In August, Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigners travelled to Lancashire for the weekend to attend a ‘mass anti- fracking action camp’. We joined an impressively collaborative and organised group of people deeply concerned about the future health and well-being of themselves, their children and their environment.
The camp at Little Plumpton was set up adjacent to one of Cuadrilla’s proposed test rigs and over the course of a week became its own little self-contained community, bringing together seasoned activists and local campaigners – most notably the Nanas. There were workshops, talks, regional meetings, training, legal advice and storytelling. On Sunday, we marched along Blackpool front and on the Monday, some activists super-glued themselves to the entrance of Defra in London and occupied Cuadrilla’s Blackpool office.
The government are bending over backwards to make it as cheap and easy as possible for fracking companies like Cuadrilla and IGAS to fracture rock and pump chemicals beneath our feet. So much so that the revolving doors between governments, banks, corporations and other establishment institutions are hard to keep track of when it comes to fracking.
The best example is Lord Browne. He has hopped between senior positions at BP, the House of Lords, Goldman Sachs, the Royal Society, Oxford University, the Tate, the Royal Academy of Engineering and is currently the Managing Director of Riverstone Holdings who co-own Cuadrilla. He headed the review recommending removing the cap on tuition fees, and is thought by some as the man most responsible for the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the Texas City Refinery explosion due to his cost cutting programme at BP.
It is these kinds of major white collar criminals who hold the power we need to reclaim, and we can only do so by uniting and spreading information. The best placard I saw in Blackpool was one simply saying ‘google fracking’ – urging people to research the issue for themselves and then see if they come to a different conclusion from the Reclaim the Power activists.
If you haven’t already, you can start to fight against fracking by joining the ‘Not For Shale’ legal block at http://wrongmove.org/