The trial opens today of 3 generations of the sam family for protesting against fracking in the area they
hail from. A 73-year old grandmother, her son and granddaughter are among 7 people facing charges
resulting from a “lock-on” action at Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool in Lancashire in July 2017.
Under the banner of Families Against Fracking, the group locked their arms into reinforced box-mounted tubes to raise awareness of the dangers of fracking to water, land, health and the climate. The action was part of the Rolling Resistance, a month of action at the Lancashire fracking site in July 2017 coordinated by the grassroots network Reclaim the Power.
Each of the group has pleaded Not Guilty to the charge of Obstruction of the Highway. The trial commences this morning at Preston Magistrates Court with a solidarity demonstration planned
outside the court at 8.30am. The trial is slated to last 5 days with the verdict expected this Friday 26 th January.
Gillian Kelly, 73, born and raised in the area, said: “I’d never done anything like this before, but I certainly have no regrets. Fracking is a dirty, dangerous, unnecessary practice. It’s got no business in this country.
Son Sebastian Kelly: “Generations of my family have looked after this area. I couldn’t look myself in the eye if I’d stood by and watched such a dangerous, polluting industry sprawl across the landscape unopposed.
Granddaughter Megan Kelly, 20, said: “we just can’t go on extracting and burning fossil fuels if we want to avoid a climate catastrophe. Fracking means yet more carbon we just can’t afford to burn; we’ve got to draw the line here.” The cases in the trial are among more than 300 arrests made at the Cuadrilla site last year.
– There will be a photo call in front of Preston Magistrates Court between 8.30-9.00am.
– Interviews with defendants are available.
– For further info, pictures, interviews: 07894 871959
1. Video of the Families Against Fracking action here: https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimThePower/videos/1107
2. The action took place on 12th July 2017 and was part of the Rolling Resistance, a month of action at the Preston New Road fracking site coordinated by Reclaim the Power in July 2018. Reclaim the Power is a voluntary, grassroots direct action network that works for environmental, social and economic justice https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/fracking/
3. Defendants in the trial are: Gillian Kelly, Sebastian Kelly, Megan  Kelly, Paul Martyn, Molly Hopkinshaw, Beatrice Patrick, Toby Fairlove
4. Among media coverage the action was featured in the Guardian  print edition 13th July 2017. Gillian Kelly wrote a Guardian comment article last Friday 19th January 2018 in advance of the trial:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/19/grandmotherfracking-activistprotest-destructive– industry-landscape