Day 19 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people were gifted a slow one complete with spontaneous actions and delays by Protectors from early, till beyond finish; when a sneaky extra truck tried to glide in. Thankfully there are always some who stay longer to put away signs, collect litter and watch for the sneaky extra breaches Cuadrilla rely on to counter delays.
So it was a day of many bits rather than a more easily described flow… blogging this morphing beast of a thing offers easy and hard ones to wrap in words; today is one of the hard ones. Social posts over the weekend had indicated that the day would start with early actions by some who were coming to join us. There was a call too for ‘Legal Observers’ that made the day sound more ominous than it turned out. However it happened though, the schedule of arrivals was low (perhaps in response to online activity suggesting trouble for them?) and for each of the mere 5 trucks that came, they experienced delays ahead of entering the work lane, as well as the slow-walks within it. Spontaneous other tactics by Protectors included delaying the exit of the first truck of the day that had shot in before time, holding back the fence from being pulled out and rather elegant dancing that delayed a staff vehicle.
We had set off earlier than usual and were nearly there when a truck whizzed past (around 8:40) and shot into the site – before the Traffic Management was in place and against the plan. Those who stayed at the end noted the late truck too that was not scheduled or within time. These continued breaches may sound small individually but amount to daily abuses of planning that make clear, Cuadrilla will not abide by rules, will be impossible for regulators (with limited resources and powers) to stay on top of …and are being given a free rein by Westminster. A few of the Councillors who fought hard for the rejection of planning that Westminster overthrew, are with us most days and are able to take what is witnessed back and contribute to the legal challenges – all legal challenges benefit from new evidence and Cuadrilla are providing a smorgasbord of justification for Lancashire’s rejection of them.
A number of Protectors who want to support the daily actions have come and are staying nearby; adding to the daily actions and unfolding picture. What a picture it is becoming, a patchwork or a jigsaw maybe… where the bits come from many boxes and are still trying to find a way of being side by side and making something of worth. It’s not easy.
None of this is easy. It is actually really bloody psychologically hard. People from different lives and influences, sharing a goal but struggling with the integration that is demanded by where we are and what we are seeking to achieve. Another analogy… it’s like we’re all heading to the same place, on the same road… but some of us are swimming and others skating lol! I hope one day we dance ..on the space Cuadrilla came to conquer but failed.
We absolutely share our anger and outrage though. This is visceral – it’s in the air, it’s in our tones of voice, it’s in our bellies burning – in some this anger is loud, shouting and reacting and within others, it is festering, fermenting and formulating to a set point – we differ in this most. The anger though is an ugly place to be this often and the moments of warmth, humour and humanity couldn't be more precious.
Been a long up and down one so I’ll stop here. Just to say though that due to concerns we were without music today but will be sure we aren’t tomorrow – it is blessed solace to be uplifted from the angry by beautiful sounds. See you tomorrow?
*Personal highlight of the day… fellow Protector of ordinarily calm exterior, finally releasing the anger with “No more Mrs. Nice Xxxxx” after a particularly nasty encounter with a red-faced angry man from the skip hire company. She will know the moment and understand how it brought the humour that followed x