Thursday, 9 February 2017

Day 26 in the Cuadrilla House...

Deeply indebted to Miranda for keeping the updates... up-to-date from Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest whilst I'm in London. I am reminded on reading today's entry of the first shock of truly bias media being so blatant, the affront of abuses of justice, the sheer bloody awful sense of corruption and shock at the treatment of the good people... that comes with activism and although after time, we grow sadly used to this - it hurts like hell to realise what we are actually facing and what this all says about the world we live in, the myths of government and the lie of democracy. Thank you Miranda for more than the update - for the reminder of why we're still here <3 span="">
Written by Miranda Cox:
Day 26 in the Cuadrilla House

Where to begin? It has been another day of tactics, solidarity, friendship, determination and a few tears.

Today has seen successful action at A E Yates in Bolton and the unlawful arrest of a photographer. 
There's been a nasty crash on Preston New Road, right outside the Frack site, resulting in injuries, and protectors have been kettled by Police to facilitate delivery of a few plastic pipes. The yellow ribbons in the hedge are spreading like blooms amid thorns and support is still strong.

Yesterday's positive results ( positive for us, negative for the fracking industry) meant that late in the day, we finally achieved some mainstream media TV coverage. The BBC visited Preston New Road Roadside Protest, filmed protectors stopping a lorry and interviewed a couple of people. Interestingly all questions echoed a Cuadrilla Press Statement issued earlier in the day, therefore we were not suprised to note it resembled more of a platform for CEO Mr Egan than an objective piece of reporting. However, we looked damn fine in the spring sunshine and a few more people joined us on the roadside today as a result of watching and being angered.

This morning brought news that another pop up protest in Bolton at EA Yates was successfully stopping lorries, placing further pressure upon Cuadrilla's main contractor. It appears from reports that lorries were slow walked to the main highway, where unfortunately a photographer who had only just arrived, was arrested. We have no further details at the moment, but we send our best wishes to him.

So it looked like it was going to be another quiet day in Little Plumpton....or so we thought.

Around 8.45am a cement mixer from a new supplier (Cemex) apparently entered site from the east, having to make a right turn, not permitted in the Traffic Management Plan. Security, Police Liaison Officers and two vigilant protectors indicated that this was not permitted and as the lorry hesitated, a car stopped, and another crashed at speed into the back of it.

Ambulances attended to the injured parties including young children. The witnesses were shocked and we all wish everyone involved a swift recovery.

The incident was reported to HSE and LCC and again, we are yet to see anyone visit the site or provide a satisfactory response to our concerns.

This is another shocking event, which is as expected, being spun to underplay the severity and also try to apportion blame anywhere but at the door of Cuadrilla. When most decent people would be concerned should be for the safety and well being of residents and road users, this company intentionally creates a web of alternative facts.

The cement company involved issued a statement suggesting that the delivery was a one off and in no way tied them to a contract.
After the road was cleared and the cars towed away, the site remained quiet. One flat bed truck carrying some plastic pipes and other small items was stopped without closing the road and actually left site without delivering. Around an hour later it returned but not before another alarming development.

We suddenly became aware that four police vans had assembled along the road. En masse, the police descended and ran across the road herding protesters against the hedge. Several are clearly heard asking why on videos posted online. The response was it was suspected there would be a breach of the peace. Within minutes the flat bed truck sped into the compound, and the police vanished, seemingly satisfied that no breach of the peace would occur. It appeared to us that their role had been to facilitate delivery.

One older protector was extremely shaken and tearful, expressing her frustration and confusion as to why we were treated so aggressively. What words can express any comfort to someone wanting to show solidarity, someone who's only motivation is a better, cleaner world for their grandchildren? That's something I am still trying to fathom.

It seems even more surreal when you consider this was all for a few pipes, and no work progressed on site all day.