A host of environmental groups and trade unions have organised a rally in support of the Barton Community Protection Camp tomorrow, Sunday 8th December, meeting at 12:30pm at the junction of Liverpool Road and Barton Moss Road, just past Barton Aerodrome.
The event has been called by the Campaign against Climate Change (CaCC) Trade Union Group, whose pamphlet One Million Climate Jobs was written in collaboration with several unions CWU, PCS, TSSA, UCU and is endorsed by the TUC…
"We oppose fracking because the gas it produces would worsen climate change and because the process would seriously harm the local environment" the group states "We argue for creating jobs in renewable energy, building insulation and public transport."
The rally is also backed by Frack Free Greater Manchester which has called for more transparency from the Government and fracking industry about the extent of their work and the dangers posed by unconventional gas extraction. It cites a BBC poll of 1,400 people which found that 73% of respondents were concerned about the consequences of fracking.
"The fact that 73% of people are concerned about the consequences of fracking is justified - fracking has only happened once in the UK and it caused an earthquake" says the Group's Rachel Thompson "When I look at the damage fracking has caused in America and Australia I know that we have no choice but to stop it happening here."
Local resident Sheila Bannon adds: "I think that these polls will change as people realise the extent of the Government's plans. Initially I did not think there would be a problem with this industry but as I found out the nature and extent of IGas' intentions, I felt lied to by the Government and let down by my local council for allowing this to happen."
Indeed, Salford Council is currently sitting on the fence, citing the fact that IGas has only permission for `exploratory drilling' for Coal Bed Methane, while Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart tweeted recently that everyone should "calm down"… "Needs permission from 3 public bodies - and that has not been given! #calmdown". Those sentiments are not washing with more and more Salford people as more information filters through…
"The industry and the Government have downplayed the massive scale of their fracking plans - we're looking at the prospect of 20,000 wells across the North West which is a complete industrialisation our region" Sheila Bannon explains "What we're up against is a barrage of misinformation from the fracking industry and Government. Cameron and Osborne have been selling fracking with the promise of bringing down energy bills and creating more jobs, but even Cuadrilla chairman Lord Browne admitted last week that it won't have a material impact on prices."
While Salford's mainstream political parties remain silent, Peter Cranie, the
North West Green Party European elections candidate is encouraging people to go to the rally…
"I'd urge people living in Manchester and Salford to go along to the protest camp this weekend, to find out more about the campaign and get involved" he says "Green Party members have been very active in the protests against gas drilling at Barton Moss. In fact the Green Party is the only political party to oppose this dash for gas which favours corporate profits at the expense of local people. Many people are desperate to see energy companies lower their prices, but shale gas is risky, difficult and expensive to extract and is not a long term solution to energy prices.
"Fracking for gas also seriously undermines our efforts to tackle the climate crisis" he adds "The UK has committed to meet our climate change obligations and so we should be directing more money towards community owned renewables, rather than giving tax breaks to corporations wanting to frack on our greenbelt. If shale gas is discovered in this area I very much hope that Salford and Trafford councils will refuse planning permission and leave it in the ground, where it belongs."
Support the Barton Moss Protection Camp Rally
Sunday 8th December meet 12:30
Junction of Liverpool Rd and Barton Moss Rd
More details from Frack Free Greater Manchester at https://www.facebook.com/events/400166416752675/
See also the Facebook group Say No To Fracking On Barton Moss
Follow the Camp on Twitter @BartonMoss
Brilliant photos of the protests at the Camp this week by James Alden
See also previous Salford Star articles on the Barton Community Protection Camp
Barton Camp Defendants Given Unconditional Bail - click here
Salford Fracking Protest See GM Police Overkill - click here
Mad Frackers Tea Party - click here
Salford Opposition To Fracking Grows - click here