Green Party offers “full support” to veteran anti-fracking campaigner arrested at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site


Tina Rothery at Preston County Court in 2016. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Tina Rothery, a long-standing opponent of fracking, has been arrested outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool.Ms Rothery, a life-time member of the Green Party, said this evening she had been charged with obstructing a police officer.

The Green Party’s deputy leader, Amelia Womack, said in a statement:

“I offer my full support and total admiration for Tina.

“She is an inspiration and has proved time and again that to live in a free society we must be constantly challenging the decisions of those in power.

“She has put herself on the line to stop dirty and destructive frackng and with suporters and her political party behind her that effort will not be in vain.”

Ms Rothery stood for the Green Party as a parliamentary candidate against George Osborne in Tatton in the 2015 election and in her home Fylde constituency in 2017.

A regular protester at the site since work started in January this year, she was filmed being arrested this afternoon. The video, recorded by another protester, showed police warning her not to stand on the site side of the Preston New Road.

In a Facebook post this evening Ms Rothery said:

“I was charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer and offered the opportunity to take a caution.

“I said I was not guilty as I was not seeking to obstruct an officer. I was crossing a road.

“I will be in court on 10th October and will not accept anything other than justice. There was no crime by me.

“The arrest was painful on my wrists but once I was en route to the station  I was treated well processed quickly and unharmed.”

The Green Party made Ms Rothery a life member after she was threatened with a jail sentence following a long-running legal dispute with Cuadrilla over court costs. (DrillOrDrop report).

She had been found in contempt of court after refusing to provide financial information when Cuadrilla and a group of landowners won more than £55,000 legal costs against her in a case dating back to 2014.  In December 2016, a judge at Preston County Court discharged the contempt of court ruling.


40 replies »

  1. Well deserved arrest for Tina! A serial protestor at many different protests! Why does she not have a JOB ?? Just another Hypocrite with nothing better to do! Talks about fracking causing cancer but is a SMOKER! [Edited by moderator]

    • Whether an individual chooses to smoke and risk their health is a personal choice. If fracking does have negative health impacts, smokers, non smokers, children are all affected and have no choice. I therefore do not see the relevance of your comment.

  2. Another jumped up charge targetting a lady, this time a deliberate targetting of Tina Rothery.
    Clearly the attempt to intimidate and prevent protest is being ratcheted up by the Cuadrilla compromised and controlled police.
    What about obstruction of Tina Rothery by the police officer?
    It could be supposed that something was going on that required a diversion so that Cuadrilla could hide behind the thoroughly compromised police action?

  3. Tina has spoken with hundreds of people across the country about the impacts of a UK shale gas industry. She puts her points across but always suggest people should do their own research to reach an informed decision.

    Thousands have done just that. Looked at what there is to gain and what their is to loose.

    The results are clear.

    The majority of the UK do not want or need an onshore unconventional oil and gas industry developing in the British countryside

    The industry has met it’s match against well organised individuals and communities.

    The few remaining supporters of shale are voices in the wilderness.

    Greed, deception, and bullying, will see the demise of the industry.

    • We hear that utility companies could be charged by the hour for digging up and obstructing traffic, perhaps that can be extended to the o€$¥£&g obstruction of highways and to pay for the misuse of police forces?
      Seems logical.
      Perhaps that could also be extended to the entire cost to the tax payer for the imposition of fracking upon the local community?
      Maybe we could see the councils costs and compromised police overtime costs being laid at the gates of the operators, the penalty being any support and co-operation be withdrawn until they pay up.

  4. Yes, John-the results are clear. Two thirds of those surveyed either support fracking or have no view either way. That leaves one third who oppose it. If that was an election, it would be a landslide-but not for the antis. But then, democracy is only a tool for the antis, not a reality.

    More fake news.

  5. Martin, if there were a vote on fracking 16% would vote for fracking, 33% would vote against and presumably the remainder wouldn’t vote, having no opinion either way. So that means a 2:1 majority against fracking, that is how democracy works. Having no opinion means just that, it does not mean they support fracking. That is the reality.

    • He’s tried using this argument before. As you illustrate, it fails any level of scrutiny. It seems to be yet another attempt to spin the opinion poll away from its clear result. And successive polls show the pro vote going down and the anti vote going up. It is common knowledge that the more people are aware of the adverse consequences of this industry the more likely they are to be against it. So Tina and like minded people are clearly helping to increase opposition to this industry, but we all generally advise people to do their own research rather than take our word for it. The pro fraternity simply try to denigrate the antis, claiming that the reported adverse consequences are fake news.

  6. Good try KatT, but no cigar!
    Nice to see you are having doubts “if fracking does have negative health impacts” but avoiding the aspect of passive smoking.

    Hey Ho-that’s par.

    Interesting point though, as the antis seem to have grabbed the “precautionary principle”. Why is smoking still legal? My point is, that even where practices have been found to be bad for public health (not fracking, but smoking and drinking) they are not banned but controls are attempted. Interesting.

    • We shall have to agree to disagree Martin, I stand by what I say and statistically and mathematically I am correct. And you have read far too much into my comment, I have no doubts about opposing fracking and the harms it can cause. Smoking has been permitted since Elizabethan times and alcohol even longer but as we know when scientists and Doctors started to realise it caused cancer and other health impacts, the industry tried to discredit the science and started to advertise smoking linked with sports and other health associated activities, sound familiar?
      Who knows, perhaps smoking would have been banned had it been introduced later but that is all speculation. Nevertheless whether one chooses to smoke or drink is a personal choice, being exposed to fracking is not. So your argument is flawed.

      • Smoking and drinking may have been banned vis a vis the precautionary principle. So might have the wheel, fire, electricity, pharmaceuticals and much of modern technology. The precautionary principle is an enormously subjective tool and it can be used to “ban” just about anything introduced to society as most every new technology involves risks.

        A little appreciated aspect of the precautionary principle is that it must be considered in a 360 degree fashion. That is, you must also weigh the risks of not undertaking the given activity. In this case those risks are high in that they involve damaging the environment by importing large amounts of gas, increasing mortality rates for those who live in fuel poverty, potentially increasing the use of coal and or diesel generation, increasing dependency on gas from dangerous places, increasing the chances of armed conflict, a reduced ability to encourage and support openness and democratic ideals internationally.

        Access to inexpensive energy is one of the most important resources of an industrialized society. It’s easy to forget this as you lead your very comfortable lifestyle, but it is nonetheless a fact.

      • The smokes from Elizabethan times wont have contained all the cancer causing chemicals used just to keep the damn thing lit. Old smokes consisted of that rare commodity, tobacco 😉
        Bit like all the plastic packaging containing little or no food worth eating sold on your supermarket shelves today.
        And all that plastic needs? Yes you guessed it ethane which comes from fracked gas….

    • Smoking is banned in the UK in many places; restaurants, pubs, the workplace, buses, trains, planes,etc, etc, etc.

  7. I was astonished at how few votes she got in the election, rather like the other candidates who oppose fracking. I strongly support protest, but not obstruction in any way. I respect the right of other people to be able to get on with their lives, whether they agree with me or not.

    • I advise you to watch the video to assess whether Ms Rothery was obstructing anyone. She calmly walks across the road, something we all take for granted (that we are allowed to cross roads!) and four police officers immediately surround her and arrest her.

  8. No, my argument is not flawed. We will disagree for sure, but the point I was making and is no flaw that there are pretty extreme activities that are not banned that are known to have serious health and social consequences-not just to individuals who practice them (check with the NHS if you don’t believe me). What we do as an open society is place the best controls we can to mitigate any harm, and maximise any benefits.
    Where we disagree is that I believe fracking in UK should be tested before we decide, not to say we will not allow testing and just stop it. I have questioned a large number of those who have no opinion either way and they have all said “I would like to see what benefits it could provide before I make a decision.” Many are already aware of the negatives put forward but rightly say “we don’t know the positives yet.” Meanwhile, they sit on the fence. I find that pretty standard having had a life time in marketing and having to provide the results to get them off the fence. I know this will illicit the standard that there will be no economic benefit in terms of jobs or energy security or lower gas bills, but that is the one that is flawed as it has also been constantly quoted that vast swathes of the countryside will be industrialised. The two are not compatible and are cancelling each other out to the fence sitters. Comments from your “economic” experts that there is plenty of cheap gas around don’t help when it is becoming known that US fracked gas is part of that “cheap gas” coming into the UK and oil continues to be below $50/barrel thanks to US fracking. I think the “see for myself” argument will persist, and some of the anti social activities by the antis will only entrench it.

    I am not the only one who remembers what the consequences were when OPEC hiked prices four fold because they controlled the market. An option to prevent that happening again is a moral imperative to me, until it is proven not to be an option.

    As you know, I am not one who does not recognise climate change but I also recognise our economy and the rest of the world will rely on oil and gas for the next 30 years minimum even whilst other energy sources are increased.

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