Around 1,500 people turned out today, despite the forecast downpour, to show support for the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp.
The day began with a `locals' march setting off to the Camp from the Tiger Moth pub via the Old Nag's Head in Irlam, with around two dozen people braving the heavy rain.
Others from Irlam and Cadishead with children or elderly relatives, went straight to the start of the massive main march at the Salford City Stadium where they joined fellow Salfordians, campaigners from all over Greater Manchester and ten coach loads of supporters from all over the country. The biggest cheer was reserved for the arrival of the bus from Balcombe.
At the start of the march Jamie, from Cadishead, was carrying a massive Frack-Free Irlam and Cadishead banner…
"I've read up about fracking, done the research - like in the States where it's had really bad affects on the local area - and I don't want my three children to grow up in that environment, so I'm here to support the protectors" Jamie explained "My dad's on the camp nearly every day because he's retired, and we're doing everything we can as a family to stop it, and hopefully IGas will get the message. I know a lot of faces here today who are local, it would be crazy not to support it if you are local because of the affects."
Also on the march were women from Snuggles Cattery and Kennels, a local business actually based on Barton Moss Road right next to the Camp. Their support flies in the face of recent comments by Greater Manchester Police and IGas which have stated that businesses and residents are "close to tears and have had enough of this daily disruption to their lives" (see here).
"That's not correct" they told the Salford Star "We've all got our own opinions and we have had a lot of disruption with the protesters, we won't deny that, however the protest wouldn't be here if it wasn't for IGas. If IGas wasn't here the protest wouldn't be here and we'd have no disruption whatsoever. But IGas are here and they are planning to disrupt our open land and our Mossland, which will have a massive impact on local businesses in the future. And kids, horses, cats, dogs and the crops. It will disrupt everything.
"If the Camp wasn't here then IGas, Peel Holdings and the Council would get away with it" they added "We do support it for the future of our children and our animals, and will continue to support it as long as IGas are here."
As the rain stopped, the huge march set off from the Stadium along Liverpool Road with passing drivers beeping their support and no police in view. Once at Barton Moss Road, the marchers heard songs and speeches from a variety of campaigners, against fracking and drawing attention to both media bias and police brutality of the past few weeks, before heading down to the Camp and the IGas drilling site entrance to see for themselves the huge rig that has been built since Christmas.
This was a massive show of support for the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp from Salford and beyond…
See also Afghanistan sends message of support for Barton Moss and more - click here
Main photo by Steven Speed