People Protecting Lancashire Jailed As Cuadrilla Prepare To Frack Site
As fracking company Cuadrilla Resources prepares to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations on 2 wells it has drilled at Preston New Road in Lancashire, the state is ramping up oppression against the communities resisting these developments. More than 300 people have been arrested since Cuadrilla began constructing a fracking pad at the site in January 2017, though few have actually been convicted of anything. However, 3 people who halted a convoy of trucks carrying drilling equipment on to the site for almost 100 hours in July 2017 have just been sentenced to 15-16 months in prison, for causing a “public nuisance”.
You can demonstrate postal support for the antifracking protectors who were incarcerated yesterday. Please send cards and letters to Simon Roscoe Blevins, Richard Roberts, Richard Loizou at HMP Prison Preston, 2 Ribbleton Lane, Preston. PR15AB. More details >>Here<<
These sentences represent a significant escalation by the state in the battle to impose fracking on communities across the country. Unsurprisingly the judge in the case, Robert Altham, has close links to the oil and gas industry. The family business, Altham Ship Stores and Offshore Supplies Ltd, supply the oil and gas industry in the Irish Sea, where one of Cuadrilla’s main investors Centrica is a dominant player. The firm appears to supply businesses using port of Immingham, from which the convoy of trucks carrying drilling equipment set off, which was stopped in the protest. A more historic comparison with the judge’s ancestor Sir James Altham’s hanging of 10 “witches” in 1612, another assault on local communities to the advantage of the privileged, shows that little has changed in 400 years.
The Preston New Road site is Cuadrilla’s flagship fracking test project, where they have planning permission (from central government) to drill and hydraulically fracture 4 shale gas wells. This would involve more than 20,000 vehicle movements in and out of the PNR site, as fracking trucks bring equipment and materials and dispose of waste, to and from support sites across the country. Take a look at our factsheet and find out what support sites could be near you.
Cuadrilla’s speculative business model means that they need good results from these test to get more investment, but that includes not just what they find under ground but the level of resistance they encounter. That is where communities across the country come in – by making Cuadrilla’s fracking plans as difficult, slow and expensive as possible! In court Cuadrilla claimed this one protest cost them approximately £50,000.
Check out our factsheet about Cuadrilla’s plans, your community may be threatened with impacts (e.g. fracking waste being dumped or transported through your community) even if you live hundreds of miles from Lancashire.