Fund launched to support legal advice for anti-fracking groups


The police monitoring network, Netpol, has launched an initiative to fund legal advice for anti-fracking groups facing civil action.

Netpol said last night the fund had been kick-started with a substantial donation from the Humanade foundation, established in memory of the artist, Malcolm McLaren, who died in 2010.

Yesterday McLaren’s son, Joe Corre, appeared at the High Court in London as one of two people challenging an injunction brought by the shale gas company, INEOS Upstream (DrillOrDrop report).

The injunction covers INEOS sites and offices, property belonging to landowners who have leased sites to the company, routes to potential shale gas operations and premises belonging to the INEOS supply chain. It seeks to prevent interference of activities carried out by INEOS, its contractors and members of the supply chain across the country.

Lawyers for Mr Corre and the other challenger, Joe Boyd, described the injunction as premature, draconian and an unlawful breach of the human rights of protesters.

Civil challenges

Netpol said the new fund would provide money for legal advice to campaign groups on challenging:

  • Injunctions against establishing anti-fracking camps
  • Possession orders to evict camps
  • Orders believed to interfere with rights to freedom of assembly under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Allegations of defamation in newsletters or publicity

The group said threats of civil action often caused considerable alarm.

“This is invariable exacerbated by the obstacles to seeking expert legal advice. Civil legal aid is rarely available and representation is often expensive.”

The fund does not cover criminal legal proceedings, Netpol Said. Campaign groups need to apply for funding for civil advice through a solicitor.

The Activists Legal Action Fund is also seeking donations.

21 replies »

  1. Why can’t Vivian Westwood $185 million net worth, http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/designers/vivienne-westwood-net-worth/ dig into one of her £350 pound handbags and contribute. http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/cat/vivienne-westwood/bags/

    If she’s a little short of cash, perhaps her son Joe Corre http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/celebrity-fashion/joe-corre-net-worth/ who made $48 million exploiting women’ bodies via Agent Provocateur can give poor old NetPol a donation.

    The true suckers here are those freezing their butts off at PNR fighting for the planet, to absolutely no avail now the Reclaim the Power crew have reclaimed their mums and dads money to go back to uni.

    • Nick, on what grounds are you suggesting that Westwood and Corre haven’t done so? Are you somehow privy to their accounts?

      You seem to be blindly lashing out here. It’s not a good look.

      • [Comments removed by moderator] 99.9% of farmers would be horrified to find a ‘protection camp’ springing up on their land. The real sickener is that this is done under legal protection, and the farmer or local authorities will have to pick up the tab for the pollution caused by these people defouling the land. And a fund is to be started to raise money for the legal defence of these fools? Well I definitely will not be contributing.

        Water protectors? What a load of nonsense. They arent allowed to drill in SPZ1s anyway!

        • Better a protection camp populated by free thinkers than a concentration camp populated by brainwashed slaves, which is what we will all become if we don’t stop this descent into the stranglehold of the totalitarian corporate dictatorship.
          Support the fund or suffer the consequences, that is what it drills down to.
          Freedom or slavery? Well, isn’t that a tough one?

    • Your point is valid, Nick. The ironies and contradictions from the anti-fracking camp are as rich as they come.

      [Edited by moderator]

      • This is a desperate fake ID move, even for a Desperate Dan from Desperate Dan Land with a desperate air of desperation despairing of ones own deplorable need for dissipation and desecration against decency and democracy? Or is that too difficult to discern?
        They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Or is that Frackery? Or Quackery? Or just plain Crackery?
        We can all play with words, play nice or the great moderator in the sky will find the delete button.
        Oh oh! Here he comes now!

  2. What is the infatuation in lining solicitors pockets?
    Once the cap on environmental cases is removed it will cost approx 100k for HC cases. Let’s see how far the fund will stretch!

    • I am sure you are right that the combination of removal of Aarhus limits and SLAPP by companies with deep pockets will indeed help quash dissent and steamroller the way for the industry, but it isn’t going to do a lot to improve their piteous poll ratings Peeny.

      You need to look at the wider picture. Without a social licence this industry will meet creative resistance at every turn and it will fail. You don’t get a social licence by injunction and SLAPP. You don’t get it with half-baked bribes. You don’t get it by trying to con the people. Sadly for the industry they are so far down the line on these that they can only get 16% of people to admit to supporting them and it’s going to get a lot worse when people see more and more bullying from the state and the fracking companies.

  3. A social licence also comes from employing thousands of people, most on relatively good pay, and contributing £millions to the UK economy through direct and indirect economy. It also comes if you are able to extend that to new businesses and (maybe) cheaper and (certainly) more secure energy bills to consumers.
    Those who want to prevent that may find their social licence gets more than a few penalty points.

    • Well it would do if they employed a few local people, but all of the jobs for locals seem to be for minimum wage security guards. Mind you looking at https://cuadrillaresources.com/about-cuadrilla/working-at-cuadrilla/ even those jobs would seem few and far between.

      Why do you think UK shale gas will be cheaper? Everyone seems to agree it won’t be, but do have a go at supporting that statement if you have anything new to add to the endless repetition of this tedious argument.

      What is a more secure energy bill and how would UK fracking create one?

      Nobody is trying to prevent them getting a social licence – they are managing that all by themselves Martin .

      • Martin’s statement that gas will be cheaper is valid, as it is of course a relative term. Domestic gas is cheaper than most alternatives. Do you dispute this, Refracktion? If so, can you provide evidence to support your claim that domestic gas is more expensive than other forms of energy that will supply the UK in years to come? Thanks!

  4. The aggression, criminal activity, anti capitalist and anti police stand taken by the protestors along with frequent road closures, and bad behaviour have destroyed local support at PNR. What an own goal!

    • Now don’t be a Johnson Peeny!

      The vast majority of people I meet at PNR are not criminals, aggressive, anti-capitalist or anti police. This button pushing PR is a bit tiresome, but if it’s all you’ve got ….

  5. Goodness refracktion-even for you, there seems to be an unusual level of confusion today! 3-0 tends to do that. Try Giggling CURRENT Ineos employment levels, UK and elsewhere. “…if you are able to EXTEND that to NEW businesses” was not a clue but a firm statement.

    The “support of that statement” will come, if, and when, Ineos can produce gas in UK cheaper than importing the fracked gas from USA, and replacing it. I know you have trouble with Ineos economics but you might consider the cost of ships as well as the cargo. I said “maybe”, and until it happens we will not know. You said “everyone seems to agree”-well, they don’t, otherwise Ineos would not have sought an injunction in the first place.

    A more secure energy bill is one that is not controlled by OPEC, or conflicts in parts of the world over the horizon, or even simply, local politics that interrupt supplies. I remember all of those dramatically producing energy bills in the UK that were far from “secure”, indeed at one time rocketed 400%. I thought you would be of an age group to remember that?

    • Martin – maybe I missed it but our Swiss friends don’t actually produce any shale gas in the UK – they haven’t even drilled a hole to do so yet have they, so LOL to your “firm statement”.

      Correct me if I am wrong but the futures prices of UK natural gas are for gas already in the UK system aren’t they? (Gas anywhere in the national transmission system within the UK counts as NBP gas), so I’m not overfussed by what Ineos or others are paying to ship shale gas from the US. If they can do it cost competitively they will and that will increase cost pressure on UK shale. If not they will source elsewhere. I am also struggling to see what the cost price of imported UK gas has to do with Ineos taking out an injunction, but I’m sure when you’ve calmed down you’ll be able to explain.

      If you really believe that the volumes of gas produced from UK fracking are going to make our bills “secure” in the terms you quote you are in for a rude awakening. Security comes from having a balanced portfolio of energy sources with a supply base that isn’t over reliant on a single supplier. I’ll allow you that UK shale could play a very small part in that IF it could be extracted at commercial prices, but it is not going to give us any “security” on its own. At best it could contribute in a small and very temporary way to a diversified supply base.

  6. Ignorance is bliss. Jim Ratcliffe is not Swiss, he comes from Manchester. Try looking at Grangemouth re. employment and taxation, if you can’t look further afield..

    I am obviously dealing with an impossible task where blinkers ignore £500m of proposed investment and treat it as removed from reality. I did suspect there was a little awareness of economics but I must admit my error there. Well, keep thinking that if you wish, it isn’t my job to explain. Clarity will emerge in it’s own time, or if you can’t wait, you can research for yourself-but I suspect not. You might find out that currently the UK is pretty reliant on GAS and OIL.

    2-0 today, so far. Goal of the season on the horizon. DYOR regarding that.

    • According to a filing in July 2017 published by companies house Mr Ratcliffe resident in Switzerland Martin. Mo he’s not a Swiss national though. Fair point and I stand corrected.

      Ineos moved there for tax purposes some years ago though (Rolle) but now have an office in Knightsbridge as well. Is it their HQ now?

      Ineos and Grangemouth? Not two words I’d normally expect to see in a positive context in a sentence about taxation (especially VAT) or employment (Pension rights , unions) but there we are. We all have different perspectives don’t we?

      Nobody is ignoring the investments Martin. We are just questioning how sensible they are. Nothing you are saying gives me any reason to change my opinions because you aren’t really trying to offer any credible arguments.

  7. Question away as much as you like. I suspect Jim is further up the UK rich list than you are. I go on results. I do tend to ignore Unite twaddle. I did my research on the attempt by Unite to dictate activities, or lack of, at Grangemouth and Ineos played hardball-and won. So, Grangemouth stayed open, and received a big new investment to secure those jobs. Get used to it refracktion, the big boys play hardball. It doesn’t make them bad people, they just play hardball. I have worked for a few, and it is not uncommon.

    The history of the move by Ineos to a tax base in Switzerland and then back again to the UK is pretty well documented, if you want to check. When you have, you may have some empathy-Jim was not going to be done over by Gordon Brown, you were refracktion-how’s the diesel going? I think I will follow Ineos in terms of financial decisions.

    • Well Hell yes Martin – Jimbo has more notes than I do , or you do. So OK that’s your value system. I suspect we knew that.

      I have already read about Ineos and Grangemouth and Ineos and VAT thanks, and oddly enough my empathy is not with you or your pal Jim. Maybe we just have a different world view Martin, but I am happy with mine. You follow Ineos, as they and you seem to share the same level of empathy and compassion. Good Luck as our friend Peeny would say 🙂

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