Day 8 of Woodburn Forest Community Blockade, NI. Join the resistance!
InfraStrata plans to commence drilling beside a major Belfast water reservoir (North Woodburn Reservoir) with no Waste Management Plan in place. A movement of people is growing, reclaiming the forest and reclaiming their right to safe and clean drinking water.
“Infrastrata have absolutely no social license to carry out their deep drilling in the forest, we on the other hand have the support of both the local and the wider community. We have the passionate support of the local Woodburn community and the wider support of greater Belfast via a motion which was passed by Belfast City Council last September. We will continue opposing this development until it is stopped. We will continue to do this peacefully and with dignity as we have done since Monday.”
ALERT!! A letter from Sinead Strategic Planning states that Infrastrata can not remove trees or hedges between 1st March & 31st August. Come to site tomorrow morning. Let’s stop this together!!!
An organised community is THE best defence against the Fracking industry. Get our step-by-step guides and start planning an effective Anti-Fracking campaign where you live here…
Full Statement from Stop the Drill campaign:
Infrastrata have now released a statement from which the people who will be drinking the water from Woodburn catchment will find little comfort. They describe the chemicals they will be using as ‘standard industry products’; standard to the industry but not something you’d like to find you’d just drank; one of these standard chemicals (Biocide T) is by Infrastrata’s own admission “Harmful if swallowed.Toxic by inhalation. Risk of serious damage to eyes. May cause sensitization by skin contact. May cause harm to the unborn child. Very toxic to aquatic organisms.”
While Infrastrata promise a “significant positive effect on the local economy “ it seems this will not apply to jobs for the locals. When the Infrastrata representative on site Mr Richard Elliott was asked yesterday by Woodburn born and bred and Ulster motorcycling talent Glenn Irwin, Mr Elliott tersely replied “No, but it’s a lovely day” and walked away.
All who witnessed the police behaviour yesterday consider it to have been heavy handed. The man who was arrested has lived beside the site for more than 20 years. He has been inspirational in trying to raise awareness for the past eighteen months. He loves nature and the forest and walks his dog Ernie there daily. He was sitting peacefully in his car when he was arrested with Ernie as ever curled up on the front seat. He was later released without prosecution and was back supporting the protest at the forest soon after where we greeted him with a huge round of applause. This man did not deserve to be treated this way.
All in all this was not a good day for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). In the late afternoon, FP McCann delivered bollards for Infrastrata to be placed across the site entrance. Footage clearly shows one police sergeant actively instructing the FP McCann operator where to place the bollards. Quite a shock to see a PSNI senior officer doing the work for Infrastrata.
So today Infrastrata are blocking access to this greatly loved public amenity and have entered the site without an approved Waste Management Plan. Disturbingly, NI Water signs tell the public to ‘Keep Out’. What we want to know now is, if there is no approved Waste Management Plan how can NI Water know there’s no threat to water?
Why are NI Water leasing a protected water catchment area for 50 years and within the lease allowing Infrastrata have “the right to re inject Petroleum, water and any other fluids into the Site and under the Site and the Landlord’s Premises which arise as a result of Petroleum, exploration development, transportation, extraction and/or production of Petroleum origin”