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This morning, a group of campaigners have occupied and shut down a new fracking site at Crawberry Hill, East Yorkshire. Three protestors are locked and and two are superglued onto the outside gate. Security guards have used brutal and disproportionate force, in one case, pulling an older woman with so much force that they grabbed her shirt and exposed her body and pouring water over protestors. The protest follows a number of safety breaches committed by Rathlin Energy at nearby West Newton drilling site. A number of local residents are on site, showing their support for the protest.
Less than a week ago, the Health and Safety Executive were alerted by Hull and East Riding Frack Off to a major operational failures and reported the use of specialist Well Intervention equipment at West Newton. The HSE admitted they didn’t have the resources to investigate the incident despite Rathlin disclosing pressure issues with the well.
At 8am this morning, three people entered and locked themselves to the fence, alongside a large banner, which reads “Rathlin Energy: Safety Fail”. In addition, a (failed) “Safety Report” was presented to the company, giving the following reasons: lost control of well pressure; ignored planning regulations; and endangering the community.
Local resident, Pippa Hockey, stated: “Rathlin Energy is recklessly putting profit before peoples’ health, as shown by recent events in West Newton. The local community here are determined to do everything in our power to prevent dangerous mistakes being made again”.
The event forms part of a national day of direct action taking place across the UK today as part of the 6-day Reclaim the Power action camp in Blackpool. According to Hannah Jones of the Reclaim the Power Network, “We’re taking direct action in solidarity with the local community who want Rathlin out. Rathlin have no social license to operate here. Fracking is dangerous. It will escalate climate change and keep us dependent on dirty, privately controlled energy. Most people in the UK want energy in public hands and they want it safe and clean. Fracking will never deliver that. When governments won’t act in the public interest, it’s up to the public to take action”.
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