An anti-fracking campaigner from Lancashire is taking his message to the European Commission and Parliament in Brussels today after walking for 14 days from London.
Gayzer Frackman, who changed his name by deed poll, began his walk on November 17th after delivering a letter to David Cameron in Downing Street. He will have walked 360km by the time he reaches the European parliament building in Luxemburg Square within the next hour.
There he will join Alexandru Popescu, a campaigner against fracking from Romania, who has walked more than 2,000km from Pungesti.
Mr Frackman said his walk aimed to raise awareness of what he believed were the dangers of fracking. It was also a protest at UK government plans to make his home town of Blackpool “the fracking capital of Europe”.
He accused the UK government of a “dismantling democracy, freedom of speech and human rights” to force through fracking.
“Our government is not listening to the many people who did not vote for this toxic industry at the last election and in spite of all the objections and concerns we have put before the Government, it remains intent on ignoring us”, he said.
“Last year, no fewer than twenty five residents’ campaign groups (some of whom have over 10,000 followers), put their names to letters which were delivered by hand to 10 Downing Street for the Prime Minister’s attention.”
“It is clear that the concerns within those letters have been ignored and will continue to be ignored due to our government’s overriding commitment to shale gas and other forms of extreme energy.”
This morning, the two campaigners are expected to take part in an anti-fracking event in Luxembourg Square, before meeting MEPs from the Green, European Free Alliance and European United Left (GUE) parties.
Mr Frackman has been campaigning against fracking since 2011, when the technique used at Cuadrilla’s well at Preese Hall in the Fylde area of Lancashire caused a small earthquake.
He has set out his case in a letter to the European President, Jean-Claude Junker.
“We look to you, to the European Parliament and Commission, to revisit and recognise the dangers of fracking and other unconventional oil and gas extraction, and to support our plea for a ban on these practices in the European Union”.
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England, has agreed to take a letter to Mr Junker.
Mr Taylor said “The tremendous efforts made by these two European citizens to raise awareness of this crucial debate is to be applauded. They echo the voices of so many across the EU who are concerned about the dangers of fracking – including in my own South East constituency.
“Big oil and gas firms are trying to squeeze as many drilling rigs and fracking equipment onto the map of Europe to lock the EU into fossil fuels. But MEPs have the opportunity to choose the side of local communities by pushing for a ban on fracking.
“The European Parliament has a big opportunity to lead the way in phasing out fossil fuels in Europe. I will continue to push for this to happen, instead of the reckless support of fracking which will only make matters worse for the climate.”
- Mr Frackman will also deliver a copy of a report on the human rights implications of fracking commissioned by the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation More details