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. Left wing mentality : moan about everything, provide no plausible alternatives and of course expect someone else to pay.

    • Right wing mentality, think you know best, don’t listen to any of the arguments, put down anyone who disagrees with you, look after number one.

  2. Expecting others to pay? They are putting themselves forward to fight for the rights of every UK citizen to peacefully protest. If injunctions like this become common place our rights will slowly be eroded. UKOG and the rest of the oilies and their investors expect the air, land, water and the those people living alongside drilling operations to pay with their health whilst a few people line their pockets. And in the event of contamination, the companies involved do not have the money to pay for a clean up operation of contamination, so tax payers will also be paying financially as well as with their health. I know who I’d rather support and give my money to.

    • whats oppressive about it ? They only want you to stop interfering with their lawful business don,t see anything oppressive about that.

  3. Really, Jono? What’s all this moaning about austerity then?

    If some want to throw money at such things, it’s their choice. Beats funding the personal lives of some Oxfam execs. I suppose. I think they also used the argument that their needs for financial assistance were merited, for the good of humanity. Connected? Well, yes it is with oil prices being manipulated back towards $100/barrel and it will be the poorest around the world who will suffer the most from that, with starvation and mortality rates increasing in some countries as a result.

    So, Dorkinian, whilst you are content to inflict that “oppression”, no help from me.

  4. Please don’t credit me with such power to oppress anybody , I just do my little to help what I believe in , oil and manipulation is a problem caused by greed, that will never change .

  5. Interesting Panda, but not factual. Do we not “enjoy” Europe’s largest on shore oil site in UK? Are those problems you refer to exhibited there? The answer is a definite no, and that is the real world, not the fantasy you put forward.

  6. A link to an article citing over 150 peer reviewed research paper, granted many are on the effects found in animals, (which are just as important to keep healthy as humans). But further into the article it states “Still, the new review found “strong evidence” of a link in humans between drilling and decreased semen quality in men, higher miscarriages in women and increased risk of birth defects in children, Dr. Nagel said. The review is published in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health.”

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