Members of Derbyshire Green Party visited the anti fracking protest camp at Barton Moss near Irlam, Salford, on Saturday January 4th. They were welcomed by a diverse bunch of campers, male and female, old and young, who remained in high spirits despite the atrocious weather and the heavy handed policing, which has seen as many as 30 arrests for peaceful protests in the last few weeks.
Green Party members from Manchester and from the South of England were also visiting and the Green Party was given credit for being the only parliamentary party in England which has stated its unqualified opposition to fracking.
” MPs from other parties, including MPs from round here, have been given permission by party leaders to oppose fracking in their own area whilst being required to support it in principle. It is the worst form of cynicism, designed to get them through the next election” said anti fracking activist Ian, who has had a long and successful career in the oil industry and knows the dangers in, and damage caused by fracking as well as anyone.
Ian is in no doubt that the plan is to carry out fracking and not just examine the potential for extracting methane gas from the coal deposits. The evidence for this is the fact that drilling is taking place far below the coal deposits, into the shale rock below.
The campers regard the protest as absolutely vital to the success of the campaign to stop fracking. Regular early morning “slow walk” protests from the main road up to the site delay and inconvenience the work being carried out by IGas. The Green Party fully supports the protests believing that fracking must be “fought on all fronts” if a military analogy is acceptable. It recognises that there is a need for a “strategic battle” using all appropriate strategies, from speaking in Parliament as Green MP Caroline Lucas has done, raising the issue in forthcoming local and European elections, as Green Party candidates will do, and supporting the direct action at Barton Moss.
From Green Euro Candidate Peter Allen
The Next Event Sunday 12th January, 12.30pm
Assemble in the lay-by at M30 7RL (the junction of A57 Liverpool Road and Barton Moss Road) to march together to the camp. Some may be walking up Liverpool Road from the Salford City Reds ground and meeting up at Barton Moss Road. Please do bring banners and placards if you can, and definitely try to bring friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. This event will include speeches, live music and more. For more information visit: http://frackfreegtrmanchester.org.uk/