Statement of support for anti-fracking defendants, from Bristol Rising Tide
On the 2nd November 2011 the Cuadrilla Resources test drilling site at Banks in Lancashire was occupied by five protesters from Frack Off in an attempt to stop the spread of this destructive method of energy extraction to the British Isles. Subsequently, three of the protesters were charged with aggravated trespass.
The trial began in Preston Magistrates Court on Tuesday 10th July 2012. The verdict was delivered today and all three defendants have unfortunately been found guilty.
The three protesters had pled not guilty based on ‘necessity’; asserting that stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities. They also challenged the ‘lawfulness’ of this new and damaging extractive process.
The defence was supported by a number of witnesses, both experts (including academics from the UK and US) and from the local community, who testified regarding the consequences of shale gas extraction, both in terms of climate change and more local effects such as water contamination, air pollution, severe health effects, earthquakes etc.
Statement of support from Bristol Rising Tide
Our warmest support and admiration goes out to all the defendants. In taking action, and in comprehensively exposing fracking for the crime it is, they have acted in defence of all of us who are threatened by fracking.
Near to us in the South West, large parts of Wales, Devon, Somerset and Dorset are potentially under threat from this desperate new technology. People simply aren’t going to stand by and let this crazy extreme sneak into our landscape. We can stop this before it starts if we act now. If you want earthquakes, runaway climate change, contaminated water, and a threat to agricultural production then fracking's the way forward. If you want energy security and more jobs per kilowatt hour, go with renewables.
In solidarity with the three amazing people in court, and with everyone resisting fracking.
- Bristol Rising Tide