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BARTON MOSS LOCK ON AS GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE PRIORITIES QUESTIONED
 

Star date: 28th February 2014 

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH DIRECTOR QUESTIONS GOVERNMENT AND POLICE PRIORITIES

`Is the Government and the police protecting the interests of big corporations here?…'

There were more arrests and Greater Manchester Police aggression at Barton Moss today, as a Friends of the Earth Director questioned both Government and police priorities on a visit to the Salford Community Protection Camp site.

A lock on in the middle of the public footpath on Barton Moss Road by two protectors ensured that iGas delivery lorries were delayed for over an hour from exiting the exploratory drilling site, but later Tactical Aid Unit officers went into action.

Full details here…


Friends of the Earth Directors Barton Moss Lock On Salford Barton Moss Lock On Salford
Barton Moss Lock On Salford Barton Moss Lock On Salford Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road
Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road
Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road
Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road Greater Manchester Police on Barton Moss Road
click image to enlarge

"`Is the Government and the police protecting the interests of big corporations here? Who is protecting the environment? Who is protecting local communities?' That's questions people will want to ask…" Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth (FOE) Director of Policy and Campaigns.

The Barton Moss Community Protection Camp today welcomed a delegation of four directors from Friends of the Earth (FOE) representing all corners of the British Isles – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

"The intention of those who are promoting fracking is to make it happen right across our islands, not just across the UK but in Ireland as well" explained  Andy Atkins, Executive Director of FOE England, Wales and Northern Ireland

"Obviously we are very much against fracking, it's bad for the environment, for climate change, very bad for water and for a range of other things, and we are here to express support for those protesting here and to see what's going on."

Early this morning, officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had made sure lorries delivering to the iGas exploratory drilling site had driven up Barton Moss Road in record time, rushing those who slow march the vehicles up the public footpath, and arresting one person en route.

As a response, when the lorries were trying to exit the site, two protectors blocked the road with a full tube lock-on (featuring terracotta pot, chicken wire, expandable foam and two plastic drain pipes) which took the GMP Protester Removal Team well over an hour to free and arrest them. 

In what seemed like retaliation, once the road was cleared, officers from GMP Tactical Aid Unit forced those walking in front of the lorries almost into a jog – pushing a photographer to the floor, shouting at elderly ladies and manhandling people out of the way. Fracking expert, Ian R Crane, was almost lifted off the floor and removed from police lines as he tried to film the chaos. Another man was pushed from the line and arrested.

Earlier, the visiting directors of Friends of the Earth had expressed concern about the policing…

"Our understanding is that it's got rougher and rougher and, certainly, we respect people's right to protest peacefully and we think the police should be handling them respectfully as they do that" said Andy Atkins "Stories are coming out of fairly rough handling…"

Craig Bennett, FOE Director of Policy and Campaigns England, Wales and Northern Ireland, also expressed his concern…

"`Is the Government and the police protecting the interests of big corporations here? Who is protecting the environment? Who is protecting local communities?' That's questions people will want to ask…It's about the priorities of the Government and, indeed, the police…"

On the visit, the FOE delegation heard from protectors first hand about the policing, the issues surrounding fracking in Salford and the local support groups that have appeared since the Camp was established in November.

"I'm expecting that we're going to see this sort of thing springing up in a number of places, everywhere where the gas industry tries to frack, because it is so noxious, so dangerous for the climate, so bad for the environment, that I think normal people will oppose it" said Andy Atkins.

"What is very, very clear is that we have already got enough fossil fuel reserves in the world to fry the planet several times over if we burn them all, and we do not need more" he added "What we first need is people investing in renewable energy, solar, wind, tidal and so on, and having a very big push on energy efficiency, using less of it because we waste so much energy at the minute.

"Our calculations, and those of many other institutions, academic organisations and governments, show this is perfectly possible" he concluded "There is no need, and it is indeed very dangerous to be exploring for more fossil fuels when we actually need to be burning much less."

Unfortunately, more and more, the debate about the virtues of sustainable energy and against the prospect of fracking is getting lost in the reality of `priority policing' at Barton Moss.

* Today, Los Angelese City Council banned fracking until further notice

Main lock-on photo by Steven Speed

kenneth mckelvey wrote
at 14:18:26 on 03 March 2014
With all this trouble ready to blow up in the Ukraine that will be the biggest chance this lying thieving gang of Etonians will get to convince the UK public to accept Fracking / 12% of the UK gas comes vie the Ukraine/ But The problems Fracking will cause are their for everybody to see and read about on the internet / We will never get the facts off a government that owns or has alliances with 95% of the UKs media/ But in all these government cover ups where is the Labour Party or the BBC their silence is deafeningEvery Pro Frackin Dick head keeps telling me we get all our water from the Lake District But since the Privatisation of the Water Boards in the UK they sold off vast amounts of the reservoirs in the UK To builders and Speculaters and relied on the Water Tables all over the UK to pull them out of the shit in times of droughts So god help us thats where all the toxins will be!If it takes a 100yrs makes no differe the filth the Frackers leave are their forever
 
Val wrote
at 07:33:53 on 03 March 2014
"`Is the Government and the police protecting the interests of big corporations here? Who is protecting the environment? Who is protecting local communities?' That's questions people will want to ask…" Yes. We are. we are. We dont have a government to ask, we have corporations and banksters who are only interested in gaining lot's of rapidly devaluing bit's of paper called money. All the politians who are pushing Fracking, all have shares in Fracking. The real question is 'where is Labour, or ANY kind of political opposition'? We are being trampled into the dirt by our own government, who are breaking just about every law on human rights, disregarding planning regulations to push their inhumane policies through without any public consultation or choice. Cameron is acting exactly like a despotic dictator even theiving tax money that should have been spent on public services, but no he buys himself a fracking pony paddock and shared out £4 million amongst his pals in an annual pay rise. He's spent something like £150 million on saving £6 million, care of the sick, disabled, elderly, and the millions of deliberately created unemployed, to do it. Why isn't he in jail?
 
anne power wrote
at 08:59:06 on 01 March 2014
I was present for the end of the morning march which I had to gallop to catch up with, having missed the beginning. Maybe we were too cruel in taunting the police during the long delay when they were unlocking the protectors, but my did we pay for it on the final run. We were raced along the footpath, pushed and knocked, my shoe was trodden on, I was dragged off centre and told constantly that I "needed to go quicker". I pointed out that I was there to slow down the vehicles in legitimate protest, that I wanted to be in the centre of the footpath and that I wanted to be in front of any vehicle that was helping the "frackers." And if the drivers weren't competent to drive behind me carefully they should be sacked. I even asked them to arrest me rather than push and trip me and pretend they were looking after me. It was a woman cohort leader this time with a particularly hard face, I'm sad to report.
 
Sylvia Macklin wrote
at 08:59:01 on 01 March 2014
I have written a complaint to GMP about the level of policing at Barton Moss. I have felt my right to protest has been taken away by the brutal TAU. I received a reply saying they are looking into my complaint but I feel that this will just get brushed aside. I no longer trust the police force and as a 69 year old am saddened that this country is being forced to accept Fracking. I would like someone to answer my question.... How will the government deal with lowering its carbon emissions (it has to do this as part of the agreement within the European rules) Will the gas obtained by Fracking be sold to other countries in a carbon trade off? It makes no difference who burns this fuel it will still be bad for the environment.
 
paul quinn U S U C wrote
at 08:58:55 on 01 March 2014
Watch more Earth Focus at http://www.linktv.org/earthfocus An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK's Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including N...ew York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains? Marcellus Shale contains enough natural gas to supply all US gas needs for 14 years. But as gas drilling takes place, using a process called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," toxic chemicals and methane gas seep into drinking water. Now experts fear that unacceptable levels of radioactive Radium 226 in gas development waste. Fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers, gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, developmental as well as brain and nervous system disorders. Such chemicals are present in frack waste and may find their way into drinking water and air. Waste from Pennsylvania gas wells -- waste that may also contain unacceptable levels of radium -- is routinely dumped across state lines into landfills in New York, Ohio and West Virginia. New York does not require testing waste for radioactivity prior to dumping or treatment. So drill cuttings from Pennsylvania have been dumped in New York's Chemung and other counties and liquid waste is shipped to treatment plants in Auburn and Watertown New York. How radioactive is this waste? Experts are calling are for testing to find out. New York State may have been the first state in the nation to put a temporary hold on fracking pending a safety review, but it allows other states to dump toxic frack waste within its boundaries. With a gas production boom underway in the Marcellus Shale and plans for some 400,000 wells in the coming decades, the cumulative impact of dumping potential lethal waste without adequate oversight is a catastrophe waiting to happen. And now U.S. companies are exporting fracking to Europe.See more
 
Chaz wrote
at 08:58:51 on 01 March 2014
ANOTHER MAJOR CITY/NATION/STATE BANS FRACKING and yet our politicians still insist on killing us whilst brutally enforcing fracking upon us. The things that us sheep put up with is quite mind blowing really. I'm so out of this hell hole of a bovine Country before its too bloody late
 
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