Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Day 21 in the Cuadrilla House...

Day 21 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people danced in sunshine, talked strikes and Unions, masterminded plots and plans and decorated hedges with bunting and signage as well as yellow ribbons and knitted pieces. Music returned along with a delicious cake and sandwich delivery courtesy of 2 fantastic visitors from Ellesmere Port who came in solidarity. We slow-walked 4 tucks and a road sweeper but missed 1 that had arrived before the works lane was operating. Awaiting clarity but now that the entrance-way of the site is sufficient for some trucks to turn directly in, we’re informed that they’re able to arrive from 7:30am – temporary lights and lane closure from 9:30-3 as usual.

So after the dramatic and effective day yesterday, today was a contrast that brought with it welcome news that due to actions over the past 21 working days at PNR and additional support in Bolton, the site is around a fortnight behind schedule. This is worked out by the date the temporary works-lane was due to be no longer operating – around 6th Feb… it is indicated now that the temporary lane won’t be going till around 20th Feb. Well done all who did what they could to make this happen.

Last night’s blog was a bit lengthy so I won’t keep you so long this evening. Not every day is high octane and not every plan is seen, until it arrives but at the end of this day, the feeling was positive and confident about news that has come to the roadside. Protectors in all their ways at PNR are supported by an entire movement and not just by those who share our aim to stop fracking but by groups and individuals who offer what they can do because what’s happening here, is an attack on our democracy too. Local democracy was neutered when Westminster made the decision to frack – ignoring the demands of the people and Council of Lancashire that said NO. We are in a righteous and honourable position, imposed on by government but supported by the community and council.

No two days have been the same here and with many things to come to end this industry, a day like today was perfect for planning and sharing news, also good for talking with workers during the slow walks. A representative of UNITE the Union was with us today and we’ve asked for more information for those working here as their health and wellbeing is at risk too. Many are not informed about what they are creating and this feels very wrong; when they eventually find out about the harms this industry does to children, pregnant women, livestock, communities, water and air quality, how will they feel then?

If I found out I was contributing even in a small way to future birth abnormalities (search Midwife Utah fracking), the failure of farms (for every 10 jobs created by fracking, 18 are LOST in agriculture – search Victoria State Ban), death of livestock (search George Bender), induced dependence on delivered water (search Denton, Texas), increased earthquakes and fallen property values (search Oklahoma earthquakes – used to be 2 a year, now 2 a day) or the countless daily reports found on the ‘List of the Harmed’ Pennsylvania - I would feel sick and deeply responsible. Sadly without Union membership, a lot of these workers would be unable to get the help they need to be able to object on moral grounds. There is a thing called a ‘Green Ban’ which is a form of strike action, taken for environmentalist or conservationist purposes that is being looked into to see if it can apply to proposed fracking sites in the UK and as ALL but 1 (GMB) of the Unions in the UK support a call to stop fracking, it would be a valuable tool.

Aggressive driving at high speed by Armstrongs' drivers made for a few worrying moments but this was countered by the smiles as we watched the little digger truck dig itself into the hole and become wedged for a really long time... nice finish to the day. See you tomorrow? x.

*Food highlight of the day, another lemon drizzle cake this time from Ellesmere Port visitors that means we feel a bake off may soon become necessary as Nana Kate has clearly got competition!

*Image thanks to Cheryl Atkinson