Direct action announced against fracking supply chain – Cuadrilla condemns the plans


The climate change campaign group, Reclaim the Power, has announced plans for a fortnight of direct action against companies which supply the fracking industry.

The actions, labelled Break the chain, are due to start in a month’s time on 27 March 2017.

Reclaim the Power said the campaign aimed to disrupt supply chain companies, putting pressure on them to pull out of contracts.

“No complicity with fracking is acceptable”, a spokesperson said.

Cuadrilla, which is preparing a site near Blackpool for fracking, has responded that neither it, nor its contractors, would be intimidated.

Since work began last month at the company’s Preston New Road site, there have been small protests outside suppliers and contractors.

Moore Readmix said on 7 February 2017: “We have no alternative but to cease supplies” after protesters blocked the entrance to its depot in St Annes.  The day before, Armstrong Aggregates said it had decided to terminate all work at Preston New Road, although Cuadrilla said the contract had already been completed.

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s operations have also protested outside the site and sought to slow-down deliveries. Tina Rothery, a prominent anti-fracking campaigner, said:

 “The people who stand at the roadside every day in Lancashire couldn’t be more grateful for groups like Reclaim the Power and the actions they have planned. They continue to provide support for us, to spread our message and bring us hope.”

A spokesperson for Reclaim the Power said there would be lots of individual actions across the UK. They would be carried out by its members, rather than individual frack free or community campaign groups. The spokesperson was unable to reveal details of where and when the actions would take place. She said:

“The idea is to provide some inspiration to the wider anti-fracking movement. They are designed to be complementary to actions outside the shale gas sites.”


Reclaim the Power direct action at Media Zoo, the PR company for INEOS Shale. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Reclaim the Power said the direct action was a response to preparation for fracking by Cuadrilla in Lancashire and also by Third Energy in North Yorkshire. The group’s Ash Hewitson, said:

“The industry is raising the stakes and pressing ahead with its plans, and the Westminster government is finding any way it can to force fracking on communities, despite overwhelming opposition.

“So we need new strategies to resist. Fracking companies don’t exist in isolation; and we can stop the industry if we cut it off from the systems it needs to survive. By taking out the links in the chain we can break the whole industry into pieces.”

The group has organised direct action across the UK against fracking, airport expansion,  open cast coal mines and coal-fired power stations.

It said it was planning to train hundreds of people in the coming months in protest techniques and tactics. What it called “a more sustained campaign of resistance” would be announced for this summer if companies began fracking.

“No intimidation”

Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said:

“We strongly condemn Reclaim the Power’s stated plans to take direct action against Lancashire and other businesses and suppliers working with us in developing our lawfully consented shale gas exploration site in Lancashire.

“Neither we or our contractors will be intimidated by a small group of irresponsible activists, who are clearly intent on harassing small local businesses.

“Lancashire jobs and revenue opportunities are being threatened and we will do everything we can to ensure these opportunities are not needlessly lost to the county.”


21 replies »

  1. I took a step back because the debate had deteriorated into vindictive personal attacks and issues were drowned in tit for tat irrelevance.
    I have tried to warn both sides that dirty tricks would only make the situation worse, and it must be free and open face to face free and open discussion or it will turn ugly for both sides.
    The industry cant impose injustice on the people of this country, government sanctioned or not.
    This is I am afraid an own goal on behalf of the people fighting for justice and our environment.
    The dirty tricks of government and the O&G industry must not be seen as an excuse to emulate their failure to act ethically.
    This new move can only undo what has been achieved so far and tar us all with the same brush.
    I simply cannot condone this move, two wrongs do not make a right, even when the industry and government are so very very wrong.
    I am sure I will not be popular for saying that, but so be it.

    • Now I see you as a true gentlman Phil C.
      This resort to militant actions will damage the local concern and image more than one can imagine. It will polarized the community harmony. I hope the police and minister for home security look into this and make sweep action. If this is allowed in our society and ser a precedence other will follow and resort this tactic to achieve their means.

      • Not sure i’m such a gentle man, but appreciated none the less! Don’t get me wrong, if government and the O&G industry had not played it dumb and dirty from the beginning and pre loaded the whole issue to be an act of denial of rightful protest and unlawful overturning of the democratic process, we would not be forced into desperate measures to try to grab back some level of self determination that has been so criminally stripped from us.
        I don’t condone government in its illegal incestuous relationship with the O&G industry which led us here in the first place.
        The industry plays it dumb and dirty and lies about threats to staff that are only made to cover up the threats they make to landowners.
        Government and the industry may in fact have engineered this to force legal restraints against protesters as is happening in USA, don’t think that is not obvious to anyone who sees this objectively.
        That’s it, I’m off for a while now, so don’t do anything silly while I’m away.

  2. Well said PhilC.

    We could both see this developing in recent weeks, and it is a shame for local people who want to air their own views and concerns. Unfortunately, there are certain groups of people who want to hijack a genuine issue for their own agenda. By so doing, they forget the country as a whole supports the capitalist and democratic system (flawed as it is) and they will do extreme damage to any genuine concerns.

    Rather than welcome their involvement, all genuine anti groups should reject their involvement and have nothing to do with them, but I suspect that would make little difference. The media will see this as a good news story, and the mistake made of attacking some of the media in recent days will not help.

  3. I’ve said it a few times now. The opposition were always going to have to resort to these types of tactics as they were never going to stop the inevitable that is exploration.
    This will allow the government to take stronger action against the protestors as a whole.
    Wait and see how strong your support is from the avg man and woman that isn’t a NIMBY when this action hits the main press. It’s already waning big style.

  4. This is music to the fracking industries ears.
    The problem now is that genuine decent protestors can’t speak out as they will definitely feel intimidated by this element.
    Do you know one of them runs a homeless shelter that offers people a bed as well as training on how to hack from within the shelter !
    They are creating tiny little armies of dangerous people. Of course the police are watching and learning.

  5. The “protectors” are at it again, doing more “protecting.” We’re glad we don’t have such “protection” in the US. The US Chamber of Commerce released a study which showed that if our country were “protected” by the “protectors” it would cost us 14.8 million jobs, the price of energy would double, and we would lose 1.6 trillion from our GDP. Thank god we don’t have “protection” in the US!

  6. This is in the proud tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action. There is a broad spectrum of things that can be done to spike the fossil fuel industry and these actions should be welcomed by all in this struggle, regardless of what their personal level of commitment or willingness to act is. Of course the shills above will call for an extreme government response, that is what they do, and the part of the political spectrum they come from. Any aggressive response to nonviolent civil disobedience will harm the govt and industry’s PR . Successful civil disobedience will encourage others and impede the industry’s development. Get ready to lose, drill shills.

    • What a lot of nonsense. Labour is a basket case because of ‘people power’ promoted by the ever moaning left w(h)ingers.
      We have seen these types of demonstrations many many times before and you never stop progress.
      Once you lose your HC appeal you’ll be swiftly put back in line. Just watch this space.

      • GBK, I can understand your bitterness towards the Labour party , considering they have promised to BAN fracking.

        • Jack. The Labour party causes me zero worry. You can’t even hold the North of England anymore. Then your leader blames it on Blair lol. The problem with the left, no ideas and everyone elses fault.

          • HA, HA, HA GBK, I’m laughing at your outrageous, wild, unfounded, baseless assumptions once again.
            YOU have NO idea which party I support.

            I’m just surprised that a total stranger would want to expose himself/herself to ridicule and laughter making wild assumptions about people he/she doesn’t know.

            Your bitterness to all who question fracking is quite amusing.

    • You claim this sort of action is to protect society from destruction by fossil fuel industry. Well my friend the society including your friends are using fossil fuel.

  7. Oh dear Paul! I certainly have not called for any government response, and are not linked to any political spectrum. Setting your own fake story again.

    Your confusion with what the issue is just shows how this agenda is being hijacked. You will try and blame others for the consequences, because that is the way these things go, but the consequences are predictable, which I suspect you know.

    • Martin, you can’t ever be too kind or compassionate to these types of people. They will never be happy with the size of chips on their shoulders which they seem to be born with.
      Our weak government will make us the laughing stock of overseas investors that see the same pictures we see. This isn’t just about fracking anymore.
      The UK needs all forms of external investment as we don’t invest in ourselves. The left don’t understand what monetary investment is thus are always chasing their tail feeling hard done by.
      Tina Rothery is their poster girl…..says it all.

  8. I understand what you are saying GottaBKidding, but they are doing a pretty good job at removing delays within the process, and they will be the best PR for the companies wishing to drill test wells.
    They will drive the police and the media to become more actively involved and even the courts will then start to impose more substantial penalties. They will be reduced to relying upon strange public opinion research in Cheshire when one of the potential developers may be offering a new car factory to mop up any redundancies from car manufacturing in Liverpool-that could be an interesting comparison!

    And of course, if good quantities of gas are flowing out at the same time (which has been ignored) game over.

  9. I am afraid that people like me have fought people like you since time immemorial, [edited by moderator]. We are not giving up, we are not going away -and on this issue we know you only have a short time frame to get what you want, all the more incentive to step up the fight. Thank you for your posts as every one strengthens my resolve and that of my fellow thinkers. We know what you think of people who fight for environment and community protection. We know the sort of governments you favour. You will be defeated – by us, or by nature.

    • A short time? You are deluded Paul. We aren’t going anywhere until we have explored if fracking is commercially viable. Plenty of money and we can wait it out in the comfort of our warm centrally heated homes rather than in a tent in some undesireable muddy patch of ground.
      I only believe in fair fights Paul and I definitely don’t see you as any competition. I’ve argued with your side many times and they usually end up getting aggressive when they realise they’ve lost.
      On that note I’m off to play squash….you know that game that rich white guys play according to the lefties.
      Try and not catch pneumonia out there.

  10. Every post of yours Paul, you seem to find a different fight to fight! When you sort out what your true message is, I would like to know. At the moment it is you against the world. Bit like an amphibian before the swamp is drained!

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