Day 101 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people are feeling the change in the air, the apprehension and the longing for an end to this fight to save ourselves and others from enduring lives in gasfields. Talk of the impending arrival of the drill, brings fear and necessitates planning… and talk of the impending election. brings a daring to hope that if we get the only PRO-fracking party out, our work here at the roadside will finally be over. Right now though, everything is about keeping watch, spotting movement, paying attention to changes on the site and straining to hear a distant ignition that will mean the start of the journey for the drill. Focus is less broad at this time and this is no bad thing… as our priorities too have adjusted to the urgency and there's a developing cohesion as working groups form and communication flows with less hindrance. We have never been more determined to bring this to an end and we are united in this goal.
So as we pass the 100th working day on this site that arrived on a cold damp January 5th… we’re wearing less wool, sunglasses are needed and we’re looking like people who have normal lives where holidays would be responsible for the golden tans we’re sporting. The better weather has made things easier and as work still seems oddly sluggish on site, there has been less brutality and confrontation at the gates. On the days where the trucks thunder through in convoys of 8+ …we can’t get close due to the wrap-round policing that comes with them, the sealing off of the road that the trucks require to make the turn and the sheer numbers in uniform that hold us back. It’s a learning curve and all sides of this are feeling our way. Cops over-policing, over-reacting and over-costing… site staff often fraught, temperamental, torn between ‘just doing the job’ and for some, the gradual realisation of what that job is doing to our community… and us, the Protectors trying to find what works because we can’t go home till we get this right. We have and will only seek non-violent means – we harm no-one; our work involves delaying by using our bodies and creativity.
Please keep an eye on us as we’re going to need you soon if things don’t work out and that drill starts its journey. There are communication networks setting up that will ensure an early alert to call for help to join at various places: from drill departure point (to be confirmed) and all along its way to Preston New Road – everyone who can is asked to be a part of this by increasing our visibility, bearing witness and considering non-violent actions …your local branch of anti-fracking group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace etc are worth connecting with and asking to be updated.
In the meanwhile there is Billinghurst where a drill is now doing its worst 24 hours a day (see KEEP BILLINGSHURST FRACK FREE) and licenses in counties across the country that are raring to go that also need your support… whatever role you can play, please play it.
Here at Preston New Road in the early morning, Friends of the Earth are coming with a lovely contingent of 60 visitors from Europe who will join us for a nice Nana breakfast before visiting the site and on Friday… fancy dress is becoming the new normal. See you at the roadside? x