Legal

Residents seek funds to challenge UKOG protest injunction

180424 UKOG AGM protest

Protest outside UKOG annual general meeting. Photo: Weald Action Group

Opponents of oil drilling in Sussex and Surrey launched a crowd funding appeal this morning to challenge the High Court injunction against protesters sought by UK Oil and Gas Investments.

Members of the coalition organisation, Weald Action Group, gathered for the launch outside the UKOG annual general meeting in London.

Weald Action Group said the appeal would pay for the legal representation of six women from Sussex and Surrey who are challenging the injunction.  At the time of writing (2pm) the appeal had raised more than £3,000.

Earlier this month, UKOG revised the initial injunction order. The company is no longer seeking to prevent people combining together by lawful means to damage its economic interests.

UKOG has also removed the Markwells Wood site in the South Downs from the list of four places named in the injunction. Planning permission for the site has lapsed and UKOG has been ordered to restore the site within six months.  The order still applies to exploration sites at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex and Horse Hill in Surrey, as well as company headquarters in Guildford.

Weald Action Group said the current version still “severely restricts the right to legitimate protest and attempt to control activities on public highways”. The order proposed to prohibit campaigners from watching activities of UKOG or its suppliers.

The group said the injunction, if granted, could set a precedent for other oil companies across the country.

Spokesperson Lorraine Inglis said:

“The mood of the investors at the AGM seemed quite negative, with questions about poor performance at Broadford Bridge and enforcement at Markwells Wood. The answers seemed unsatisfactory.

“The injunction is another costly distraction for this troubled company. ”

Brenda Pollack, Friends of the Earth South East campaigner, said:

 “We strongly support the stance taken by local people opposing UKOG’s attempt to use the law to stifle valid means of showing concerns about oil exploration. This proposed injunction is a serious attack on the rights of local people to protest and campaign against dirty fossil fuel operations.”

 The High Court hearing on the injunction is expected to last three days and to take place in June.

Link to the appeal on the Crowd Justice website

19 replies »

  1. As for whether there are reported health problems among those living in close proximity to Wytch Farm, a proper longterm peer reviewed study of the incidence of birth defects and infertility would need to be carried out before we could come to the “definite no” you mentioned in your reply to my message. As for a fantasy, I don’t live in Disney Land, wish I did, the reality of what is being done to our planet is more than enough to keep me grounded in a depressing reality.

  2. With Wytch Farm having been in operation for many years and also being surrounded by wild life sanctuaries (which many on-shore sites are) you will have problems with that Panda! However, of course we could always look at on-shore sites in some other countries where the situation is quite different, and we will eagerly import oil into Fawley from such countries. Pretty responsible-not.
    I can reference a large factory in Russia where nails were being used in place of fuses to maintain electricity supply-an extremely dangerous practice but it doesn’t mean all UK similar factories should be closed down. Giggle is fun, but produces the information you request.

  3. Having no evidence one way or another proves nothing. It neither proves there is a detrimental effect, no effect or even a positive effect.

  4. Anyhoo, this post isn’t about the rights and wrongs etc of drilling, it’s about the injunction and erosion of our citizen’s rights and a group of five women who are putting themselves forward to defend those rights, and that they are crowd funding for their defence costs.

  5. Citizen’s rights to deliberately cost a company money, who are conducting a legally authorized activity, and then moaning about the company’s financial ability to restore sites! Parents used to stop children having tantrums by withdrawing pocket money, not rewarding them with a bonus.
    Meanwhile, oil has now reached $75/barrel and the cost of that will be filtering down to the well off in Sussex and Surrey, but crashing on the heads of the less wealthy in the UK, and reducing life expectancy in other countries. If crowd funding is to be followed, perhaps crowd fund those who will be impacted by selfish Nimbyism?

    • Isn’t the UKOG and other operators injunctions NIMBYism?

      Is that not what these injunctions are all about?

      No protest?
      No social media?
      No opposition?
      Not In My Back Yard?

      Or perhaps it is NIMFY?

      Not In My Fracking Yard?

      Don’t do as they do, do as they say.

      Sheer hypocrisy as per usual?

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