I don’t want to do this – it’s such a bloody time-consuming, life-eating thing... to object to the government’s plans to take risks with our air and water, based on economic considerations. I expect everybody else campaigning to protect our air and water feels this too.
I have tried to think of ways to not be doing this anymore and I can’t find any.
If I stop standing against my government and demanding a frack-free UK – that is the same as saying I am willing to risk the health and wellbeing of our children – or that I deny anything I know of the truth of this industry. That George Bender’s death wasn’t related to this or he imagined the things he shared. That Jessica Ernst isn’t really an educated and clever woman with vast expertise – nor Mariann Lloyd-Smith. That noting how Oklahoma has now become the earthquake capital of the world, going from two a year to two a day – is just being dramatic? Or that a need to use gagging orders, expensive lobbying firms, heavy-handed policing, bend laws and avoid the clean air and water act is not evidence of at the very least – a complete lack of transparency?
So no, there’s no way out.
The past five years should have been spent enjoying my granddaughter passing from a child of six to beautiful young girl of 11 but instead have been spent at roadsides, campsites, courtrooms, meetings, marches, rallies and events... that have admittedly taken me to some beautiful parts of our country and best of all – brought me into the company of people who I have so much respect for.
There is that... the beauty of people that makes the ugly of this industry bearable.
It doesn’t matter how well we know each other or even if we’ve met face-to-face, if you’re an activist/campaigner/active resident etc. I can safely say how much I appreciate and admire you because you got up – you didn’t sit back and accept the unacceptable. No matter who we have been – when we become this, we are united and have a common thread.
In the earlier days of this campaign I named a talk ‘The Unwelcome Gift’ because every time we did a public information event – I KNEW that we’d leave behind more people who just like us, would be stuck here in this absurd and horridly consuming campaign. I also knew that they would find it impossible to walk away once they started to discover the harms this industry would bring and perhaps worst of all – that our government was going to make it easy for them.
What happens next?
Well it’s been the most emotional and impactful few weeks of the past five years and it’s like everything got thrown in the air and has yet to land. I know we knew they would probably say yes to fracking in Yorkshire as they had a compliant Conservative council, a pre-existing (cheap & already drilled) site but still... deep deep down there was a tiny light of what once I called trust in justice and honour in office. Won’t make that mistake again – ever.
Not sure how we proceed and only have one certainty – that we DO proceed.
Realistically, no matter how much the media tries to stir the pot on ‘warfare’ talk and overplayed hype about us having a battle etc – we’re just regular people thrown out of our comfort zones and into the path of a juggernaut of a government mission fuelled by one of the most powerful industries in the world. Good grief. Nothing prepares a person for this I don’t think.
It’s like a showdown - only the ‘bad guy’ is wearing the Sheriff’s Badge and pretending to act for a greater good and we’re some terrifying threat to all that is sacred and wholesome about his economy. Sadly the people writing about these roles in old-world media, are using the same script that leads to some pretty ugly stuff ahead if it plays out their way. If it played out my way... there would be this moment where those in office realise that maybe facts matter more than self-service, that the ‘greater good’ is sometimes the health and wellbeing of the people – not the economic balance and that they are bound by office to prevent harm.
Apparently I’m one of the bad ones.
This really sucks. I am far far from perfect in so many ways but I am NEVER wilfully bad and NEVER intend harm... though I mess up lots of other things. Two ‘bailiffs’ (I was corrected by one today who said they are ‘process servers’) came looking for me during the past few weeks to remind me how bad I am and that there is a price to pay. Thanks to the lovely people on Facebook who impacted the Review section of the law firm Eversheds page (they actually removed the facility to review after their rating dropped low) – they finally responded to my email. I explained that I was happy to receive the papers demanding I attend court but that I would only receive them by arrangement and not at family fun days or events. We arranged to meet today and I took the papers.
I’ll be in Blackpool Law Courts on 24 June 2016
The court wants me to pay £55,342.37 in court costs for an ‘eviction’ (that wasn’t as we’d already gone) in Summer 2014 of a 3-week camp in a field earmarked for fracking by Cuadrilla here in the Fylde, Lancashire. I am the ‘Judgement Debtor’ now. I feel quite sick looking at the words. KNOWING that this ‘justice’ is not a thing of humanity or society as I know it. That it is POSSIBLE to attach a debt like this to a person who is standing to defend against harm. I know that this is done to make an example – to show that if you DO stand up, there is a price to pay and it’s really big.
So the papers want me to explain to court why I can’t pay (I actually really can’t as I am very poor and without assets)... but I find the question is pointless. What point my bringing in financial excuses when my real problem is that I WILL NOT pay criminals, or contribute in any way to harm. What that means for my case, I’m not sure and will look at legal advice over the weekend. I won’t have a lawyer though as their job is to get the client the lightest penalty – whereas my objective is to not contribute in any way to what I consider an abomination of a plan – directly or indirectly by submitting to their ‘authority’ and ability to use our laws to their advantage. Why is the law not working to my advantage? Why can’t I get it to move quickly on behalf of our movement? What recourse and access realistically do any of us have? I can’t win if the law and ‘justice’ is based on ability to pay for lawyers – they will always have more.
I’ve asked that no-one contribute to costs that in the end support the industry and their position – any support I would want would be by way of action against this industry... continued non-violent but direct action involving lobbying your MP, maybe supporting a camp, writing to journalists and local press, joining frack-free groups, attending events and public meetings, organising leaflet drops etc. Whatever action suits – all action counts and has contributed to the UK remaining frack free for five years now. Yay us...