Monday, 6 February 2017

Day 24 in the Cuadrilla House....

Day 24 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people caught the scent of success in the air from the moment each arrived at Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest. Diesel-to-fresh air ratio was low and after a single delivery (slow-walked for nearly an hour) – there were NO more gravel trucks coming our way! All that clamoured up the hill, was cement and the road sweeper. Clearly, somewhere between us and a quarry in Bolton, was a wall and it was made of Protectors, saving PNR from the daily invasion.

So if the start of the day was good, the follow ups just kept getting better. The return of the Liverpool Socialist Singers brought song to the sunshine and then… oh my :) …mid-afternoon brought fantastic news; you could feel the triumph ripple out from one Protector in Bolton –then reverberate right through an entire movement from PNR to Scotland, Sussex and beyond: Armstrong Aggregate (supplier to Cuadrilla) wrote what read like a love letter to the frack-free movement:

“We have made the decision at 1pm today to terminate all work at Little Plumpton with AE Yates and Cuadrilla.” David Armstrong

Wow. This is more than one supplier, it is a domino that fell today. To the suppliers, Cuadrilla is just one contract - to Cuadrilla,, the suppliers are their air & water, their lifeblood and without them, they perish. This one supplier has shown others, not only how it's done but that they too should think twice about whether working with the frack companies is worth it at all. Unless of course they love a slow-walk and the friendly smile of a determined Protector for breakfast each day.;) Then there's the shareholders this evening, looking at their investment, wondering how many more millions will be lost in this industry of all spend and no earnings... and considering other options. Igas, Ineos etc. will also be looking on and wondering what on earth is in store the next move they make too.

The day passed pretty much without trucks as they were tied up in those clutch-grinding binds on a hill in Bolton. The one that had made the dash for freedom early – arrived only to find PNR Protectors waiting to greet it with a gentle slow-walk of over an hour. I arrived as police vehicles were unloading and asked if there was anything wrong – it was said that some in the slow-walk were obstructing the highway (due to non-movement) – although it was denied, a few of us replaced the current walkers to finish it just in case. That done, the site staff set about the only job they were able to get on with – getting electricity to the new little island in the middle of the road.

Today the road lane closure changed sides to accommodate a noisy drill tearing a trench through the now fenced-off area between lamp and island. This took all day and ate-up the pavement so there was no passage. If any needed to pass through, all work had to halt and there was reluctance by those working, to accommodate us but they got on with it grumpily, stopping work each time. Little more to say on work progress today… which is deliciously nice.

A real ray of sunshine and an accordion, the Liverpool Socialist Singers took a while getting through the escorted footpath walk – having arrived in little clusters rather than a lump.;) Once through they tried magnificently to reach sound levels to beat the asphalt-chewing drill and were such welcome harmony amidst the cacophony. Huge thanks.

I'm off to London tomorrow for 3 days at lovely and much needed, LUSH Summit. A brilliant event in perfect time that will allow activists from across the country to come together, skill share, idea share and plot and plan. Miranda has kindly agreed to update daily so I can share from her, what goes on in the continuing saga at the roadside at PNR and beyond. See you Friday?

*Whopping great, magnificent highlight of the day – brilliant Protectors in Bolton helping Armstrong Aggregates to understand what the community wants and getting them to agree.<3 span=""> Yay Bolton Against Fracking

“Additional bonus highlight of the day – livestreams that kept us up to speed with all that unfolded x
Image thanks to Peter Yankowski