Three people arrested during a heavy handed police operation last week at the IGas drilling site at Barton were given unconditional bail at Manchester Magistrate's Court today, which means that they can remain at the Barton Community Protection Camp if they so wish.
"There was lots of support at the Court for the arrestees and the result of the case so far is welcomed by Say No To Fracking On Barton Moss" said the Group's John Catterall.
"While we were not happy that they were arrested in the first place, we're elated that there's no bail conditions attached" he added "This is a victory for common sense."
Meanwhile, on the Group's Facebook site, the case was branded "a waste of everyone's time and effort and public money" by supporters of the Camp.
The Barton Three were represented in court by Simon Pook from Robert Lizar Solicitors who told the Salford Star earlier today that, having considered the evidence presented by the prosecution, and seen the video evidence presented by the police, he was looking for a judicial review of the case…"We hoped that, post-Hillsborough, the evidence presented would be scrutinised."
The magistrate turned down this request but the three were bailed with a case review on 9th January, possibly followed by a trial on the 17th and 18th February.
As the case was heard in central Manchester, appeals were ringing out of the Barton Community Protection Camp for help from the public as the Camp was almost destroyed by horrific winds.
Calls were made for strong rope, pallets, stakes and donations to help re-build the Camp…
"We're on a camp rescue mission" wrote Rachel "We won't back down! Today we will stand firm and salvage what we can, tomorrow we will build a bigger, stronger camp. Please come down and help us, if you can't make it could you make a donation to help save and rebuild the camp?"
If anyone does want to make a donation here's the details… http://northerngasgala.org.uk/donations/
Please reference all donations 'gala'.
Account Name: Manchester Climate Action Account Number: 65512724 Sort Code: 08-92-99
And, as the Camp was blowing down and the defendants were fighting their case to protect Barton, Chancellor George Osborne was giving tax breaks for fracking companies in his Autumn Statement, a move criticised by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas…
"The Chancellor has delivered a lavish Christmas gift to fracking companies - giving them tax breaks to support an irresponsible and dangerous dash for gas that will undermine the urgent action we need to reduce our carbon emissions" she said
"It's ironic that a Chancellor who talks about going green is quite happy for the UK to continue to fund massive subsidies for both nuclear and fossil fuels" she added "Taking real action to tackle climate change would create jobs, transform the economy, and help us meet our duty to secure a safe and habitable climate for future generations."
• The Campaign Against Climate Change trade union group has called a Day of Solidarity this Sunday, 8th December at 12:30. They are asking for people to bring banners and meet at the junction of Liverpool Rd and Barton Moss Rd, just past Barton Aerodrome.
Main photo shows the defendants and supporters outside Manchester Magistrate's Court this morning
See also previous Salford Star article - Salford Fracking Protest Sees GM Police Overkill - click here