HUNDREDS RALLY AT ‘JIG AT THE RIG’ FRACKING DEMO IN LANCASHIRE
Lancashire, UK — Today Friday 16 March hundreds have rallied as part of a mass demonstration in support of local protectors resisting Cuadrilla’s fracking operations at Preston New Road.
The family-friendly ‘Jig at the Rig’ has featured live music, poetry and a dance-off in the tracks of Lancashire’s drilling trucks, and is ongoing.
Access to the site has been blocked throughout the morning by people both from the local area and who have travelled from across the country to show their support.
The demonstration comes one day after the site was blockaded for 14 hours by a group from Oxford acting in solidarity with communities impacted by climate injustices globally.
Ash Hewitson, an organiser of Friday’s demo from Reclaim the Power, commented:
“Last year hundreds of people from across the UK came together to support Lancashire, disrupt Cuadrilla’s fracking plans and demand publicly-owned renewable energy. We’re returning to celebrate the inspiring community resistance of local people against this reckless industry and their Conservative backers in Westminster.”
“Local councils from all parties are rejecting the industry. Fracking will bring risks to local communities’ health, land and water as well as worsen the devastating impacts of climate change. Lancashire has said a decisive “no” to fracking. We won’t allow it: not here not anywhere.”
Ellie Groves, spokesperson for Reclaim the Power, added:
“Fracking gas here in Lancashire or anywhere will only worsen the climate crisis at a time when we know all fossil fuels must stay in the ground.”
“Impacted communities – mostly poor, predominantly in the Global South – are already enduring the effects of climate change from flooding, to drought, to more frequent and severe extreme weather events, leading to food insecurity and forced displacement. It is our responsibility to say ‘no’ to all new fossil fuels, as the local community here in Lancashire have done, and take direct action to ensure that ‘no’ is followed through. The fracking industry is cracking under pressure in 2018 and Reclaim the Power will be here until fracking is no more.”
Last summer, the organisers of this event, Reclaim the Power, hosted a month long “Rolling Resistance” at Preston New Road, during which time work was disrupted every working day of July and more than 300 people were arrested.
Fracking at Preston New Road was initially scheduled to begin last summer but has been delayed a number of times due to locally-led campaign of resistance.
The fracking industry has been struggling in 2018, after the government refused to give the go-ahead to Third Energy in Yorkshire over fears about the company’s finances
On 28 February, Fylde Council officials were criticised for suggesting decisions on fracking be made by government ministers rather than local councils.
In June 2015, Lancashire County Council voted no to fracking. Their decision was overturned in October 2016 by the central Government, who have since done everything they can to make life as easy as possible for fracking companies through changes to planning and trespass laws.
For photos of previous actions and demonstrations last July, see Reclaim the Power’s Flickr
For previous press releases and blogs, see the Reclaim the Power website
PHOTOS AVAILABE IN THE FOLLOWING G-DRIVE FOLDER: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1kHieTJgsX9lKKnN7NE0rJDf-wTx_0FEC
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