Thursday, 4 May 2017

Day 83 in the Cuadrilla House...

Day 83 in the Cuadrilla house… and the good people wondered and amused ourselves with ‘Deal or No Deal’ references as under blue skies and sunshine, we enjoyed the sight of great big yellow boxes flanked by members of a glorious, red-hatted Greenpeace team… all somehow locked together in a ‘box-them-in-lock-on’. It was the finest of days. Day 82 achieved a successful dent on access to the site also but was sadly far more traumatic to all involved, due to a tragic accident on the M55 that added to traffic issues and led some to blame good Protectors. To set the record straight – Day 82’s lock on did block the road but was only intended to do so briefly – it was the police that allowed it to go on for nearly 4 hours more than required. The Protectors had explained to police that the pulling out of site fencing… across our footpath and to the road, inhibited our articles 10 & 11 rights to protest and that the lock-on would not be blocking the road IF it was possible to use the public space to block just the site. Eventually the lock-ons were allowed to reclaim the public space at the site entrance… no chaos was needed, just sharper decisions that put our rights up there with the ones the police afford Cuadrilla.

So stock prices are wobbling again for Cuadrilla’s parent company AJ Lucas, the drill is not yet here and the timetable remains over 2-months behind schedule – that’s the good bits. The bad bits include police over-policing on a massive scale with 100+ police active each day on this protest and despite claims of neutrality, appear to be runners for trucks and enablers of this industry. They push and shove us into ‘kettles’ – surrounding us with a police-officer-wrap-rounds that hold us in place to, as they say:

“Keep you safe”

Question then on Day 83 to the police: IF this is about holding us away from danger, why then despite the lock-on did they allow a convoy of trucks to use the small amount of site entrance-way available and access/leave the site? How is this putting safety as the consideration? If you’ve seen footage from the many livestreams of vehicle movements in and out of the site on most days, we are kept as far from vehicles as possible – yesterday they brought the vehicles close to people who couldn’t move by virtue of their peaceful, non-violent action! Who are they keeping safe? Actually …perhaps that question is answered if we change the first word from ‘who’ to ‘what’. It is too obvious to ignore the fact that the bias goes to keeping the industry safe. Who dictates this? What does a morning briefing at Police HQ sound like? What are their aims laid out as?

Another thing about our actions and police behaviour around them that is worth noting – they hide us. There IS a beauty in protest and on Day 83, it was colourful, calm and lovely to behold …but the police vans added to the blockade by lining all their vehicles unnecessarily in front of the line of Protectors. The action was on the footpath at the entrance to the site and did not encroach onto the road – the police vehicles hiding it did though. They could say they were avoiding distracting passing motorists – but police activity drew more attention than we would have done!

Yesterday I linked to an article that summarised concerns of medical professional in British Columbia who, like their counterparts in New York – have called for a moratorium on fracking due to strong concerns for public health. The article is worth your time because it draws in lots of different links and references to reputable, peer-reviewed work that shows reasons for alarm.

From yesterday I shared:

What the hell are we doing - wasting the precious days of our lives in endless moments of confrontation and frustration? Why can't we just stop and get back to a regular life with regular priorities and regular joys......because we have no choice; once you know of an impending risk that means danger to the children, you are obliged to act to prevent harm. It's what good people do.

Medical professionals know and share our stance... if police who witness our strange lives each day, read our things here, I hope they understand this and realise we act for their children too. Saying no to fracking is caused by peer-reviewed independent research, first-hand accounts and evidence/ Saying yes to fracking is caused by commercial vested interests. Full stop.

From the link:
[Technological developments in the fracking industry have outpaced health and environmental research. We are only now starting to get studies that tell us about the health impacts associated with fracking. The information is still preliminary, but overwhelmingly raises red flags for health. One study, which looked at all the health-oriented research on fracking, found that 80% of all studies had been done between 2013 and 2015. Of the ones that looked at public health outcomes, 84% identified potential problems.

Preliminary studies on the human health effects of fracking have identified concerns with the hormone-disrupting properties of fracking fluids and their potential for reproductive and developmental toxicity, increased asthma rates, and congenital heart disease with greater proximity to natural gas development.
Very few studies have examined longer-term health outcomes with longer latency periods such as cancer or developmental outcomes. To quote a review of the literature: “This is a clear gap in the scientific knowledge that requires urgent attention.”
...the best approach is to act in accordance with the precautionary principle. As stated by the World Health Organization: “in the case of serious or irreversible threats to the health of humans or the ecosystem, acknowledged scientific uncertainty should not be used as a reason to postpone preventive measures.” CAPE Doctors in B.C. believe that this approach should be applied to fracking in B.C.]

Times are busy and there is much to come and much more to be done but we have the support and commitment of our Protectors here at the roadside of Preston New Road Rolling Roadside ProtestGreenpeace UKFriends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland and coming soon …much more from the wonderful Reclaim The Power who plan a summer of actions. Councillors, potential politicians, some existing politicians of all parties who r ealisethe risks of fracking are fighting too… activism in ALL arenas is what will stop not just THIS threat but others to come; from profit led industries that do not value us. We can all impact somehow, from where we are. See you tomorrow?


About the picture:

*Author Sue Hampton has dedicated her book 'Woken' to those who do what we do… Nanas are honoured to be in the company of Water Protectors everywhere, thank you <3 span="">