Day 125 in the Cuadrilla House... and the good people are bleeding, bruised and under attack - though not broken, never broken as the worse it gets - the tougher we grow. All though at the gates is atrocious and getting worse. Violence escalating by police, site staff and security staff (NEVER by Protectors! Never.). We are being brutally assaulted and are abandoned by all official bodies, government and opposition. Promises that this is the most important issue in Lancashire in the run up to the election are not followed up with actions. Words and deeds need to match and they bloody matter now. Help us please.
So it is that this morning a peaceful elder, a woman in a wheelchair has remained in position for over 30 hours at the gates to the Cuadrilla fracking site that’s under development just outside Blackpool in Lancashire. She’s been ‘locked on’ (her right arm locked into a heavy barrel padded and weighted with bitumen/cement etc) for more than a day and a night as I write this on a rainy Tuesday morning. I wish she wasn’t doing this… I know it is needed and that we benefit from her sacrifice but I care about her and as all of us who do… we can’t bear to see her suffering and directly in harm’s way. I understand a bit better at times like this, why it is that for many of us, our family and friends get angry and ask us to stop; they don’t want to be part of this fear, anguish and violence – they don’t want to spend sleepless night wondering what pain or risk we’re in. They don't want all this ugly that steals everything else.
All of us who were part of the actions yesterday that saw 13 local residents ‘lock on’ are in pain today for what we saw the good people go through. There were tears from some, as after stealing time to rest… I returned to find such cruelty had happened whilst I had been in safe comfort. We all feel guilt at not being with those at the gates, whenever we’re not the ones at the gates. None of us is the key ingredient but we’re all acutely aware that this takes ALL of us and ALL the time if we're to hope to stop this dangerous industry and protect each other.
Down-time is never restful, it's fraught with concern for what we’re NOT doing. I feel lucky that throwing words out is like exorcism in some ways for me… I shape my thoughts, package them and feel an overview that I don’t have when I’m in the middle of this whirlwind… I wonder how other Protectors sort their heads? This pressure day in and out, night in and out – is heavy and all encompassing. When we step back to the world of family or daily life – the contrast is stark. I feel reluctant to dare to enjoy love, life and pleasures because it makes what we have to do, all the more ugly and cruel. Stolen moments that lead to stolen days, weeks and now years – these moments of anguish that are our lives, have stolen too, the time that would have been marked with joy, laughter, friends, family, nature, pleasure. I'm angry - so bloody angry.
The phrase ‘it doesn’t have to be like this’ is in my head but it IS like this, it IS brutal, it IS unjust, it IS dangerous, it IS hurting people every day and I’ve seen this time and again at anti-fracking actions across the country (and via media, the world) for six years now. It IS this way and although it shouldn’t be… it just plain IS. People ask ‘But ifs…’ or ‘Surely there must be…’ or ‘Maybe you need to…’ are not in the middle of the complete abuse of law and order, disregard for people’s safety and complete abuse of a community that I and others are. There are no mitigating circumstances that will allow me to forgive the police who this morning allowed and facilitated by their absence of intervention – the brutal, blood-drawing attack on the peaceful men and women of our community.
Peaceful citizens in a public pavement area beaten up in daylight by security guards in full view of police – to those police who were there, you are complicit and should in all conscience quit now… give up the role you are failing. You don’t have the guts required to police innocent people who depend on you to keep them safe. Go. You are not worthy of a uniform or rank – let the job go to someone who will act for justice not on instruction dictated through a senior, by a private company – that’s not policing, that’s being in the mafia – in this incidence you're not even being the paid thug… you’re being paid to turn away and ignore law-breaking – you are NOT a police officer. It’s like a doctor being paid to ignore life-threatening injuries
It IS this way and if we don’t act to change it – then the ‘way it is’ in the future, will be worse as what now seems so shocking, becomes everyday - as it is for us. If we don't seize back our rights and genuine democracy, what will our children and grandchildren be seeing when they say the words… ‘It shouldn’t have to be this way’?
My life gifts me strangers… lots and lots of unknown people from unknown places, with unknown life stories and ways of being… the usual ways we measure our feelings about fellow humans, are not applicable in places of conflict and resistance, as ‘normal’ life circumstances are not seen ie: where and how people and their loved ones live… so we measure trust and relationship development only by words and deeds. My love and admiration for Michelle and all who tread this path with good intent, with no concern for personal gain, without ego and FOR all of us – is unexplainable because it is a pure emotion that can only be felt and never described – words fail this sort of love.
Please let us see you soon