Saturday, 23 June 2018

Make Time for Outrage...

We could all just stay home this week... and it would feel like nothing happened and nothing much mattered or would look any different.
We could all just turn to look at what we've got about us, what we value in our lives and for this one week, ensure all is well and safely tucked in.
We could turn off the news, IGNORE the children in cages... IGNORE the children travelling on troubled waters in desperate mothers' arms seeking a safe port away from war, famine, drought... IGNORE that extra runway at the airport that will lead to an increase in asthma in London's children and contribute to the further degradation of the quality of the environment in which we all live... IGNORE the abuses of power happening within our system of government where Ministers do 'favours' to assist polluting industries and grease the wheels so they can overrun communities, overturn democracy and overhype their lies about proclaimed benefits whilst blocking all the proven negatives...
We could ...but what will have happened outside our individual little bubbles of life? What will have occurred elsewhere that will eventually have impact on our children, our community, our lives? Even if you don't empathise with the genuine plight of so many or... are so overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of suffering in the world that you can't find the ONE THING to focus on, please try this week to do something to at least register your dismay and make time for outrage.
For those of us who are fighting the clear and present danger of fracking (extreme energy extraction) that WILL HARM OUR CHILDREN right here, (almost) right now - we'll be facing our responsibilities, not turning away and not giving up because it's all so bloody hard and saddening. We're going to gather ourselves together and stand strong because if we don't, we will fail in our obligation to every generation to come.
Protecting our young is no longer about just tucking them in safely and ensuring they are fed and warm... it is about protecting the air they breathe, the water they need, the soil they'll rely on and maybe most importantly, their ability to have a say, exercise a right to object, raise a concern and be heard and have an impact within a democracy that actually is one.
Please don't sit this one our. See you on a frontline (or online supporting one)? 

*LINK HERE and HERE to what I wish you could come to x

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Nasty Arts...

This morning I didn’t go to our place of protest on Preston New Road as I understand well that sometimes my responses are not for the best.

We'd been informed that our fence and hedge art was to be torn down because it posed a risk by distracting motorists or some such nonsense excuse... the contrast with the nurtured, encouraged and much championed view of a huge drilling rig in the eyeline of drivers and the many many risks it brings - is just too ridiculous, too ironic, too insulting-to-intelligence and just too damned ludicrous to have been a witness too in the flesh. Like a slap in the face with a wet fish by an idiot claiming wisdom whilst repeating over and over 'that's what it says here to do'.

Despair and disbelief are common emotions here where we’ve come for 531 days now, along with the most oft said preamble to each sentence of "But surely...." before trying to extract reason from unreasonable ‘authority’ in all its guises from council workers to police officers.

Discussing the risk of extreme energy extraction is discouraged, dampened down and muted whilst the risk of a messy road or messy people is broadcast loud and far to stir up anguish, distract from the actual, real and very threatening risks of the industry itself and deter others from joining us.

As each method of expression is gagged... what remains? The recent injunction prevents us applying our bodies to protest and with our creative outlet through art now taken away... we’re being silenced and buried from view because Cuadrilla have the power of influence, the Conservatives support them and Lancashire County Council is weak and poor.

Closing in around us will not make us stop... but it will indeed have an ever-growing impact that probably doesn't look like a pretty picture of the earth, women knitting peacefully or residents in prayer but I get the impression that's just what they prefer - riotous/angry and easily demonised-by-media protesters, then they'd know what to do with us; then they’d get their ‘text book’ protest rather than all this beauty, all this genuine, all this diversity, all this caring and all this protecting our young that is just so hard for them to handle.

I have some pretty yellow ribbon that Marie Taylormakes beautiful bows from… it’s how the art started, with one yellow ribbon… 

Onwards x

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Being a good little girl... that's bad

From a report just out showing how our ‘Law & Justice’ system is utilised by industry against government and people:

[In October 2017, the Scottish parliament voted in favour of its government’s decision to extend a moratorium on shale gas production (“fracking”) that had been placed in 2015. This followed an extensive public consultation and the government commissioning six reports on unconventional oil and gas extraction that covered economic effects; decommissioning, site restoration, and aftercare of industrial sites; climate change; seismic activity; health effects; and community level effects from transportation.

Despite this thorough process, the petrochemical multinational INEOS took the Scottish government to court on the grounds that the effective ban on shale gas production is “unlawful” and that ministers have misused their power and made “very serious errors.” INEOS has also applied for financial compensation. Meanwhile, central government argues that shale gas will enhance the UK’s energy security, create jobs, and boost the economy and that “world class regulation” will keep communities and the environment safe.]

Yesterday the Police Evidence Gatherers were filming as the Wednesday Women began to disperse after completing our 44th ‘Women’s Call for Calm’ and I asked what on earth there was to get evidence of… it had been entirely peaceful and as it had been the previous 43 times. As he replied that they get evidence too of when behaviour was good… something snapped inside me like those luminous, glowing plastic things you get in nightclubs and the burning glow of how it felt is nestled like acid and still burning through my veins.

I think he’d expected me to be happy that I’d lived up to being a good girl today… they have no bloody idea of what it is that has got us to this roadside for over 520 days, no idea of what’s going on inside us that forces us through obligation to be here at all.

The ‘good’ I do is when I impact a dangerous industry and impede its progress to the ultimate outcome of harming our children – that’s ‘BEING GOOD’… locking onto a device to prevent passage of dangerous substances, occupying a field for 3 weeks to let the neighbours know how close they were to a future frack site, slowly walking to cost a vile industry time and money… GOOD GOOD GOOD… and the good I likely have yet to do, will not in any way be defined that way by courts of (misappropriated) law that are supposed to dispense justice but instead get used as a corporate tool to facilitate progress and damn the expense or collateral damage.

Today I got up as early as always to go to the side of the road… but haven’t made it there yet. What will I do when I get there? Be a bloody ornament of no consequence? Just another ribbon on the hedge to dangle daintily out of harm’s way whilst gifted the opportunity to watch as the site surges and grows under the weight of its brutal ability to manipulate and buy the time of our law courts… to listen to the clanging and whirring as the machinery gouges through our landscape passing through our precious aquifer and watch as fools turn up to work inside the compound – soon to be inhaling methane and intake silica sand to fester in their lungs as they wander in blissful, chosen ignorance of the danger they are in and the harm they facilitate.

These people and this industry along with our compliant UK government are playing Russian Roulette with our children’s lives and futures… but it’s ‘lawful’ because a courtroom where Justice was supposed to reign supreme… was abused and the laws that were created to protect the vulnerable, were manipulated to fit the purpose of commerce instead.

What about this situation is reflective of anything we interpret to mean ‘justice’?

Until this week (when the frackers took us all to court as ‘Persons Unknown’), there have been opportunities to do more than wave a banner, there was the ability to take non-violent ACTION in order to impact the industry and raise awareness; now there are limitations that have invisibly and totally reshaped the landscape of the past 520 days. The road looks the same but there are unseen boundaries policed by unseen cameras in order to dictate our behaviour… we’re effectively caged, it’s just you can’t see the bars.

Things are in transition... it’s ‘what to’ that’s the thing though. Fracking is I suppose – the predictable outcome of a corrupted system that has given away the truth of ‘JUSTICE’ and set the price so high that only the powerful can access the changeling that ‘justice’ has become.

So what now for us? It really will be a moment by moment thing as we test our boundaries, our rights and our-selves to see what limits are and what becomes when law and obligation meet in opposition...

We’re told no that if we protest fracking, in particular places and ways… that we will be dealt with in the courts and that they’ve taken actions that inhibit our ability to exercise our Articles 10 & 11 Rights to non-violently protest.

Meanwhile.. the political system, the planning system and the judicial system are infiltrated and hijacked by vested interests… lawfully guided through because the corrupt have become the law-makers.

I’m just pouring a cuppa and gathering up my knitting now… I’ll get up to the transit lounge of my life on the A583 shortly and be another one of the decorations that are found there. I’ll be very bad and I’ll fail the children miserably by having no impact whatsoever – but the evidence gatherers will smile and the faces watching the CCTV will be content that ‘law’ was abided by and their version of ‘good’ prevailed.

My greatest fear and what will certainly dictate my personal choices… is that THIS is set to become our new ‘NORMAL’ and that if weeks pass and this injunction holds (if we act against the temporary one they’s say that’s why they need the permanent and if we do nothing, they will say it’s working!)… then our days can only look like this and that’s a normal I’m not willing to get used to or bequeath to my grandchild. A VOICE in our society is vital – or it’s just a totalitarian regime where harm can come without consequence.

This issue then of supreme importance is the fight to find and then preserve JUSTICE...

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Opposing Fracking...

We get it wrong as often as we get it right; there is no ‘game plan’, no job description, no way to know if the next moment’s decision will get us closer or farther from the goal… but we do it anyway because sitting this one out, would be a crime against our children.
The imminent danger is plain as day and looks like a rig at the side of an ‘A’ road in Lancashire… it’s impossible to ignore, though some turn away out of fear of being inadequate to the task, unwilling to try at something that looks too big, too daunting and with little chance of success. The frustration of those who don’t actively engage, plays out with negativity and even blame when things don’t go well. Things can’t go well for goodness sake… we’re taking on one of the biggest industries in the world and our arsenal is woefully inadequate compared to theirs… ours has wool and cake in it alongside the lock-on tubes and truck-surfer survival kits; if you were a Bookie you’d have us ranked well below the rank-outsiders… down there in the muddy pile of hopelessly-out-of-our-depth.

We plough on though… not because we think we are fabulously good at this, not because it’s a lifestyle-choice, not because of the glory (we have to pee in a bucket, breathe noxious fumes & have our bodies bruised) and certainly not because of some conspiracy cooked up by fools and believed by the too-easily misled… but because we are firmly and un-moveably stuck in this obligation to PROTECT OUR YOUNG. NOTHING can stop this primal, in-built fact of life and there’s no way to get out of it… so even when it truly sucks and it so often does… we stick our heads above parapets and take the chances because there is no time to delay, no luxury of long-term goals to plot and plan… just now, just every now-moment of every day… the urgent need to stop this industry before it is so deeply into us, we can’t hope to get it out.

The money, power and influence of the energy industry is up there with the all-time big-hitters and we… we’re just mums, grandmas, retired midwives, history teachers, vicars, engineers, nurses, Councillors, choir teachers, violinists, harp players, jugglers and all other manner of sorts that saw a problem and got up to do something about it… active citizens who give a damn about the well-being of ourselves and others.

This week…. In the place where law is abused and justice faked, the frackers sought to cut off yet another of our avenues of defense against them. For seven years we have challenged every step they have taken; from the corridors of ‘power’ to the streets, we have been there throwing truth and ourselves about and they have blocked us at every turn… but we’re still here, they’re still not producing any gas yet and the first horizontal frack has still not happened.

We can feel their breath on our necks they’re that close to it now but;;; NOTHING WILL STOP US FULFILLING OUR OBLIGATION TO PROTECT OUR YOUNG.

There are spaces and places and ways to be that remain ‘safe’ within the phoney laws and we will evolve and adapt and challenge in ways we haven’t yet thought of… ways that will come to us in moments of inspiration and desperation and whether wrong or right, we’ll give other things a try because the only other option is to lay back and accept that our children WILL suffer as a result of our inaction.

So on Monday… we have the lovely Kate Raworth and John Ashton joining us for another Green Monday, hope to see you at the roadside 

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 ...