Human rights campaigner urges oil company to drop High Court bid for injunction


Bianca Jagger. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Bianca Jagger is calling on UK Oil and Gas, the company behind oil exploration at sites in southern England, to withdraw its proposed injunction against environmental protesters.

The company is going to the High Court on Monday (19 March 2018) to seek an order which would outlaw lawful protests where the main intention is to hurt its business interests. Details

People living near UKOG sites have said they will challenge the injunction at the hearing. Details

Ms Jagger, President and Chief Executive of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, said the proposed injunction “rides roughshod” over legitimate and peaceful protest.

“Attack on freedom of expression and democracy”

In a statement last night, she said it was her duty to support the residents in what she described as “their efforts to defend their fundamental rights”:

“UKOG’s attempt to silence environmental defenders with an injunction is an attack on freedom of expression and democracy.

“I am appalled that residents of South East England, are being threatened with intimidation and censorship for speaking out against the potentially irreversible damage to their way of life, to their water sources, to the air, and their environment by unconventional drilling operations.”

The proposed injunction would apply to UKOG’s oil exploration sites at Horse Hill in Surrey and Broadford Bridge and Markwells Wood in West Sussex.

The company has said it intended to use conventional methods to extract oil from these sites. But opponents question this, pointing to the use of acidisation, where diluted hydrochloric acid is put down a well to dissolve rocks and release the oil.

“Undemocratic and draconian injunction”

Ms Jagger said:

“The harms and uncertainties of shale gas and oil extraction using acidisation are well-documented – it brings the risk of surface and ground water contamination, radiation, damages air quality, triggers seismic events and impacts on climate change due to CO2 emissions, fugitive methane emissions and the continued reliance on fossil fuels.

“I call on UKOG to withdraw its application for an undemocratic and draconian injunction, which is a shameless attempt to ride roughshod over local people’s right to peaceful, lawful protest.”

Ms Jagger added that the United Nations Environment Programme recently recognised that violations of environmental rights had a profound impact on human rights.

She said:

“Those who struggle to protect the environment, the planet and its people should be celebrated. Instead they are being persecuted, harassed and in some countries, they are killed.”

Injunction hearing details

The injunction application is due to be heard in the High Court at 10.30am on Monday 19 March, at the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL.

The challengers from Surrey and Sussex will be represented by civil rights lawyer, Michael Oswald, and his team at Bhatt Murphy solicitors.

  • The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation commissioned the report A Human Rights Impact Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing and other Unconventional Gas Development in the UK. This concluded there were potential violations of: the rights to life and security of the person; rights to water and health; respect for home and private life; public participation in decision-making processes; the rights of future generations; and the human rights dimensions of climate change. DrillOrDrop report


26 replies »

  1. Thank you Bianca, this whole injunction scenario is little more than a government sanctioned attempt to overturn democracy in this country. We must not allow this UKOG attempt and the Ineos injunction to desecrate hundreds of years of human rights just to allow onshore oil and gas invading corporations to destroy our country for nothing more than greed and avarice.

    • China to institutes social licence to travel. This is all ready operated, somewhat more quietly by western governments.
      Considering the way this country is rapidly descending down the slippery slide of totalitarianism and a police state, we would be well advised to see how this is being implemented here. Watch this Corbett Report:

      ( )

      If you are in any doubt this is happening here, look at those who have been prevented from entry into Uk recently.

      We need to be aware of just how fast these total control moves can be implemented.

  2. Who?

    Wonder how she manages to do what she does without not only “risking” some of the environmental damage she refers to, but actually doing it-and probably in the comfort of First Class.

    • A starter for your ‘who’ MC?’
      ‘Bianca Jagger is a prominent spokeswoman for human rights, social justice and environmental protection in a wide variety of threatened locales. Born in Nicaragua, she studied political science in Paris, married and divorced Mick Jagger, and became deeply involved in upheavals across Latin America. From the late 1970s onward she worked unstintingly with humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Washington Office for Latin America. Among other honors, Ms. Jagger received the 1994 United Nations Earth Day award, the 1997 Green Globe award from the Rain Forest Alliance for her efforts on behalf of saving tropical rain forests and securing the rights of indigenous peoples, and an “Abolitionist of the Year” award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.’

  3. This is not about class Martin , contamination of the air and water is not selective it affects everyone . Sniping at anyone who stands up for human rights is not very clever either.

  4. Well done to Bianca Jagger for joining this fight against corporate takeover of British law. These injunctions are clearly a breach of the Human Rights Act, but the companies are ensuring that the hearings are held in business courts, so that only their business interests are considered.

  5. So, Jono, how much more contamination of air and water comes from Wytch Farm rather than tankers coming up the Solent from Saudi? And thinking about that question, do remember the Torrey Canyon (and many others since.)

    This is certainly not about class, it does have something to do with those who jet around the world First Class (maybe from Gatwick) and tell us not to do what they do. (Before you ask, my passport was allowed to expire some years ago.)

    • Martin you are right to highlight the enormous amount of pollution, environmental damage and negative health impacts caused from fossil fuel extraction, transportation and use. They all harm people the planet and are causing disastrous changes to the worlds climate. The sooner we can rid the world of them the better. And I am sure one passenger on a scheduled flight will not have a carbon footprint anything like the size of the industry and the multinational oil and gas firms that fly execs and workers all over the world to extract fossil fuels. So I say good on Bianca for speaking out.

  6. Yes, Sherwulfe-I think I knew most of that, but thanks.

    Didn’t a lady in Burma receive an award a few years ago (sorry, still use the old terminology.) Awards, to me, are not always a validation.

  7. where is the evidence to support these claims of contamination of the water & air & other health Hazards Associated with gas & oil exploration? why have we not heard of any incidents if these claims are real Present your evidence as fact? Not just scaremongering. I don,t see any of you protesting in salisbury where there really is a threat of contamination.

  8. If I & others block a busy road by “slow walking” etc., cause major traffic jams, prevent the public from going about its business & potentially endanger life by hindering emergency services, does anyone really think the police should just stand by putting my “right” to cause chaos before the rights of all others?

    • If I & others block a busy road by “slow fracking” etc., cause major traffic jams, prevent the public from going about its business & potentially endanger life by hindering emergency services, does anyone really think the police should just stand by putting my “right” to cause chaos before the rights of all others?

      One word, just one word and such obfuscated false outrage suddenly leaps into focus?

      Go figure

      • Phil C, I am trying to figure but am lost. If a road is blocked by “slow fracking” (whatever that is) presumably we both agree it should be cleared & access restored.? So what is your point please?
        If my slow walking prevented Bianca & her mates getting to court on time I bet there would be strident demands for “the police to do their job”

            • Dear dear, still not figuring hard enough are we? Do the protectors have to explain everything to you guys?

              Its so simple really, no fracking, no protest, no slow walking. See? Slow walking is a direct result of the fracking industry imposing its unwanted unasked for and unwelcome presence in our countryside communities.

              If the fracking and associated avoidances of the word operators weren’t there, there would be no legal protest and slow walking.

              Not rocket science is it?


  9. I thought the subject was about oil extraction in the south of England Jack, that would replace oil being imported?

    Oil is already being extracted in the south of England-at one time at 150k BOD from one site. Where is the water pollution, air pollution and other health hazards? Interesting how when this subject comes up there is absolutely no evidence, but a little later the same conflation is attempted in the same circumstances. I would have thought a new approach could have been worked out by now.

    • Good evening Martin ,

      Your point regarding the article only being about Oil extraction in the South of England is correct, but Gasman has raised on this page, a question regarding Air pollution from Oil and Gas extraction….

      As the Number One O&G extraction process in the USA is from Fracking, the articles I put forward are relevant to the UK people.

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