Sunday, 26 February 2017

Carpe Diem...

Carpe Diem…

So what happened yesterday? Well some bits didn’t happen for a host of reasons but that’s the thing about our vast movement… we seize our moments but choose them wisely, just as we seize our days and make the most of them. We’re a movement just 6 years old and a whisper at one end of our movement can echo through to the other side in minutes… perhaps some accuracy of messages is sacrificed in the speed but not all can be perfect ;)

Regardless of little changes to plans though, we had a heck of a day <3 span="">

Despite completely crazy reports that make no bloody sense, from police and some media, declaring that less than a couple of hundred came to the event and that 150 of those somehow ‘vaulted’ into a field … it was actually a day that passed with true joy, commitment, solidarity and networking of over 1000 people, a mere 17 of whom (plus a dog) ended up somehow in a field… more on that later. We gathered from 9am; first came the volunteers, then the early arrivals who willingly or otherwise, also became volunteers and then the residents and visitors in their throngs. Tea and coffee flowed like Niagara, soup steamed from cups held in cold hands, cake sweetened hundreds of lips and Nanas of Nanashire and others had never had a catering job like it! Residents’ groups manned the info and merchandise area and were happily swamped with interest from many who had visited for the first time. A stage got built, a sound system linked-in, photographers and film-makers recorded it all and mock drill rigs were erected - all this thanks to the incredible organising skills and commitment of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland . There were even drones to capture the scenes. From every person I encountered, I saw nothing but genuinely wonderful intent to seize the day and make this one to remember.

Speakers, singers, dancers, cake bakers, soup makers, photographers, film makers and stewards were the core of making it all come together so wonderfully well and the people who came – were the beauty of it all. The Don’t Frack Lancs - National Rally was planned primarily to bring people together from all over and was very much an event to uplift and sustain the protectors – in this is was hugely successful. Another aim of the day was to have a show of numbers and intent for the fracking company Cuadrilla – the success or otherwise will hopefully reflect in the ever-sinking share price when markets next open and the growing band of Protectors that oppose them. There were no crimes, no arrests and not a temper lost or a frown line formed at the rally on Maple Farm.

There was a second event that was to bless the water at the site entrance at 2pm and I reached it soon after – arriving to the surreal unfolding of a scene that involved an elderly couple walking through a clear gap in the hedge, just behind a choir singing ‘Bella Ciao’ as masses gathered – some joyous and some against the fences firmly stating “We said no!”. It is always surreal at Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest – everything is always UN-familiar. I chatted to others with different vantage points for a clearer picture…

Here’s how I heard the various views end up:
A man walking with a dog on a lead was pulled though a gaping hole in the hedge (I had never seen this hole in all our time on this road before – as if they wanted visitors?) – as he tried to get control of his dog, others behind this, may have mistook this for a part of the day’s plan and followed easily through the hedge. By this time, the group of singers noticed and thought they’d help by singing just in front of the hole in the hedge… in case something needed a bit of a diversion. Yet our police publicly state that 150 people ‘vaulted’ into the field – so bloody funny if it weren’t an incomprehensible and blatant lie by our police! WHY? Why would our police CHOOSE to make false claims? WHY would they choose to demonise the people there – most of whom had come for the water blessing in solidarity with Standing Rock? Who decided that the story of vaulting residents and visitors was the line to take? I cannot comprehend how the hell this happened or why the police made this decision to lie.

Dwelling on this will tarnish the truth of it all though…

Amidst the masses a circle formed and four women marked the directions and the elements in a ceremony that combined Pagan and Druid parts to honour the water, the earth, the fire and the air as well as those who sacrifice to protect them, across the world. It was calming, uplifting, empowering and a beautiful thing to be a part of. I come away overwhelmed with the truth of us… of the Protectors in all our ways and types, who come together like this and find our way, overcome our personal challenges and stand together for an inescapable obligation to protect what is vital to life.

To Cuadrilla and the facilitator of their frack-site, A E Yates Ltd. – our message was clear:
“Today, we want you to know that we are going nowhere till you do. We will come each day to inform and do our best to disrupt and delay the harms you are wreaking on our fields of Lancashire. If you expect to get a drill anywhere near this place… please remember we are many and will not allow the harms you bring, to threaten the health and well-being of our community and more importantly, our young.”

“SHAME on you! Who decided what your message would be? What was discussed before you put it out? What is your aim if it is not to serve truth and justice?”

To Protectors – newcomers and long-termers… I couldn’t be more grateful that you were here or online making our message spread. Namaste xxx

*Extra special thanks to those who travelled from all over the country, those whose vehicles didn't make it and to Craig Bennett and Natalie Bennettwho I know made a huge effort in re-arranging commitments to be here with us 

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