People opposed to fracking from across the UK gathered in Driffield in East Yorkshire yesterday (Saturday 17 September 2016) for a parade through the town.
Driffield and the surrounding area was licensed for shale gas exploration last year to Cuadrilla and INEOS Upstream.
At a rally after the parade, speakers included campaigners Jon and Val Mager, from Beverley, who opposed Rathlin Energy’s oil exploration operations at Crawberry Hill and West Newton.
Mr Mager told the rally:
“There is no economic or environmental case for further oil and gas investment in the UK – or anywhere.
“For the sake of our families, our children and grandchildren we need to act now to stop the frackers.
“It is all about action. I’m proud to be wearing the Crawberry Hill T-shirt and even more proud to be here with some of the local residents who stood by the road there day in day out through the winter. It is also good to see some of the Protectors who were there from day one at the Protection camp.
“We need a Protection camp to stop the frackers but equally important is the group of local residents prepared to stand there every day, bearing witness, taking notes, making complaints and stopping the frackers.”
Sarah Benton-Rose, commenting to Driffield & Wolds Weekly, said:
” I thought it was a great event with a fantastic turn out for the first of its kind in the area. A lot of interest was shows by people with limited or no knowledge of the cause, some of which even joined in, the small event at the end at the park was great refreshments and speakers from all over the country, very informative. I’m worried about the adverse affect Fracking could bring to this area and country, I’ve lived in Driffield and surrounding villages my whole life and dread to think what could happen. Despite a little bit of chaos earlier on if people had respected the road blocks the parade would have been able to move off sooner and less of an inconvenience caused but never mind.”
Some local people complained about disruption caused by road closures. Matt Rogers said:
“What I cannot understand is why the roads had to be closed off for so long before the protesters came through. I’m sure it was meant to be a rolling road closure. If any other groups had shut off roads for that amount of time they would be hung out. The way that group of people behave is shocking, I really don’t think any of what happened today was in the best interest of Driffield or the Driffield people. Very heavy police presence too, not that that is a bad thing but they don’t close roads or direct traffic for other town events, so why this one?”
But Stew Tindale, who took some of the pictures in this post, said:
“We live here too, and we care about the place – not just about whether we can drive down a particular road at a given time…!”
Jon Mager speech to Driffield rally 17 September 2016
They will have more than road closures to be concerned about if fracking takes place – like thousands of HGV journeys to contend with. A small part of a day being disrupted will pale into insignificance in comparison to years of fracking traffic and disturbance.
And I don’t mean that disrespectfully – I know it can be annoying when roads are closed for any kind of event – but the reality and longevity of disturbance from fracking will be far worse, just look at the evidence provided by Cuadrilla at the Blackpool planning inquiry for just a few test wells.
‘Very heavy police presence too, not that that is a bad thing but they don’t close roads or direct traffic for other town events, so why this one?’.
A very good point as all anti fracking parades and rallys have been peaceful…..
Anyone in the government or police like to comment on this?
How many protestors? 50, 100, 1000, 5000 …oh no, let’s not start that.
Nice try, no takers.