Protest update: 10-16 July 2017

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Protest at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil exploration site, 10 July 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

In this week’s update on protests about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry:

  • Cake at the Gate protest at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge site, West Sussex
  • Lock-on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road
  • Picket at Cuadrilla’s headquarters at Bamber Bridge
  • Two campaigners climb onto lorries at Preston New Road and one hit by a truck
  • Continuing protests outside Marriott Drilling near Chesterfield

This post will be updated throughout the week. Please let us know about news you think DrillorDrop should be reporting on this post.

14 July 2017

Divestment and renewable energy rally

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Divestment rally, Preston New Road, near Blackpool, 14 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Reclaim the Power estimated 200 people took part in a rally calling for divestment in fossil fuels. The event, at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, included local representatives of trades unions and labour organisations. Some had signed a statement calling for a ban on fracking. DrillOrDrop report

Two-car lock-on at shale gas site

Campaigners locked themselves to two vehicles on the road outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool early in the morning.

Lancashire Police said they released themselves by 10.50 and a contraflow on the road was lifted.

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Two-car lock-on, 14 July 2017. Photo: Fylde Police

13 July 2017

Standing Rock activist visits Preston New Road

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Indigenous leader and activist, William Hawk, urged campaigners to “let go of your fears”. During a visit to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site he said:

“Fear is what they want you to feel because they know it’s easy to put fear into people.”

DrillOrDrop report

Tripod and lock-on protest at Marriott drilling

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Activists from Bristol Rising Tide joined a protest at the supply company, Marriott Drilling.

Reclaim the Power said two activists from the nearby protest camp locked into arm tubes for six hours, blocking the site entrance. Two protesters from Bristol climbed onto bamboo tripods. They were brought down by police after seven hours.

All four were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass.

12 July 2017

Three generations of Lancashire family block Cuadrilla’s shale gas site

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Photo: Reclaim the Power

Gillian Kelly (73), her son Sebastian (48) and granddaughter, Megan (19) locked their arms into boxes labelled Families against Fracking, outside the gates at the site off Preston New Road. Another member of the family, Paul Martyn (61), also took part in the protest. More details in DrillOrDrop post

Women’s silent demonstration at Preston New Road

Reclaim the Power said more than 100 women protested outside the Preston New Road about what they regard as increasingly violent tactics by police and security guards at the site. More details in DrillOrDrop post

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Photo: Reclaim the Power

Eviction of roadside camp, Preston New Road

High Court baillifs working for Lancashire County Council evicted a camp of tents and a tower outside the Preston New Road site between 6am and 9am.

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A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said this afternoon:

“A highway verge beside a busy A-road is a dangerous place for a camp, and as the land owner and highway authority we have a duty to consider the safety of the protesters and other road users.

“We take possession proceedings in respect of various encampments on the highway and in this case in particular the structures erected affect sight lines and the safety of people using the road.

“In recent weeks, after serving notice on the occupants to leave this site, we have obtained a High Court Writ of Possession. This morning we have enforced the writ and will be taking further action to secure the area.”

11 July 2017

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Photo: Katrina Lawrie

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton

A lock-on protest outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool, closed the road to traffic in both directions. At 8.30am, Lancashire Police said delays and disruption were expected throughout the day.

Fylde Police Facebook page announces at 3.45pm that an additional three sergeants and 18 PCs from other forces will be policing protests at Preston New Road. The officers have been supplied to Lancashire under the “mutual aid” arrangements. The post said they would:

“help to ensure that resilience is retained within Lancashire whilst also providing an appropriate policing response to the fracking site”

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Photo: Katrina Lawrie

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Photo: Louise Hammond

Marriott Drilling depot, Danesmoor, nr Chesterfield

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s shale gas operation in Lancashire have continued to demonstrate outside the supply company, Marriott Drilling. Campaigners took part in slow-walking protests as vehicles left the site, thought to be heading to Preston New Road.

Cake on the Gate – day 2

Opponents of oil exploration at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex rallied outside the site gate for a second day in protest at the Environment Agency’s permit for acidisation and flow testing. DrillOrDrop report

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10 July 2017

Cake on the Gate, UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil site, West Sussex

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Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

Campaigners and residents took part in a rally outside UKOG’s Broadford Bridge site near Billingshurst to protest at the Environment Agency’s decision to issue a permit for flow tests using acidisation. They promised they would be back every day for a “cake on the gate” event, where they will hold placards urging motorists to honk to support their call for “green fields not oil fields”.

Environmentalist and campaigner, Dr Jill Sutcliffe, said:

“The Environment Agency has said no such acidisation is taking place in Sussex – this could be a first and we could be guinea pigs. They know very little about the whole process the difference is that in America they have analysed and found adverse effects.

“Here (at Broadford Bridge), we know from evidence from a former EA employee, that there is a fault that could transmit any of the liquids of the chemicals across to our water supply – that effects farming, fishing  and our drinking water – this is very serious.”

One of the campaigners was West Chiltington resident and retired civil servant Sue Goodard, 69 (below).

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Sue Goddard at Broadford Bridge, 10 July 2017

She said:

“This is the first time in my life that I’ve every done anything like this – so it shows how awful this is that I’ve been driven to do this  – we could end with 1,000 of these sites across the Weald.

“I’m thinking of the future of my children and my grandchildren’s future when there is an alternative way – we don’t need this oil by this means where it can do so much damage.”

Cuadrilla’s headquarters, Bamber Bridge, Preston

A small group of anti-fracking campaigners picketed the entrance of Cuadrilla’s headquarters at Bamber Bridge near Preston. The action was part of Reclaim The Power’s month of “Rolling Resistance” against fracking plans at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.


Cuadrilla’s headquarters, Bamber Bridge, 10 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton

Two people climbed onto vehicles delivering to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool. Lancashire Police said both came down after 6.30pm.

A police spokesperson said Kate McCann, of Lytham St Annes, Tamla Hunter, of Manchester, and Andy Cooper, of no fixed address, were charged with a Road Traffic Act offence. Kate McCann and Andy Cooper were also charged with obstructing the highway and an offence under Section 241 of the Trades Union Act. They will appear before Blackpool Magistrates next month.

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Preston New Road, 10 July 2017. Photo: Katrina Lawrie

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Preston New Road, 10 July 2017. Photo: Katrina Lawrie

Road accident

A protester was hit by a vehicle leaving the shale gas site.

Ashley Robinson, said he was attempting to slow-walk the vehicle when the accident happened.

Ashley Robinson said:

“I’m quite shocked that it has been suggested I threw myself in front of a truck. I was exercising my right to peaceful protest and attempting to slow-walk the vehicle out of the site, when it hit me.

“The driver appeared not to take any action to avoid me, as suggested by some media reports, and he did not even stop after hitting me.

“This is my first time I’ve ever been involved in a campaign like this. I am a local man and father from Blackpool. Since Cuadrilla arrived at Preston New Road, I have been part of a peaceful protest against their undemocratic presence in Lancashire. I believe that fracking is detrimental to the future of the climate and our children’s health and I will continue to oppose it.”

Fylde Police said on its Facebook page on 11 July 2017:

“Upon leaving the Fracking site, a works vehicle has come into contact with a campaigner despite the driver taking evasive action to try and avoid him.

“The driver of the vehicle was indeed spoken to by police, provided a negative breath test and all other personal and vehicle checks were correct and in order.

“At this time, the campaigner involved has declined to speak to police regarding this matter and we are not aware of any injuries being sustained during the incident.

“This matter was dealt with by an experienced Roads Policing Officer in accordance with force policy and as per any other non injury road traffic collision.”


3-9 July 2017

26 June-2 July 2017

19-25 June 2017

12-18 June 2017

5-11 June 2017

29 May-4 June 2017

22-28 May 2017

15-21 May 2017

8-14 May 2017

1-7 May 2017

24-30 April 2017

17-23 April 2017

10-16 April 2017

3-9 April 2017

20 March-2 April 2017

13-19 March 2017

6-12 March 2017

26 February-5 March 2017

20-26 February 2017

13-19 February 2017

6-12 February 2017

30 January-5 February 2017

23-29 January 2017

16-22 January 2017

7-13 January 2017

1-6 January 2017

10 replies »

  1. Thank you for posting the video. Clearly the protester is deranged. Why would anyone run across / alongside a moving vehicle like that? Darwin Award for sure (but failed attempt).

    • Thanks for the update TW, it is a pity Ruth doesn’t report when things don’t quite as plan with the antis. Hopefully the courts will come down harder as time progresses. Not got many friends in the right places this lot!

  2. [Edited by moderator] Wonder if the cake was baked courtesy of the US shale gas? I take it the big rig isn’t on site at Cuadrillas site yet? Looking fwd to that happening. Then we have the plans submitted by Third to get approved, more excitment. Then Egdons latest rejection will be overturned in November, iGas and Ineos moving fwd with their plans. The anti’s will lose at the CoA.Will be a good 2nd half of the year just in time for Christmas where plenty of Turkeys will be getting cooked courtesy of more US gas…..yumm yumm 🙂

    • No profit at all from UK shale. Keep pumping US.

      EIA now sees U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude averaging $48.95 this year, down from last month’s forecast for $50.78. The agency also tempered its outlook for 2018, knocking its WTI forecast down to $49.58 from $53.61.

  3. Protesters arrested and found guilty of breaking the law. Protesters vandalizing an expensive drilling rig. Protesters illegally locking on and preventing access to work site. But what do we get from DrillorDrop? Smiling Nanas with cake at the gate! Yes, it’s all so peaceful and above board, right Ruth and Paul? This is the way that your sponsors prefer it!

    [Moderator] It is not clear at this point (12/7) who vandalised the rig and no evidence that they have any connection to any of the main protest movements. [\moderator]

    • Fib,
      ‘Protesters vandalizing an expensive drilling rig’. This incident which apparently happened in May is being investigated by police. No arrests have been made. Please be cautious when you post comments without evidence.

  4. As long as it is a sponge, it would be something that could be presented to the PR bods to work on.

  5. PhilipP-there are numerous movements across USA directed at Trump, and his policies.

    A motley crew of amphibians who are croaking loudly as the swamp is drained. But then, he did make it very clear he was going to drain the swamp, and was elected President on that basis, so the swamp will be drained.

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