So you’re pissed off about fracking but don’t know what to do about it. Forming a local anti-fracking group in your area is and excellent response. You may not immediately have all the skills and free time that are needed to really make your voice heard but if you get together with a load of like-minded people you will find that between you a lot can be achieved. Of course if you feel completely confident in your in your own abilities and commitment, there is nothing to stop you rushing out and d-locking yourself to a piece of drilling equipment today but in general we recommend that such things are better done when you have a group of people supporting you.
You only have to look at the example of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) who have been going for over four years now to see how effective banding together can be. The group started with one person calling a public meeting about fracking in the local village hall. A bit of flyering and a few posters and an article in the local paper later (not as hard as you might think), around 40 people turned up for the meeting (where the short film Fracking Hell was shown) and about 20 people stayed on afterwards to talk about organising a group.
In short order they had a facebook page, were meeting regularly and busy finding ways to spread the message in their local community. Since then members of the group have been appearing regularly in local and national media, and have become a thorn in the side of Lancashire frackers Cuadrilla Resources. All this came about from one person having the initiative to e-mail a few people suggesting a meeting and them agreeing it was a good idea and pitching in to make it happen.
If you want to start your own local group we can certainly help out with advice etc. so do get in touch (we can also help in terms of publicising your events). That said it isn’t particularly difficult so don’t be intimidated. Anyone can do it. Obviously things don’t always go to plan, and if you are unlucky perhaps only 3 people will turn up to your first meeting. But 3 people is better than 1 and if you don’t allow that to discourage you then if will be possible to grow from there. You will often be surprised however by the response you get once you decide to set the ball rolling.
There are a couple of useful tips about groups in general that might be helpful. One is that doing stuff is much more inspiring than talking about it. People tend to turn up to meetings when they know a group is planning to do something. Making sure you always concentrate on what your next action will stand you in good stead. The other important point is that people generally don’t like getting told what to do (and you may find that the people who like it least turn out to be the most useful). We strongly recommend that you use consensus decision making as a means of empowering everyone in the group.
Of course there are plenty of other options for taking action, apart from trying to set up a group. Here at Frack Off we are snowed under trying to keep track of the evil machinations of the fracking companies and how to counter them, and are always looking for new people who want to get involved. There is a huge range of things that need doing including research (pretty much all you need is access to the internet and some free time), outreach (everything from designing flyers and posters to giving talks) and writing (e.g. blog posts like the one you are reading). As mentioned above don’t be intimidated. Anyone can do something about the threat we face. You just have to decide to do it.
If there is anything we can do to help you make a difference please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will do our best to assist you.