Three people were arrested this morning by Greater Manchester Police as around sixty people delayed lorry deliveries to the IGas exploratory drilling site on Barton Moss by over two hours.
The peaceful protest involved people shuffling down Barton Moss Road to slow the lorries. However, despite apparent assurances given by the police during a meeting at the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp yesterday that there would be no more arrests, three arrests were made, including a pregnant woman and a Green Party candidate for the European elections.
Meanwhile, an ambulance was called after a disabled man was barged into bushes by police during the `snatch' arrest of the pregnant woman, and an elderly lady was targeted and removed from the protest against her wishes.
"Like normal, we were marching the trucks down the lane, trying to blockade, and the police told us to keep moving which we did - but at one point they just decided it was taking too long, I suppose, and they began arresting people" said Dan, one of the anti-fracking campaigners.
"They arrested one woman and that got people's backs up" he added "And then we got further up the road and there was an elderly individual who has a history of bad joints in his knee. The police were made aware of his disability a couple of weeks ago.
"They chose to ignore that, and manhandled him into the bushes as they were arresting a pregnant woman, and he landed awkwardly rendering his leg useless" he explained "This is the sort of brutality we've come to expect on the Moss when they are facilitating IGas' corporate agenda."
The woman was led off by police while the man lay in the bushes for around half an hour before an ambulance arrived. He was later discovered to have a broken knee and will be in hospital for around ten days.
Meanwhile, earlier, an elderly lady called Anne, who is 82 and uses a walking stick, was surrounded by police and removed from the protest for `walking too slowly' – although she later re-joined the back of the march.
"They pulled me out and tried to persuade me to go to the side but I refused" Anne said "They knew I was among the people walking more slowly. It was all wrapped up as concern. They were very firm and at one point there was one leaning on me but that wasn't for very long.
"I suppose I'm very visible now and vulnerable" she added "I've got two metal hips and have had two hand operations and I'm trying not to be injured as that would be quite serious for me.
"I wasn't shocked, I appear at the moment to be very immune to shock" she concluded "I'm just very determined to help as much as I can without getting injured and without breaking the law. But if getting arrested becomes more helpful I'll have to let myself be arrested. My young friend has been arrested, ten of them lifted her easily."
Despite the arrests and targeting of campaigners by the police, the protests will go on for as long as IGas is in the area, Dan told the Salford Star…
"There was a good number of people here today we're going to stay strong" he said "Hopefully our comrades will be back on the front line soon."
See video footage of pregnant woman's arrest on YouTube - click here
See also previous Salford Star articles…
• Five held at Barton Moss as police accused of arrest quotas – click here
• Greater Manchester Police Overkill on Protest – click here
Photos by Steven Speed