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SALFORD FRACKING AREA SEES SINISTER POLICE PRESENCE
 

Star date: 20th October 2013

BARTON MOSS BIRD WATCHING EVENT CANCELLED AS POLICE GET INVOLVED…BUT FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EVENT ON ECCLES MARKET GOES AHEAD

"The police should be there to protect us not to stop us doing our democratic and legal duty to raise issues that are important and threats to the community" MFOE

Today should have seen a family bird watching day at Barton Moss, with treasure hunts for the kids, crane spotting and a special bird watch race. But on Saturday morning Greater Manchester Police `warned off' the organisers, believing there was going to be anti-fracking activities, and the event was cancelled.

Meanwhile, on Eccles Market, Manchester Friends of the Earth set up a stall urging Salford people to send postcards to Mayor Ian Stewart stating `Fracking is a dirty word'…campaigners criticised the police for its actions.

Full details here…


Friends of the Earth Stall on Eccles Market Friends of the Earth Stall on Eccles Market Friends of the Earth Stall on Eccles Market
Friends of the Earth Stall on Eccles Market Cancelled Salford Bird Watch Event
click image to enlarge

As the campaigns begin to grow surrounding the IGas fracking intentions on Barton Moss, so the police seem to be getting more and more involved in trying to stop any form of protest – even when there isn't actually a protest going on…

Today should have seen the Big Moss Birdwatch on Barton Moss – advertised as `A fun family community event' with bird races, a children's treasure hunt and a photographic competition. Organisers were hoping that people would be able to spot the crane bird, not seen since the 1500s, but now colonizing in Salford.

However, instead of the twitcher's event going ahead, the police got twitchy and the Big Moss Birdwatch was cancelled. A comment put out on Facebook by the organisers stated…

"This morning we received a phone call from a Police Officer from Eccles Police Station and we are not prepared to host an event that has been subject to a Police warning despite this event being advertised as a fun family community event for bird watchers including a childrens treasure hunt!?!"

Other comments on Facebook were more critical of the police actions…

"So the iGas Fracking Company bully boys who are GM Police decided to `warn off' with early morning calls and personal visits to the Bird Watch event base, The Fisheries, that there was going to be `banner waving protesters' on the event. The co-owner told the organisers, that in her conversations with the GMP she had clearly told them `that it wasn't anything to do with placard waving nonsense'

"Despite this, the two organisers were called at 8am this morning and warned that the event was being advertised on FB sites including the Anti Fracking sites and they should cancel it. Of course we advertised and shared the event on both our local Anti Fracking sites…and also organisations with an interest in keeping our Mosses in Salford a safe haven for birds and wildlife, and maintaining the area as the lungs of our city. We also agreed that we would encourage all people from Salford and surrounding areas to go on the walk and that `IT WAS NOT AN ANTI FRACKING EVENT'...but was designed to educate locals what a lovely place is right on their doorstep and to use it and look after it...hence the reason that the organisers had targeted parents and children.

"The fact that the Police `forewarned' the venue and put pressure on the organisers, tells me once again that the GMP are actually looking after the interests of companies who come into our community and wreak havoc…whether it be Peel with their plans to own the whole of Salford…or iGas looking to bring a dirty, environment destroying, industrial process onto our green belt land and Mosses for their own greedy profit. They are both in league with each other in their quest to rape our city.

"It's no good GMP trying to build community respect among the city's residents when they do tricks like this and undermine small businesses and volunteer community bodies. Letters need to be sent to MPs, Councillors, the Press, the Police both local and GMP, and pressure brought to bear to get a public apology to the Fisheries and the Event Organisers

"We, the local Anti Fracking groups, are concerned groups of individuals
who support all protectors and preservers of the environment and will not be treated as some kind of spectre threatening to disrupt events just for the sake of it. We don't need, or want the Fracking and Unconventional drilling companies ANYWHERE."

Their statement was supported by Manchester Friends of the Earth, which held a `The Fracking Word Is A Dirty Word' event on Eccles Market yesterday…

"The police should be there to protect us not to stop us doing our democratic and legal duty to raise issues that are important and threats to the community" said Ali Abbas from Manchester Friends of the Earth.

On Eccles Market, Friends of the Earth were encouraging people to send postcards to Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart, saying why they oppose fracking on Barton Moss and why Salford Council should reject any future planning applications for gas extraction. Planning has already been passed for exploratory drilling for Coal Bed Methane Extracation, a similar process to fracking…

"We're really concerned about the potential impact of fracking" Ali explained "It's not just that we're getting more gas out of the ground which is bad for climate change but it's also the risk to local water supplies, pollution and the actual process itself which requires lots of water, so there'll be trucks ferrying in water, ferrying out polluted water, which will creat lots of air pollution too. There's lots of risks. We think it's the wrong solution at the wrong time.

"The Government seems mad keen to go ahead with this but why risk our water supplies, our future, when there are better solutions?" he added "For us, if you want to reduce bills and create jobs the first thing you do is insulate homes with a proper scheme going home to home and getting proper insulation in place that will reduce bills and create lots of jobs. Then there's renewable energy which is much better for the environment. The trouble with fracking is that we don't know how much gas is down there, how much we get out, how much will leak and how much other damage will be caused by it."

The Moss and its surrounds, mainly owned by Peel Holdings, has been exploited, and is being exploited, for every cent with peat extraction, Port Salford and now potential fracking…

"It's about making money for big corporations like Peel Holdings, and they can take the profits away to their tax havens, leaving the local community to suffer the impact of that…air pollution, noise pollution, and in the end, if these chemicals getting pumped down there leak into the water supply, we'll have contaminated water as well" Ali said "To me it's a massive risk and we don't need it."

At the Friends of the Earth stall were badges, information leaflets and a giant F-word `swear box' for people to post their comments to Ian Stewart.

"The reaction has been very good" Ali said "The vast majority of the people who knew about fracking were against it and were very happy to fill in postcards to the Mayor calling on the council to say `No fracking in Salford'. The Council will have the ultimate say on whether fracking planning gets the go ahead. If enough people make a noise, write to their councillors and write to their leader we can stop this happening and keep Salford safe for Salford people."

Meanwhile, over in Trafford, the Breathe Clean Air Group is urging Trafford Council not to allow Coal Bed Methane Extraction to take place in Davyhulme. If permission is granted, drilling will happen next to the Davyhulme Waste Water Treatment Works – and directly under Peel Holdings' proposed incinerator, which the group is frantically fighting against and waiting for a hearing in the High Court.

Yesterday was a `Global Frackdown' day of action across the entire world, with protests spreading from America to Algeria. In our own corner of the world small actions are growing every day…

* For further details see the Say No To Fracking On Barton Moss facebook group


 

Mr. Concerned wrote
at 18:33:36 on 21 October 2013
I think it's about time that the GMP started to do their job, instead of victimising innocent demonstrators. This article yet again proves that the right to free speech, is a mere illusion, when living in the confines of Salford. I hope the LDOK.net Power Hour Radio Show reviews this situation, and mentions it in their next transmission.
 
Chaz wrote
at 05:16:24 on 21 October 2013
SALFORD MOSS MAGIC !!!!! Although the Big Moss Birdwatch was officially canceled, due to it’s extensive marketing we had no way of being able to inform everyone that the event was off Subsequently, one local birdwatcher, who has spent many years watching the birdlife of this beautiful area, found a very rare Great Grey Shrike, an autumnal delight, that has just flown in from Scandinavia http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatgreyshrike/ According to reports, there were hundreds of birdwatchers on the Mosses, making it a magic day for all And this is the place they want to frack ?!
 
Tweety Pie wrote
at 05:16:20 on 21 October 2013
I tawt I taw a fracker trying to frack moi land :) Tweety says IGAS FRACK OFF !!
 
alan davies wrote
at 17:13:51 on 20 October 2013
I went onto Irlam Moss as advertised and had full English breakfast at the cafe,walked around for an hour looking for wildlife..I saw nowt apart from a squirrel and 2 magpies..
 
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