Star date: 23rd January 2014


As images of Greater Manchester Police brutality against a Barton Moss campaigner in Salford were beamed live around the world this week, and as the total number of arrests at Barton Moss hit 82, Frack Free Greater Manchester and the Barton Moss Protection Camp have accused the GMP of being "out of control".

Meanwhile, this morning, GMP Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts said that the "majority of people who are arriving on the site are not there to protest against fracking but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police".

Full details here…

Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford
Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford
Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford
Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford Barton Moss Community Protection Camp Salford
click image to enlarge

"Since I arrived at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester Police have behaved like aggressive thugs and bullies" Sasha

A war of words has broken out between Greater Manchester Police and anti-fracking campaigners following live images beamed around the world this week of police brutality against a disabled Barton Moss protector who was left with multiple injuries (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

Last night, Frack Free Greater Manchester and the Barton Moss Protection Camp issued a statement accusing Greater Manchester Police of being 'out of control'…

The statement reads…

`A legal observer filmed his own violent arrest, he can be heard asking questions about the legitimacy of a licence plate before being accused of obstructing a police officer and tackled to the ground. Sean O'Donnell, who was live-streaming the incident, can be heard questioning why he is being arrested before he begins to scream in pain, the camera goes blank as he drops it to the ground and then picks up on his bloodied face.

Sarah Carmichael of Frack Free Greater Manchester said: "I just hope that Sean is alright, a few people tried to visit him in the hospital but the police would not let them. This is not the first incidence of police violence we have seen at Barton Moss, there have been many occasions that I thought more people might get injured.

"The police have been aggressive to anybody who walks down with the trucks. They shout and scream in peoples ears and we have seen an 82 year old woman forcibly removed from the protest on numerous occasions, they even threw another disabled man down a hill so they could snatch arrest a pregnant woman.

"I have witnessed them arrest people for no reason at all. Before IGas arrived here I always believed we could trust our police but Greater Manchester Police are absolutely out of control."

Sasha Conway who lives at the camp said: "Since I arrived at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester Police have behaved like aggressive thugs and bullies. If they are not pushing elderly and disabled people down the road they are raiding the camp stating that a flare has been fired at their helicopter but are refusing to provide any proof other than fictional comments made on a website where users are not asked to register.

"I have been on other protests and witnessed similar behaviour from the police before but many of the local residents who visit are really shocked. They cannot believe that the police force could be so heavy handed and act as if they are above the law."

Frack Free Greater Manchester and many people who have protested at the site are now in talks with Farleys Solicitors to pursue legal action against Greater Manchester Police on a number of counts.'

This morning, Greater Manchester Police hit back with its own statement from Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts…

"At the start of this protest the majority of protesters were peaceful and law abiding but over the past couple of weeks local residents and officers have seen a distinct change to this. It now seems that the majority of people who are arriving at the site are not there to protest against fracking but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police. We have seen offences of assaults, damage, harassment of residents and workers, a flare fired at the police helicopter and threats to kill.

"I attended a residents' meeting last week and people there were close to tears and have had enough of this daily disruption to their lives. Locals, who initially supported the protesters, out walking their dogs and driving down Barton Moss Road have been approached by protesters in balaclavas and have been questioned by them which has been extremely intimidating. We have seen a huge increase in the calls to police from that area and this is continuing.

"Officers are verbally abused on a daily basis, one has even been spat at and another officer required stitches to his hand after trying to get a protester down from a fence. The police are there to do a job and that job is to facilitate peaceful protest and to balance the needs of all parties, the residents who live there, businesses who operate from there and the protesters themselves. It is not up to GMP who operates on this land and who has access to it – we are simply there to police it to ensure that everyone remains safe. We are increasingly seeing protesters trying to jump in front of HGVs or jump down from trees on top of moving lorries – it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured if they continue to act in a reckless manner.

"We are working very closely with many partner agencies to try and resolve this emerging threat and issue to try and reassure the local residents who feel intimidated in their own homes from people who have travelled from all parts of the country to set up camp in Barton Moss."

The number of arrests at the Barton Moss Community Protection site has risen to 82, and the GMP statement adds that "62 of these are from outside the Greater Manchester area, many from the South of England. Of these numerous have been previously arrested at either this or other protest sites".

As the war of words between GMP and the campaigners intensifies, supporters of the anti-fracking movement from Salford and all over the country are descending on Barton Moss this Sunday to show solidarity.

There will be a march from Salford City Stadium on Liverpool Road to the Barton Moss site on Barton Moss Road, meeting at 1pm. And Salford people from Irlam and Cadishead are having their own march to the Stadium, meeting at 12:30pm at the Tiger Moth pub.

Update: 24th January

Barton Moss camp responds to Greater Manchester Police Smears - click here

kenmckelvey wrote
at 14:36:00 on 27 January 2014
Just finished reading an article in the Daily Mirror this Useless Profits at all cost government is about to bring in legislation which will allow these Fracking Companys to drill under our homes without permission and if their is any damamge done the Maxim Compensation can be no more than 100£ I wonder if that is why the Bulk of the Fracking Licenses are for Areas hundreds of miles from near their homes
Simon wrote
at 06:52:23 on 27 January 2014
Kenneth, still not answered the question, a lot like the Labour Party, that don't like answering questions.
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 20:25:58 on 26 January 2014
Simon I went on the Protest solidarity march today/ I would have loved to have seen your one sided bigoted face / when you spied all those violent ruffians /Young Fathers and Mothers pushing prams full of little children waving the vicious rattles /and the OAPs myself included bringing up the rear of the march carrying deadly weapons walking Sticks and umberellas/ inciting riots by their Constant Chants about Poisoning our land for the benefit of the wealthy 1%/ Their banners telling the public about the grave dangers of this Shale Gas / The best one was on the back of a little girl it said " Please Don't Poison My Water "!
Kenneth Mckelvey wrote
at 19:55:57 on 26 January 2014
TO the nondescripts who will not put any name to their comments what is the point of making them /As for simon who most probably get A paranoid attack in a Busy Bus Queue Go and visit the protestors on site then make your Snide comments( End of errand)
kenmckelvey wrote
at 06:43:29 on 26 January 2014
COLIN you are eons to late when thatcher closed our pits/ The bulk of the coal was being used mainly for industrial use /Plus at that point we did not have many alternitives /Atomic Power was the way forward /Solar energy was still on the drawing board with wind and Tidal power/She not only balls the coal industry up she got the country on gas and electric powered Central Heating Then flogged the lot to French and German Conglomerates /So in effect we are at their mercy to this day /So how you can still say after all this time she was right in closing down the pits / And with out coal we had no steel mills then no Ship building then all the jobs that went with pressed steel Cars Trucks Vans etc all exported all over the world Add to that the 3 ' 7 Million jobs Lost Yes I would say Thatcher made wrong decision For What Ever ReasonThis lot now are promising jobs if we let them pollute the country for less than 10 k jobs Thatcher binned coal which cost in effect nearly four million jobs which have never returned and the three million job seekers who are now classed as Scroungers that is Typical Tory Boltneck Logic The years between thatcher and this duck cameron is vast we now have green alternatives then we were reliane on coal so get in our century you apper to be in the last one
Simon wrote
at 06:27:36 on 26 January 2014
To Kenneth, reading in to your reply, then I guess it's mob rule and not a peaceful demonstration, thanks for clearing this up
kenmckelvey wrote
at 09:25:46 on 25 January 2014
Simon go and observe for yourself then you may stop casting aspertions about others OK
Confused Colin wrote
at 09:25:37 on 25 January 2014
Kenneth you say "The only cheap energy is none Fossil energy", I agree but why do you slag off Thatcher so often for closing the pits? Coal mining in the UK was bad for the environment and financially unviable, so Thatcher was right to shut the pits down, do you not agree?
Simon wrote
at 21:08:34 on 24 January 2014
Kenneth w mckelvey, define peaceful protest, if the police left the Barton site would the the lorry drivers be allowed to deliver the equipment to the site with out be hindered, answer no, so therefor the demonstration isn't peaceful and that is why the police are there. Or are you advocating mob rule
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 21:08:03 on 24 January 2014
If the anti Fracking people who have got more public support than they realise can get the facts of Fracking across to the General Public/ If they could just make obvious how dangerous and filthy this way of obtaining Shale gas is/ Millions of gallons of water full of toxins left In the earth/ Land movement/ Epidemics of sicness's/ Toxic water / methane contamination/ land fracturing/ The list of contaminants is endless/ This is not cheap energy it is gross pollution that will have to be paid for by sick people made unwell by Fracking Pollution and Corporate greed plus uncaring and lying politicians who are the financial winners in this situation/ Cheap Gas Is Just Another Ploy By A Government Who Would Sell Their Grand Mother For A Few Quid Profit/ While We Have Money Driven Politicians Their Will Never Be Cheap Energy The only cheap energy is none Fossil energy .
kenmckelvey wrote
at 14:21:21 on 24 January 2014
Just been talking to a cyclist who rides round the moss on a regular basis not now/ The Police on the Barton Stretch refused him entrance unless they searched his saddle bag/ When He told them that they had no right to search him as he was no a criminal they said he looked like a criminal and was going nowhere unless they searched his bag / Not wanting Trouble he turned around and went home / But as he said he was astounded by the tone of the police and the menacing glare As I have stated previously the UK is sleepwalking into a police State Aided and Abeted by the Silence of the Tory Press And TV Stations
Eddie. wrote
at 14:20:55 on 24 January 2014
The only thing these arrests prove is how corrupt GMP really is… They are there to protect a private company from people who have a “right” to protest. Nice to see fascism is alive and well at our wonderful GMP. The ONLY reason there have been 82 arrests (and rising) is so that GMP can justify the reason for having so many police at Barton Moss and the cost it costing the tax payer. I lost respect for the Police a long time ago, and their actions at Barton just reaffirm my reasons for having no respect for them, because “OUR RIGHTS” mean NOTHING to that fascist organisation and sheep that just “follow orders”.
Chris wrote
at 05:18:01 on 24 January 2014
I am a local resident and I can assure you that I have not come across anyone local who feels intimidated or threatened by anyone on the campsite on Barton Moss. The intimidation and threats come from the thugs employed by GMP, some of whom are foul mouthed and downright nasty. The GMP spokesperson is talking utter tripe and he knows it. There is NO bad feeling towards the non-local protectors. I am old enough to remember a time when policemen were respected and one felt protected by them. Not any more. Their actions during the badger cull were appalling. The policing at Barton Moss has one aim and that is to get those trucks onto that site and to hell with anyone who gets in their way. They don't ask if you are local before they shove you out of the way.
Ian R Crane wrote
at 05:17:55 on 24 January 2014
The Greater Manchester Police ALWAYS have at least TWO Evidence Gatherers recording events at Barton Moss. Call it a hunch but I doubt whether GMP will be able to produce any video evidence to support the fallacious claims being put out by Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts ... who I doubt has ever been anywhere near the Moss to witness the arrogant, aggressive thuggery displayed by the Tactictal Assault Unit, whenever they are let off the leash! Meanwhile, there are many hours of footage on YouTube which PROVE that GMP NOT in the business of 'Facilitating Peaceful Protest'!
James Larkin wrote
at 05:17:41 on 24 January 2014
Read in the guardian that GMP extended their political policing to Kris"a solicitor who has lodged a formal complaint. Was the solicitor a legitimate target, was he from out of town, was he intent on causing trouble? Will GMP admit to having a dossier of images of protectionist with information about individuals. That is used to selected people for arrest. Is the selection process to assist with the political policing and propaganda? Will GMP inform the public why incidents report by the protection camp have been allocated one FWIN (force wide incident number) dated for the 4 January 2014. Is this an attempt to record less offences? To present an untrue record of incidents? GMP conduct maybe controlled by a political agenda. It is odd that officers conduct themselves in a way that calls their professionalism in to question. Unless they have an "understanding" nothing will happen to them? The number of arrest bring put forward by GMP fails to clarify that a number of protectionist have been charged with two or more offences. Why are GMP putting misleading information into the public domain, that they know is a manipulation of the fact. GMP please respond or agree to a public meeting with the press present. Watch the videos of people's arrest and the use of force on protectors. Watch officer reading from a dossier and pointing at people to be arrested.
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 05:17:21 on 24 January 2014
The number of peaceful people arrested some violently by the police is becoming alarming/ What is going on/Has this useless government got a mandate to poison our little bit of Salford greenbelt/ To allow Foreign Fracking Company's to pollute our city just to get Billions of Tax Free Profits for the Tory Investors/ And the Tax Dodging French Companys who cannot do any Fracking in France because of the dangers to the Health and Welfare of the French people/ All over the USA their are law suits flying in thick and fast/ But this Profit Mad Government is not only ignoring all the damaging reports on Fracking it is getting itsPropaganda friendly News Papers and the BBC to turn a blind t o the poisonous results of this disgusting method of getting cheap gas at the expence of the people in the northern areas of the UK. And they are as usual keeping the pollution and danger away from themselves and their family's/
jackie glover wrote
at 20:16:36 on 23 January 2014
Shame on GMP!The appalling police brutality at Barton Moss community protection camp has been witnessed by thousands of people and I do not believe their lies about these peaceful people who I have had the honor to meet and support. How many of these ridiculous arrests have actually resulted in prosecution? The GMP are targeting the strong committed peaceful protecters and trying to intimidate and divide the supporters. They will not provoke violence from the anti fracking community, who are behaving impeccably in the face of such terrible and inhuman treatment from the police. Our water, air and earth are seriously threatened by fracking, please educate yourselves and help stop the ecocide.
jacqueline butterworth wrote
at 18:31:23 on 23 January 2014
Have you noticed of late just how big and burly the police have become-even some of the women-it is not that long ago that there was talk of policemen being too fat and should go on a diet.
alan davies wrote
at 12:53:15 on 23 January 2014
Flare! What flare? 82 arrests,how many convictions? if a pc was injured on a fence then his bosses are responsible not the protectors,its called health n safety at work.. I have yet to see a single picture of any member of the public being aggressive to the police.The recent search of the camp was disgusting,the police are not supposed to dump property or ruin clothing etc..
Paul Delve wrote
at 12:52:33 on 23 January 2014
I am sort of glad this has happened as it is the only way that the general public can see that The Police are the Governments Bully boys!..It happened in the 80"s With The Miners strike and its happening again with this protest!..The Police make up false numbers of Arrests etc and publish that!..They make No Mention of Actual convictions!..Like I said earlier this may be a Wake up call for what Britain has become...A POLICE STATE!..And only the Police Tell the So Called Truth!...WAKE UP BRITAIN...Do you want to Live like this?
Kim wrote
at 10:36:11 on 23 January 2014
It beggars belief that GMP have, instead of apologising to Mr. O'Donnell for their officers' appalling and brutal treatment of him, decided to enter into a verbal/printed 'spat' against the camp protectors. Do they not realise that the footage that is usually streamed 'live' from the camp is viewed by people who actually SEE their disgraceful behavious on a daily basis? As for what they did to Mr. O'Donnell, do they STILL not understand that the whole world saw their brutal assault and ridiculous trumped up arrest? Greater Manchester's 'finest'?? More like Greater Manchester's 'worst'. GMP, the actions of your officers have brought your entire force into disrespute and have shamed the people of Greater Manchester. Hang your heads.
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