I’ll be in Blackpool Law Courts at 10am on 24 June 2016 - Chapel Street, FY1 5RJ (though some are meeting outside from 9am) This is of course rather worrying and not something I know how to prepare for... but as it has turned out, I couldn’t be in a better position to cope. Since sharing the news that the court wants me to pay £55,342.37 in court costs for an ‘eviction’ (that wasn’t as we’d already gone) in Summer 2014 of a 3-week camp in a field earmarked for fracking by Cuadrilla... the support, warmth, concern and pure humanity in messages, posts and hugs – has quite taken my breath away. Campaigners here in Lancashire with Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Plane Stupid, Occupy London, Reclaim The Power, Greenpeace UK and countless individuals and anti-fracking groups across the country have made clear their shared outrage and support – each recognised exactly what this is – an attack on our right to defend our communities and exercise peaceful protest. In other countries, honourable activists can be killed for what we do and often are – while we do have a semblance of democracy – I think we are beholden to make it work for us and to not allow this bullying that would sacrifice our rights and make us vulnerable in future to the whims of corporations seeking profit at risk to us. So the court wants me to explain why no money has been paid (I actually really can’t as I am very poor and without assets)... but I find the question is pointless. What point my bringing in financial excuses when my real problem is that I WILL NOT pay criminals, or contribute in any way to harm. What that means for my case is I believe that I will be in 'contempt of court' - I though believe that the corporate abuse of our legal system is ‘contempt of justice’. Lovely people have offered to crowd-fund but I truly think this is the wrong way to go – it sets a precedent and means that we will face this situation time and again as they break us financially and eat up our valuable time in courts and prisons. I am really fortunate to have been a travelling activist in this fight to keep the UK frack-free... so my network is broad and I know, kind and supportive. But I know many who work harder... on front lines at camps, slowing trucks, writing endless Freedom of Information requests, arranging events, sorting transport and function rooms, digesting thousands of pages of reports and researching in every spare moment – not all activists though could get the support I know is there because they aren’t as visible... so what for them if this cost is paid? We should NOT contribute in any way – directly or indirectly by submitting to their ‘authority’ and ability to use our laws to their advantage. Why is the law not working to our advantage? Why can’t we get it to move quickly on behalf of our movement? What recourse and access realistically do any of us have? We can’t win if law and ‘justice’ is based on ability to pay for lawyers – they will always have more A dear friend and fellow activist - George Brown - has kindly set up an event for any who can make it on the day... to make clear - WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED. The event is 'I am Tina Rothey' - rather like 'I am Spartacus'... a bit uncomfortable to have my name as a focus but I understand the purpose and see it more as ‘I am you’ rather than you are me if you see what I mean. They bankrupted Ian Rowland Crane, hit young activists with fines they can’t hope to raise with ease and are ruining future prospects for activists younger than myself who may one day want a mortgage or the freedom to travel and be employed without having to mention time spent in jail. I really don’t have much to lose... and have already gained so much in warm friendship and solidarity. If you can make it for what will likely be a quite short court appearance, that would be great... if not, then perhaps if you could share online to expose this abuse of OUR laws to support an industry that has to bully its way into our lives, that would be lovely. Thank you. #DontFrackJustice #IamTinaRothery
You're a Climate Warrior hero and inspiration. If I was in England I'd be there. Thank you for your commitment. Michael.ReplyDelete
Fantastic news ! because it's about time society stood up to activists who have no respect for the law. You rightly should face the consequences of your actions.ReplyDelete
I bet Kitty is one of those self-righteous zealots who thinks if they've done nothing wrong they have nothing to hide. I doubt she will understand this, though.Delete
This quote might help her narrow and punitive mind:
"Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they’re ratified into law."
EA Bucchianeri, 'Brushstrokes of a Gadfly'
It is worth Kitty, spending some time exploring the 'law' - you'll note that if you have enough power, influence and money, laws can be changed to accommodate you. (look up re-defining of fracking). You and I though have scant access to law, it costs a great deal and requires experts to navigate it - something that industry has in abundance and we have nothing of. There is no justice and can't be, under these circumstances. I did no harm, caused no damage and utilised a field that was out of service. I am comfortable that the purpose outweighed the miniscule inconvenience.Delete
Thanks for your commonsense, wisdom and courage, Tina. I'm an Australian activist who, so far in all of my 55 years of activism, hasn't been criminally sanctioned for a democratic right to peacefully protest. It's come close at times but my sense of humour appears to have kept the autocrats at bay. I strongly believe in passive resistance and peaceful direct action and advocate openly on this. While a member of the anti-fracking group here, I've been more directly active in fighting in our rural area against destroying local natural and built heritage and keeping local food plants to prevent the global agribusiness companies bringing in laboratory-bred clones and GM seeds. Our governments have instituted a Banana Eradication Program that involves such cloning and a probable GM process. Governments and corporate partners apparently want these to 'feed the world' but they actually boost the profits and corporate image of global heavies such as Monsanto, Dow Chemicals, Dupont and the Gates Foundation while destabilising local self-determination.ReplyDelete
In the end, it's all for the same purpose. Global corporatisation takes away grassroots empowerment and democratic decision-making. The World Bank and UNECOSOC responds only to the World Trade Organisation - and Bill Gates.
Those criminalised for conscientious actions keep conscience and commitment to justice in the forefront. To give in to corporate greed defeats participatory democracy.
Keep up the fight, Tina. I can't afford to be with you in court but my spirit will be with you.