Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Stockport Stones...

Each meeting I go to, people express a wish to show solidarity with Protectors at Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest and a sadness that they cannot be with us when they so support all that is being done - but life, work, children, mortgages, bills, responsibilities, health etc. make it impossible to realistically expect all who wish they could - to somehow find a way to join us....

Recently on a #CallForCalm Wednesday, the women brought small stones with messages on that were placed at the verges to the side of the site entrance - at one point when I was being arrested. I looked down at my feet and there they were... it was strangely comforting and calming; a sense of all of us who come and do what we can. The image here is of this evening's 'Stockport Stones'... each with a name or message.

They're to be taken to PNR and placed with the others, to represent those who would be with us if they could. Think we could encourage others to get there little stones to us and we can begin to see a mountain grow - certainly I'll be asking each time I do meetings now 

It was a wonderful warm welcome at the Stockport Green Party meeting this evening - many thanks to all who came and especially to organiser Camilla Luff who went above and beyond the call by not only getting me back and forth from station and organising stones into a jar... but provided a delicious meal and hospitality too (I may self-invite to a future date lol!) 

*Big grrrrr though to awful rail travel - just 2 coaches on one train that should have been six, we were all so close we merged into one blob of passenger... a cancellation of another train that meant hanging around an extra hour late at night... and finally a bus replacement service - we really need more civilised public transport 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tonight... Stockport x

Delighted to be heading off to this later...... huge thanks to Camilla Luff and all at Stockport Green Party for the generous invitation 
We'll be talking about communities and how we face up to threats together. Overcoming our differences to stand united is not always easy but is essential if we are to keep our families safe from the risks brought by industrialisation, fracking, loss of local democracy and more. Becoming 'active' brings up all sorts of issues… including women's rights, media bias, our own social judgements and what is this thing we call ‘democracy’ in reality. I genuinely believe though that we all end beautifully because I have seen the power of neighbours becoming a community that stands together. Activism is often tough and can be soul-destroying - but the gains, are immeasurably greater than the losses. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday's Tale... The Dis-embrace

What did you do in the great war mummy?

Ah I worried and worried my love
Feared for what would come if the attack was not stopped
But you were so young
You needed me near and so
…I stayed close
Closed the doors
Locked out the sound of alarm
And ensured that we… came to no harm.
In that time when we were lost
Separated from truth by chosen ignorance
It would knock, shout at the windows, try to come in through the cables and webs

Ah but I was too good at weaving our space my love...wrapping you in a warm embrace of what felt like normal, what seemed like home – what was our only-known way. Beyond the door lurked certain danger, certain harm, certain ugly reality that would ensure an uncertain future – and I was so scared. All I wanted was to keep you safe but the attack was all too soon, on all sides.

It was when your asthma could no longer be managed at home and the hospital visits became all too frequent; when bottled water doubled in price and became invaluable; when George’s farm went bankrupt because his herd were too close to the poisons that were seeping into our air, our water and our soil… that we could no longer hide.

That’s when we rose my love to face truths and see the world for what it had become at the hands of the industries that pillaged it, spilled toxins carelessly into it and cut corners and mountain tops to get every last bit of it - under the sleepy eye of weakened, impotent regulators who whispered only gentle concern or when things went bad… something about ‘lessons learned’

Those who claimed ‘authority’ were exposed to be the despicable, callous, inhumane, uncaring swine-at-a-trough that they’d become – none with power in those houses of ‘academics, law and state’ were fit for offices where they’d contemplate the value of economic growth versus the insurance claims on the dead. Pontificating on how to mitigate fallout from increased miscarriages and grief, that would otherwise bleed profit from shareholders; hemorrhaging their precious hopes and dreams of bigger, better, brighter, bolder, more Porsche-infested futures.

I’d see news and even knew some, who’d grabbed truth by the hand and walked with it sooner – the ‘activists’.  I’d feared them almost as much as the industries that were surrounding us and pounding the land night and day till there was no rest in us… those uniformed for ‘law’ had roughly handled many into vans and through court systems, imposing fines and sentences, tarnishing reputations and painting a picture of ‘crimes’. Our minds had been set to perceive the good and the bad, the cowboy black hats or white and the disconnect – was hard to handle. 

If the people with the truth were in courts, prisons and police hands then what measure, what value, what worth was being given to ‘truth’ and how do we define 'criminal behaviour'? The papers too used words to make shapes that seemed black and white and yet there were seepages of footage from industrialised places that were grey. I wondered if any of the black and white history of my life had ever been real anyway… friends, enemies, good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, right, wrong, right, left – did the papers ever tell truth’s side of the story? Truth seemed to have been outcast from this pillar too.

When we came to be with the ‘activists’ it was as if walls literally came crumbling down – divides between us, separators that kept us apart; the marks of our positions, colours of our robes and skins…. prioritised down to nothing as we stood arm in arm with truth and divined – the only way through this was to be kind and if we could not do this one thing - we would fail our children and gift them the uncertainty by which we were now defined.

The great war was no war at all really my love… it was a great re-shuffle, a sorting and a time of great revelations that brought forth the emergence of truth in all its naked, raw, flawed, powerful, unfinished beauty – when we faced that – then we could face each other and the road ahead...

Saturday, 2 September 2017

To Get to the Other Side...

1st September 2017:
The police chose to unlawfully limit our movements at the entrance area of the Cuadrilla fracking site (under development since January) on Preston New Road (A583 between Kirkham & Blackpool) - preventing anyone from stepping onto the traffic island or crossing the road to the verge. There were no actions taking place and no clear answer was given when we asked 'Why?'. This has not happened before and as we've been gathering at this place since 5th January 2017 - it was clearly an escalation and abuse of power by the police.

As I've done many many times in these past 8 months, I chose to cross the road at various points and get onto the safe verge - no risk, no harm, no issues - yet each time, I was confronted by strong, wide police officers barricading, pushing, lifting, placing, manipulating and controlling my movements.

That brute force would win the day is a serious assault on our rights, our safety and freedom - and sets a dangerous precedent that cannot be tolerated. IF this went unchallenged... it would appear to be our acceptance and could allow the scene to be repeated on Monday morning and beyond... and then what? Further limitations and restrictions 'for our safety'? We are being effectively kettled/penned into a space of the police's choosing and that is a police state of affairs..

After my arrest and charge with 'willfully obstruction a police officer', I was offered the opportunity to accept a 'caution' but as that would involve lying (ie: I would have to say I was guilty of something) - I opted instead for truth and will attend a brief court appearance to make a plea of 'NOT guilty' on 10th October.

The honourable Protectors I have the privilege to spend my days with ...will NOT be tolerating these restrictions and I look forward to being 'on the other side' on Monday morning... join me? x

Tina Rothery fracking interview

Will we thrive, die or barely survive?

The photo states a fact... plain, simple, unavoidably true. Sadly we're in a world where it's politics that dictates ...