Fracking Protestors - Gamma Newsletter - 30th Nov 2017

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Fracking protest injunction based on "flimsy evidence"

A multinational firm has been accused of using “flimsy and exaggerated” evidence when it obtained an “astonishingly broad” injunction against all anti-fracking protesters, a court has heard. Petrochemicals giant Ineos is seeking to enforce a sweeping injunction to prevent any protester from obstructing its fracking operations. Campaigners face being jailed, fined or having their assets seized if they break the injunction. At a three-day hearing in the high court, two campaigners are seeking to have the injunction struck out, arguing that it is “anti-democratic and oppressive”.
29th Nov 2017 - The Guardian

New date for meeting revealed after anti-fracking protest

A meeting which was suspended after anti-frackers staged a protest has been rearranged. North Yorkshire County Council’s Ryedale Area Committee was abandoned on November 15, but will now take place on Monday, December 11 at the Ryedale District Council offices, Ryedale House, in Malton from 10.30am. The first meeting was suspended when campaigners protested after a question they wanted to ask was ruled to have been submitted after the deadline.
29th Nov 2017 - The Press, York

Protesters stage "slow walk" outside fracking site

Protesters have held a 20-minute 'slow walk' protest in front of a convoy of lorries at Kirby Misperton this morning. A group of about 10 protesters walked in the middle of the road in front of a lorry-mounted crane and two tankers after they had left the hydraulic fracturing site on Habton Road. "Every day, officers will engage with the protest community, and clearly explain what is safe and reasonable. We will support and protect those engaged in peaceful protest, while at the same time balancing the rights of others to go about their lawful business."
27th Nov 2017 - ITV News

LETTERS: Fracking protest is not in my name

With apologies to everyone who is heartily sick of both the protesters and the endless correspondance, I had to reply to two letters in the Gazette & Herald (November 1). David Pasley, well said. I know you speak for me and I believe you speak for many. Lawful peaceful protest would be supported by many of us even though we disagree with the protest. This is neither lawful nor peaceful. Glyn Wild claims 92 per cent of residents in Swinton said they “were against fracking”. I am sure they did. If most people were asked whether they were opposed to development that might impact them they would say they were. Wrong question...
26th Nov 2017 - Gazette & Herald

This fracking company just won a court injunction banning protest

A court injunction banning all protest by anti-fracking campaigners against shale firm INEOS has just been extended. On Thursday, a High Court judge said the UK-wide ban on civil disobedience against the company could continue. It means anyone who tries to obstruct the firm’s fracking activities risks being jailed, fined, or having their assets seized. But the company lost a key part of their case, which sought to maintain a ban on ‘harassment’ – something that was deemed too sweeping and vague. Campaigners have reacted furiously to the decision to extend the protest ban.
24th Nov 2017 - Left Foot Forward

Fracking firm wins extension to "draconian" protest injunction

A multinational firm has secured a long-term, sweeping injunction against anti-fracking protesters despite critics calling it “draconian and anti-democratic”. On Thursday, a high court judge extended the wide-ranging injunction sought by petrochemicals giant Ineos, which covers all anti-fracking campaigners. The injunction prohibits campaigners from interfering unlawfully with Ineos’s fracking operations. Anyone who obstructs the firm’s fracking activities faces being jailed, fined, or having their assets seized. Mr Justice Morgan dismissed a legal challenge brought by two anti-fracking campaigners, Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd, who had argued that the injunction was oppressive and should be discarded.
23rd Nov 2017 - The Guardian

Derbyshire woman and four others deny obstructing workers during anti-fracking protest

Protestors camped outside drilling company PR Marriott, on Old Pit Lane, Danesmoor, during protests about seismic testing with proposed fracking across north Derbyshire including Marsh Lane and Bolsover. A Chesterfield magistrates’ court trial heard on Tuesday how Carrie-Anne Field, 29, and James Alden, 54, had been linked with an iron tube and had laid down at an entrance at Marriott’s. Miss Field denied obstruction after allegedly trespassing and preventing traffic movements and Mr Alden has been accused of aggravated trespass on a similar basis. Zoe Beecham, 25, Owen English, 34, and Sophie Pearce, 22, have also pleaded not guilty to obstruction after the protests on July 13.
22nd Nov 2017 - Derbyshire Times

Anti-frackers to protest outside "closed meeting" tonight where IGas will address councillors

Anti-fracking protestors will tonight demonstrate outside a ‘closed meeting’ where energy company IGas is giving a presentation to local councillors about plans for an exploratory well. Activists are gathering by Thornton Science Park at Ince from 6pm tonight (Wednesday, November 22). The Chronicle understands the IGas presentation is taking place within a regular community forum hosted by Peel Environmental under the name of its nearby energy park, Protos, close to where IGas wishes to drill the exploratory fracking well in the search for shale gas.
22nd Nov 2017 - ChesterChronicle.co.uk

Why the fracking fight in Kirby Misperton rumbles on

For months now, the village of Kirby Misperton has become synonymous with the divisive world of fracking. Since May 2016, when the gas company Third Energy was granted permission to frack for shale gas at the existing two-mile deep well, its residents have become accustomed to the regular rumble of trucks. Though it awaits the final green light from the government, Third Energy is ready to test frack after North Yorkshire County Council approved its plans - prompting protesters to set up a "protection camp" two miles away. For months now, police officers form a line along the road shortly before a convoy of lorries carrying equipment rolls down the hill and heads through the gates.
20th Nov 2017 - BBC News

Lancaster councillor has "no regrets" after fracking protest guilty verdict

A Lancaster politician said she has “no regrets” after being found guilty of obstructing the highway during a fracking protest. Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £250 fine following a trial at Blackpool Magistrates Court. Gina Dowding "locked on" at the fracking site Gina Dowding "locked on" at the fracking site She was one of 12 people, including two other councillors, who “locked on” to barrels and pipes outside fracking company Cuadrilla’s site in Preston New Road in July. The group were also accused of preventing workers from going about their business, but were found not guilty as no evidence was submitted by Cuadrilla.
20th Nov 2017 - Lancaster Guardian

Watchdog Calls for "Urgent" Review of Police Tactics at Fracking Protests

A police watchdog has called for two reviews into law enforcement tactics handling anti-fracking protests, in what has been described as “an authoritarian war” against the right to protest at a shale gas site in Lancashire. Netpol called for an “urgent” review into the national policy on policing anti-fracking protests as well as an external review to be done into the way police have conducted operations in Lancashire. The report is based on its observations on how police have responded over the past year to mounting opposition towards shale gas exploration across the country. It states that, “the scale of complaints about intimidating and confrontational police tactics at Preston New Road in Lancashire means an external review of the policing operation there is now essential.”
20th Nov 2017 - DeSmog UK

Preston New Road anti-fracking councillor "would protest again"

The Green Party's Gina Dowding was one of 12 people convicted at Blackpool Magistrates' Court over a protest at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site. They were all handed a fine of £250 and a 12-month conditional discharge. A spokeswoman for the energy firm said "elected councillors breaking the law should not be acceptable". The protest on 3 July was part of a month of action by campaign group Reclaim the Power. The councillor was one of six women and three men arrested at the site and later charged, while three other women were served with a summons over the protest. Alongside the obstruction charge, all 12 were also accused of seeking to prevent workers from going about their lawful business.
17th Nov 2017 - BBC News

Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to attend protest at North Yorkshire fracking site

The former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will attend a protest alongside campaigners tomorrow at the Kirby Misperton fracking site. Ms Bennett today announced she is cutting short her trip to Germany, where she had been involved in the United Nations (UN) COP23 climate talks, to attend the rally. She stand alongside campaigners during the protest outside the Habton Road site in North Yorkshire tomorrow - in an event being billed as 'Green Friday'. It will be the latest demonstration in a series that have been staged at the Third Energy fracking site since September.
16th Nov 2017 - Yorkshire Post

Green Party joint leader Jonathan Bartley dragged along road by police at Yorkshire fracking protest

The joint leader of the Green Party was dragged along the ground by police after he refused to move at a fracking protest in Yorkshire. Jonathan Bartley, who heads up the environmentally-minded party alongside Caroline Lucas, was one of dozens of protesters who sat in the road outside the fracking base in Kirby Misperton in Ryedale on Tuesday. The politician, from London, began giving a speech to campaigners before being cut off by a police officer who told crowds they were blocking the road.
10th Nov 2017 - Evening Standard

Man in court after fracking protest

A man has appeared in court charged with the willful obstruction of a highway after he allegedly spent a night on top of a tanker on Preston New Road. John Knox, 37, of Douglas Avenue, Blackpool pleaded not guilty to the charge at a hearing at Blackpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday, November 7. He was also charged with breaching his bail conditions. He has been bailed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates Court on March 9 and is not allowed to enter Preston New Road between Maple Farm and Westby Road
9th Nov 2017 - Blackpool Gazette

Fracking demonstrators stage "slow walk" protest in Kirby Misperton

Demonstrators in Kirby Misperton took part in a "slow walk" peaceful protest near the gates of the hydraulic fracturing site. A group of about ten people walked in the road in front of a lorry along Habton Road, delaying it from 2.05pm until 2.25pm. They then moved to the side of the road and the lorry entered the site. Police liaison officers helped facilitate the peaceful protest. A similar protest took place in Kirby Misperton yesterday. Superintendent Lindsey Robson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "We've been taking a neighbourhood policing approach to protest activity at Kirby Misperton. That means we talk to people on all sides of the issue, and support and protect those engaged in peaceful protest, as we did today."
7th Nov 2017 - Yorkshire Post

Women chain themselves to Conservative Club in fracking protest

12 protestors demonstrated outside the Conservative Party building in Pickering this morning, chaining themselves to the railings and wearing sashes reading “Ban Fracking #WeSaidNo”. The group of women, who all live in Ryedale, then proceeded to carry out a pop-up protest outside Pickering’s Barclays Bank, who are financing the fracking operation at KM8 through their subsidiary, Third Energy.
6th Nov 2017 - Minster FM

Fracking protester warns: "Yorkshire"s gorgeous, but that can be taken away"

Since September, when Third Energy started preparing the site at Kirby Misperton for fracking, Leigh Coghill has been one of a group of around forty Ryedale locals to have spent almost every day protesting next to the gates to the well, holding banners and placards, and watching in dismay as lorries trundle in. The business secretary, Greg Clark, is expected to give Third Energy its final permission to begin test fracking any day now, with the company saying the site is nearly ready for the process to begin. The fracking would be the first to take place in the UK since 2011, when two tremors of magnitude 1.5 and 2.3 woke people from their sleep after tests near Blackpool. If the trial run is a success, it will pave the way for the site to operate permanently.
5th Nov 2017 - The Guardian

Ten cleared over Lancashire anti-fracking protest

Ten Greenpeace protesters involved in an anti-fracking protest have been cleared of obstructing a highway. The group of five men and five women sat on the ground in front of shale gas firm Cuadrilla's test site at Little Plumpton, Lancashire, on 3 May. All ten denied the charge when they appeared at Blackpool Magistrates' Court. District judge Jeff Brailsford found the group not guilty after hearing they had been sitting calmly and peacefully. He said the defendants held "genuine beliefs and are entitled to express those beliefs". They had a "lawful excuse" for their protest but his decision did not "set a precedent" for other cases, he added.
3rd Nov 2017 - BBC News

Cleared: Anti-fracking protesters found not guilty

A judge has acquitted 10 Greenpeace activists involved in an anti-fracking protest in Lancashire. It was the largest trial of its type since anti-fracking protests began earlier this year and marked the the biggest mass not guilty finding. The 10 “locked-on”outside the Cuadrilla shale gas exploration site at Preston new Road near Blackpool for eight hours in May this year. Even when they were each given a police warning they refused to stop their action, District Judge Jeff Brailsford heard. They were later all charged with wilfully obstruction the A583-which runs alongside the drilling base. Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard, however, the protest failed to stop 11 HGVs leaving the site
3rd Nov 2017 - Lancashire Evening Post

Police "facilitate slow-walk peaceful protest" at fracking site

Police say they have today facilitated a “slow-walk” peaceful protest outside the fracking site at Kirby Misperton, near Pickering. A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said a group of protesters walked in front of heavy goods vehicles making deliveries to the Habton Road site at 12.55pm. "Police Liaison Officers engaged with the protesters to facilitate the peaceful demonstration," he said. Superintendent Alisdair Dey said: "We need to balance the rights, needs and wishes of everyone at the site, including those who want to assemble and protest safely and peacefully.
2nd Nov 2017 - The Press, York

Moves to curb democratic fracking protests in the UK "extremely worrying"

The chemicals multinational Ineos is facing criticism for seeking to curb democratic protests against fracking in a move described by Green MP Caroline Lucas as “extremely worrying”. On Tuesday Ineos began its latest legal move to impose a sweeping injunction against all campaigners protesting over its fracking operations. Any campaigner may be jailed, fined or have their assets seized if they obstruct the firm’s fracking activities. The injunction is being opposed in a court hearing by two anti-fracking campaigners, Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd. The pair have called the injunction oppressive and draconian.
31st Oct 2017 - The Guardian