even over matters as deadly serious in their implication as to risk the health of our children and the ability of our air and water to sustain us.

What fracking has revealed is that the energy sector has too much influence and we have too little... just as the banks did in 2008 when WE bailed THEM out (no-one is bailing us out of this austerity crisis, this energy crisis, this education crisis, this healthcare crisis etc).

A vote every few years is of little point if the party in office make important, life-changing decisions without consulting the people. The vote that we get seems to mean less and less as the corporate influence grows stronger and laws are put in place to facilitate profit creation and hinder protest. At election time we are provided with promises - maybe a signed contract to live up to them would be a better idea?

Our lovely ‪#‎NanaGate‬ occupation of a field that started 5am 7th August 2014 was done to bring attention to an immediate threat to our children and grandchildren from the shale gas industry... not 'professional activists' (although my sister Julie Daniels and I had taken our first ever activist stand at Occupy London in October 2011 because of the absurdity of the continued bank bail outs and austerity measures implemented in part because of them) - the Nanas hope to appeal to people who do not consider themselves 'activists' but who are equally frustrated and concerned at the lack of justice, transparency and honesty by the government.

Now is the time maybe to consider what an 'activist' is... my personal definition is that it is someone who saw an injustice/wrong/threat or other thing of concern and acted on that concern. Simple. Acting on concerns can mean signing a petition, objecting to planning, lobbying an MP, getting your Councillors to raise issues, taking tea with the neighbours to share issues, involving others in your community to raise awareness... or it can involve stepping inside a building and drawing attention to the occupants that are behaving unfairly, dishonestly or in a corrupt way. From the black woman who sat on the white-only seat on a bus - we KNOW that we often need to use our physical bodies in some way to draw the attention of those who are not as aware.

There is a huge bonus to becoming active and being an 'activist' in this way and that is the self-empowerment that comes... meaning that we start to drive our lives - rather than simply going along for the ride (down roads we would personally NEVER choose).

 xxx