Star date: 19th February 2014


For Salford school half term, yesterday was designated Children's Day at the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp with crafts, balloons and games. In between the fun, local families witnessed the full force of the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit in action, as old ladies, children and residents were almost forced into a dangerous stampede during iGas lorry deliveries to the exploratory drilling site.

Full details here…

Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014 Barton Moss 18th February 2014
Barton Moss 18th February 2014
click image to enlarge

"The attitude they [police] came with today was one of conflict and confrontation…and they were prepared to do whatever they had to do to get it. I'm really proud of the protesters here who remained peaceful…It's very difficult in the face of brutality like that but that is the essence of our protest" Dan.

Carmen Shiels, her husband John and two children live in Irlam, just minutes from the potential fracking site at Barton Moss where energy company iGas is doing exploratory drilling for coal bed methane and shale gas.

Carmen works for a council doing partnership work with the police…

"I'm a local resident, a peaceful person, I've never demonstrated before in my life, I'm not a politically aware person, just easy going, believe the Government, believe people, but do you know what? I am staggered with what I've seen" she told the Salford Star "It breaks my heart."

Carmen has been following events at Barton Moss since December and the previous day had been down to see for herself what was going on, as people peacefully and slowly walked the iGas delivery lorries down the court-designated public footpath on Barton Moss Road to the exploratory drilling site.

"I came down, watched it go past, stood on the side and just cried, watching the police just pushing people down this footpath" she said "Today I came and joined the group. My husband at one point was being pushed and shoved by the police.

"As we got to the [Baton Moss Children's] secure unit, one of the Police Liaison Officers went up to a local lady who has a bad leg said `The Tactical Aid Unit are going to speed it up in a minute, I'll give you the nod and you can get out of the line'" Carmen added "In other words, it was pre-meditated. All of a sudden the speed was just upped and it went at a much faster pace. I broke away from the front and went into free space because I was quite frightened actually."

Another Salford resident, also on the walk-down for the first time and who didn't want to be named, called it "disgusting policing", as the speed of the police lines that pushed people down Barton Moss Road almost created a stampede… "Anyone who can't walk fast enough is put in a dangerous situation – I'm amazed that no-one got seriously hurt."

During the morning lorry protest an ex-serviceman wearing three proud medals got arrested by the police for apparently not walking fast enough. The Salford Star had a quick word with him while police were removing his gold service medal before taking him away, and asked why he had been arrested… "For peacefully protesting" he said.

Dan, from the Camp, described the morning scene…

"About ten minutes into the protest they deployed the Tactical Aid Unit and from that time it was nothing but abuse, pushing, shouting, pressure points being used on people's backs, shins being kicked, people being dragged out of the line and arrested, people being dragged out of the line for no reason and not arrested" he said.

"There was one officer in the middle of the line who was basically using tactical questions to try and demoralise people" Dan added "I witnessed that same officer assault a young lady and said to him `These are peaceful protesters'. He replied `What are you going to do about it?' And smiled.

"I saw him punching her in the back, using pressure points, kicking her, basically everything bar beating her up" he continued "But in response to him asking `What are you going to do about it?' I said `This isn't a fight, it's a peaceful protest' and he smiled at me again and said `What are you going to do about it?'…

"I was amazed that his commanding officer stood there doing nothing about it. The attitude they came with today was one of conflict and confrontation and it seemed like they wanted that confrontation and they were prepared to do whatever they had to do to get it. I'm really proud of the protesters here who remained peaceful – nobody pushed a police officer back and everyone remained peaceful, like we have been from the start. It's very difficult in the face of brutality like that but that is the essence of our protest."

Following that `brutal' morning protest, the Camp's Children's Day began with youngsters painting banners, playing games and eating lots of biscuits and chocolates. It created a kind of surreal calm before the bailiffs arrived handing out Peel Holdings' `Possession Orders' for evictions which will be heard in the High Court on Friday (See previous Salford Star article – click here).

At around 4pm, after the Camp's Druids had performed a `circle of peace' outside the iGas gates, the lorries left the entrance to the site - and again the TAU began pushing people down Barton Moss Road at a speed that saw old ladies with sticks hobbling to get out of the way and children running in front of the lines to avoid the stampede.

One protector, Boris, kneeled down in the path of the police lines and the iGas lorries with a plate of doughnuts and a sign reading `What will you tell your grandkids?'. He was arrested.

Another man on the front of the police lines walking as fast as he could near to the Salford Star photographer was pulled out of the line by the police and seemed to have been arrested.

At the end of Barton Moss Road, after the police had formed a guard for the iGas lorries to exit onto the main highway, people's fury at the TAU tactics spilled over. The police were chased back to their vans, with one elderly lady waving her stick at them, while others tried to block the vans exit from the scene shouting `GMP, GMP…iGas private army…'

Earlier, Salford resident Carmen Shiels had questioned the attitude of Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart and Salford city councillors – none of whom have been near to Barton Moss to see for themselves what is happening - and the local media which is not reporting on the situation either…

"I'm appalled at the Salford Mayor and all of them" she said "Why have they not responded? Even if they came out and said `We agree with all this, it's right for this country, it's going to do this, this and this'…but nothing is being said.

"My concern also is as a member of the public who relies on local media" she added "The BBC, Granada, Salford Advertiser, they're not publishing anything. They're not talking about fracturing, they're not down here…There's demonstrations every day and they are not here. That concerns me more in some ways. It frightens me. It's sinister."

Main photo shows Carmen Shiels by Steven Speed

Joe O'neill wrote
at 20:29:43 on 03 March 2014
For all the insults hurled at the Protesters just step back for five minutes, pour yourself a cup of tea and then hire or borrow a copy of Gas Lands, then your may understand why these people are living in such crap conditions to protest.
Zoe Naylor wrote
at 19:21:07 on 03 March 2014
Emma you have to explain to your son that if he behaves in what society considers to be a 'socially acceptable manner' the police will be kind to him. However if he grows up and chooses to stand up for what he believes that is considered not 'socially acceptable'. How you explain fascism is beyond me. However, I think most coppers signed up to help your son and improve our communities. I don't think they were expected to be following orders that they are doing at Barton Moss. Its corrupt from the top down. The dudes making the orders will be under pressure from Igas/ Peel/ whoever to use any means to push the protectors down the road due to monetary loss. However, it is unfortunate that the only tecnique they know and are trained to use is force! Why this is the case is questionable in itself!
Phil Shaw wrote
at 16:48:32 on 03 March 2014
Ian Carey is a PIG! A nasty Troll!!! My uncle was chairman of Salford Mags. Dad also à Magistrate. Spoken to them and after watching they have said the Policingi is nothing short of Planned thugery and violence! So Ian you keyboard gangster. Come and tell us to our face!!!!!
jo wrote
at 07:18:36 on 26 February 2014
if it was not for ill-health i, too, would be on the line - so to speak.. in times past i've done my share of "standing up to be counted" i feel so ashamed of the ***** who are ruining our once glorious country - all in the name of profit (money/power) disregarding their responsiblities to protect both the folk and the Country as a whole... BUT, the police vow to protect the Queen not it's citizens - the State, not it's citizens.. the moneymakers, not the poor who actually make the money for them... the big "I am" brigade care nothing of what mess they will leave for others to sort out - so long as they make their big bucks now... fracking WILL destroy the aquifer.. nothing is more certain.. BUT, the ***** in parliament don't care... the police?? don't care... this mess WILL escalate... so many things are going so wrong in this country, just now... the spectre of civil war hangs in the shadows.. who will benefit??? the ***** who control everything... there is more money to be made in conflict than in peace!!!! only the ordinary conscience-stricken folk suffer - as always...
Chaz wrote
at 13:15:55 on 22 February 2014
Search YouTube "Barton Moss police brutality" for the most shameful scenes ever witnessed in this land. Then search 3 months worth and 100's of hours of video's for ONE SINGLE INCIDENCE of ANY violence from the Protectors towards the "police" and you will see scenes that will restore your faith in humanity. I wonder how many years it will take for GMP's reputation to recover from this...if it ever does.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 22:01:18 on 21 February 2014
Mary, how dare you call Mr Carey an arsehole. I really must point out that arseholes serve a purpose.
william macpherson wrote
at 22:01:15 on 21 February 2014
these wooden tops need sorting out,they can break their own laws and get away with it,look like a right bunch of fkin werzels gggggrrrrr
Maureem wrote
at 07:03:06 on 21 February 2014
I am dumb founded and disgusted at the action these police are taking against protestors.
mary ferrer wrote
at 18:40:46 on 20 February 2014
Ian Carey, Have you been there and seen what is happening. How dare you say the police should bring the dogs to sort out the activists. And where does it say you have to run on a PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY,walk crawl run hop what ever way these good people want to get from A to B does not warrent the abuse and violence these very brave people have had to put up with. Wish we had more like the Barton moss Activists. They have my greatest respect. But you Mr Carey, are an A-HOLE.
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 17:30:49 on 20 February 2014
After reading this, i'm getting an idea that our newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner is going to be facing an awful lot of paperwork along with his collegues from the professional standards board of GMP. Tactics normally engaged by the police against Hooligans at football matches are now being engaged against law abiding protesters - im not suggesting our police are in the pocket of the fracking companies at the moss - but to outsiders reading and watching it certainly seems to be.
Ian Carey wrote
at 17:29:58 on 20 February 2014
Get a grip! What you dont report is the protesters being aggressive in nature towards the police which is why they have to use force. You take the mick walking down that footpath you shuffle infact! Get the GMP dog unit down there to sort the activists out!
David Cameron wrote
at 07:42:37 on 20 February 2014
Why doesn't everyone raise money to get the salford star published a week or two before the local elections, seeing labour don't want to get involved in this protest against fracking. Maybe then these labour councillors might come out of there ivory towers when there seats as councillors are on the line, may I also suggest that people at the fracking sites around the country note the names of the haulage companies delivering the equipment, find out if they have contracts with major retailers and for everyone to put pressure on these retailers to cancel these contracts if they keep helping these fracking sites
DianaS ewell wrote
at 19:47:58 on 19 February 2014
Words fail me. What can we do against these THUGS?
emma wrote
at 19:00:03 on 19 February 2014
Today I had to try and explain to my 8 year old nephew how, if he was lost or hurt, he should trust the police to help him... but at the same time, there are police doing bad things to grannies and mummies and nice, peaceful people who are trying to protect our land and water from being poisoned. It pains me enormously that I have to put this contradiction, uncertainty and anxiety into the mind of a child. But how else to explain that members of his family are being arrested and spending time in police cells? I wonder how this gets talked about in the playground? I wonder if the police realise they're potentially causing a generation to grow up fearing and distrusting them?
kevin wrote
at 18:59:55 on 19 February 2014
I'm disgusted at the behaviour of GMP, their attitude is one of aggressive contempt towards peaceful protestors who have a right to be there. It shows they protect Igas money before people
mary ferrer wrote
at 18:59:44 on 19 February 2014
Words fail me. I had so much respect for our police,not any more. I have been following the protest since it started,So proud of the people up at Barton. I watched videos and I can't understand the behaviour of the police. The protesters are walking slow,so what, that don't give the police the right to behave as they have. Picking on women and the old. Don't think I have seen or read anywhere that any of the protesters have hit back. So the police get called a few names,that dosen't give them the right to treat people like they have. Why is this protest not in the papers and on the news. Who are the police working for, the people of this city or Peel.Will Peel be footing the bill for the bully boys. I wish all the protesters my heart felt thank you for fighting for the people of Salford and the wider community.
Rosemary Cutler wrote
at 18:59:40 on 19 February 2014
Tree must be some sort go gagging order on the general media other wise why hasn't Barton Moss been in all the papers and on the news? It crazy that the police are getting away with violence against a peaceful demonstration.
kirrien wilson wrote
at 17:10:37 on 19 February 2014
What happens when the police and government lose support of the public? Well looking at Ukraine is a good start
alan davies wrote
at 17:10:32 on 19 February 2014
I am at a loss to understand why the police arrive every day and night with the full consent of the senior officers to be aggressive,confrontational and uncivil to the legally assembled protestors and protectors...its like being in a movie but with real people not actors..horrible..
at 16:36:17 on 19 February 2014
Once again, I have to thank you, Salford Star, for being the only voice of truth in the media. Your articles are always well researched & informative. Many people are unaware of the daily struggle undertaken by the Protectors & their local supporters but you are doing a marvellous job redressing that balance. I wish you all the very best!
Chrissie Gladwin wrote
at 16:36:00 on 19 February 2014
I saw 4 police vans speeding through the layby and very close to the groups of protestors. I thought they were going to run over one of our dogs. A protestor said to me 'the police are behaving like thugs and they do this with your consent'. I replied that I had just walked down in front of the lorries with the police harrying us from behind, just as everyone else had, and had seen heard and felt the intimidation from the police. I come because I feel fracking will poison our water table and it is urgent that we make a stand.
stuart brooks wrote
at 13:35:57 on 19 February 2014
I think someone should remind GMP that this country is policed by consent, and once the police fail to operate within the law they will very quickly loose the support of the general public.once they do no amount of bullying and violence will be able to regain control no one is above the including the police
Maria wrote
at 13:35:53 on 19 February 2014
please all sign this petition and keep sharing. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/59765
paul wrote
at 13:35:24 on 19 February 2014
peel holdings own so much, they have a hold on the bbc as they are their lad lords. the gimps need to be sorted
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