Climate campaigners blockade Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site

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Protest outside Cuadrlila’s Preston New Road site, 15 March 2018. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Campaigners used two scaffolding tripods to block the entrance to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool this morning.

The action, which began at about 4.30am, was by members of the national group, Reclaim the Power, which coordinated a month of protests outside the site last summer.

Two people from Oxfordshire were suspended on harnesses from the tripods, while others were photographed carrying banners reading “Until We Win”, Not Here, Not Anywhere”, and “Keep it in the ground”.

Fylde Police said it had established a contraflow on the A583 outside the site and delays were expected throughout the day.

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Fylde Police Facebook post, 15 March 2018

One of the campaigners, Louise Simpson, said:

“Fracking gas here in Lancashire or anywhere will only worsen the climate crisis at a time when we know all fossil fuels must stay in the ground. RTP will be here until fracking is no more.”

“Impacted communities – mostly poor, predominately in the Global South – are already enduring the effects of climate change from flooding, to drought, to more frequent and severe extreme weather events, leading to food insecurity and forced displacement.

“It is our responsibility to say ‘no’ to all new fossil fuels, as the local community here in Lancashire have done, and take direct action to ensure that ‘no’ is followed through.”

Henry Belcher, another member of the blockade, said,

“We take this action as a last resort, in solidarity with communities leading the resistance to fracking and wider fossil fuel extraction locally and globally.

“From fracking in Lancashire, to oil pipelines across North America, and coal mining from Colombia to Vietnam, local communities are saying ‘no’ to new fossil fuel infrastructure, but are systematically ignored by the fossil fuel industry, banks and governments who use violence to repress them.”

“Communities most proximate to fossil fuel extraction deserve a democratic say over how their land is used and how their energy is produced. There will be no climate justice without land rights and energy democracy. No climate justice without Indigenous sovereignty. No climate justice without global solidarity.”

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Protest outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, 15 March 2018. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Reclaim the Power is organising a national demonstration outside the Preston New Road on tomorrow (16 InMarch 2018).

The group said its Jig at the Rig event, from 8am- 6pm, was expected to attract hundreds of people.

Cuadrilla is currently drilling two horizontal wells at Preston New Road and is expected to begin fracking in the summer.

Cuadrilla reaction

In a statement, Francis Egan, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla, said:

“We are aware that Reclaim The Power are holding a series of events tomorrow to protest outside our shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road.  We hope that, unlike previous occasions, those involved behave responsibly and ensure that local residents and commuters  are not inconvenienced by any road blockages and unlawful behaviour. Last July Reclaim The Power’s campaign caused lengthy road blockages which severely hampered local traffic, diverted significant police resource to keep the highways safe and resulted in nearly 100 activists being arrested, the majority coming from outside the county.  We respect the right to lawful protest and ask Reclaim The Power to adhere to this and respect the right for local people, including our own employees and contractors, to go about their daily business without any hindrance.”


Lancashire Police said there were six arrests outside Preston New Road last month (February 2018), mainly for allegations of obstruction and public order offences. The total number of arrests since protests began in January 2017 now stands at 337. Of these 312 resulted in charges. There is no data on the number of prosecutions or convictions.

Lancashire Police said the total cost of policing the protests from January 2017-February 2018 was £6.58m

52 replies »

  1. Keep it going PhilipP-patronise them now. Poor little dears can’t help it because they have been misinformed!

    Ever stopped to think they might be better informed and have concluded different to yourself? But, as I say, keep it going. Whilst the antis are trying to keep other antis excited, then the two thirds will remain unimpressed. I suspect some of the two thirds might even find out who the owners of TE are and add that to their “misinformation”. They might find out that INEOS is privately owned and then ignore nonsense about those who support their activities are investors, and only have a financial motivation. Maybe they see posters declaring that the Lake District will be raped by the frackers, but also then see the comments from the ASA, and the moves in the Lake District to remove wind turbines. I could go on, but I have made my point.

  2. Your irony won’t be overlooked Martin “Poor little dears can’t help it because they have been misinformed!” – these are your words not mine, and they have an oddly sinister ring to them, like GottabeKidding’s ‘We have the wealth and the power, so you’ll just have to suck it – losers’. As for Brexit, are of you one of those who, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, would say “in voting for Brexit the people knew exactly what they wanted”? as if they were clearly informed. After nearly two years the Government and the people still don’t know what the destination is going to look like, and those who have gone along with the mischievous brexiteer propaganda are those who will probably end up suffering the most.

  3. Sinister? No, the truth is light, the anti truth is not.

    What are you on about Brexit for, and people don’t know what the destination is going to look like? If you “know” that PhilipP, you are a fantasist, or you live in N. Korea. The rest of us live in the real world where the only certainty is taxation and death, but we get on with life as the alternative is worse. Perhaps some of those Brexiteers were not convinced by all the propaganda from the Remain side-much of which was obviously nonsense at the time, and a good chunk of the rest has been proven so since. They are still at it, quoting nonsense about declines in GDP that are almost as big as our current GDP with the EU! Sorry, that fails the common sense test and is a classic case of how people’s intelligence is abused.

    Where I do agree with Moggy, is that he is elected and paid to govern this country (along with hundreds of others), change our laws, control our borders, decide who we trade with etc. If they are unable to do that, what is the point of them? Yes, there are large numbers of them incapable of doing that and there will need to be a big change, over time, in the personnel. But, the “poor little dears” were not ignorant or ill informed, this was obvious to most.

    • Was the rig shut down or did drilling continue as normal? Only if they manage to stop operations will they have “closed down the site”, delaying the odd truck will have no effect at all, other than pissing off the locals!

  4. Daniel-Like a Premiership side on the verge of relegation proud of their match day programme. What else do they have to cheer up their weekend?

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