Updated: East Yorkshire drilling protest tops 50 hours

190511 WEst Newton uwoc 1

Third day of lock-on protest outside Rathlin Energy’s West Newton exploration site in East Yorkshire, 11 May 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Updated 13 May 2019

A protest outside an oil and gas exploration site at West Newton, north of Hull, has entered its third day.

Two people locked their arms together inside a concrete and steel device at the entrance to the site operated by Rathlin Energy at 5am on Thursday morning (9 May 2019).

They have now remained in the gateway for two nights.

A specialist police protester-removal team from North Yorkshire arrived on Saturday morning. The protesters were released from the device and arrested.

A spokesperson for Humberside Police said Toni Brigham (30) and James Francis (33), both of Lincoln, were both charged with obstructing the highway and obstructing a police officer.

190511 WEst Newton uwoc 2

Specialist protester-removal team outside Rathlin Energy’s West Newton oil and gas exploration site, 11 May 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Eyewitnesses reported that police removed blankets last night and refused to allow hot drinks for the protesters. Blankets were allowed again at about 12.30am and drinks at about 6.30am this morning, they said.

Humberside police said officers remained in the area “in order to allow people to go about their lawful business and to protect the right of individuals to take part and exercise their right to peaceful protest”.

Chief Inspector Lee Edwards said:

“Prior to their arrest, officers monitored the welfare of the two protesters, allowing supporters to provide them with blankets and other essentials as night fell and temperatures dropped.

“They were removed from the area by specialist teams from North Yorkshire Police this morning and remain in our custody at this time.

“Our aim is to minimise disruption to local communities and road networks during any ongoing protests at the site.

“We are working closely with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and will liaise with representatives from all sides to address concerns.

“We are committed to fulfilling our duty to protect the human rights of all groups and individuals with an interest in this situation.”

In a statement at the start of the action, the protesters said drilling equipment to sink a second well at the site had created an “industrial scar on the landscape”. They also said there was a need to “reduce and eradicate the use of fossil fuels immediately”.

“With recent declarations of climate emergency by administrations at all levels of power across the country, both locally and nationally, this group believe that if people do not step forward to highlight and take action against the industrialisation of the countryside we could be set to see many of our landscapes and precious species start to disappear.”

Vehicles were able to enter the site on Thursday but other protesters blocked the site on Friday and Saturday.

40 replies »

  1. If hot drinks and blankets were ineed removed, this raises not a few issues on the human rights, community policing fronts.

  2. Blankets were removed video evidence available. Police received phone complaints, Solicitor warning and eventually had to allow access to welfare as nobody had been charged and human rights were being removed. Well done guys for keeping going. Parliament declares a climate emergency and then that happened.

    • Just lost for words… just who in the hell do they think they are removing blankets and dictating when someone can have a drink or not …especially when they haven’t been arrested. Those officers should be reprimand severely.

  3. Fantastic well done to all. Police taking away blankets and drinks not allowed to do that in custody. am so proud to be an active part of this movement. Courage and endurance to us all Frances Ocean

  4. In fairness, whilst some people may say their human rights are being breached, what about the jobs of the people trying to bring this project to fruition? The lorry drivers stuck on the side of the road because they cannot deliver, the Police who could be preventing and old lady being mugged, attending a burglary etc etc. Seems to me these types of protests cause as much harm as the protest itself. Yes, stand there waving banners by all means. but don’t affect the lives of others with your beliefs!

    • But we’ve tried standing there waving banners, we’ve tried letters to our MPs, to the Secretary of State, to the Government. We’ve tried marches and taking a petition with a huge number of signatures and handing it in to Downing Street. Do you honestly think if that worked people would be lying on the cold ground for days on end? They leave us no choice. It’s a Human Right to peacefully protest.

  5. Perhaps it didn’t work Pauline because you are a minority and UK is still (just) a democracy. Yes, sometimes a Government react positively to a minority, but sometimes they don’t react positively to a majority.

    Looks like the companies who are not seeking the injunctions are the ones seen as the easy touch. Easy remedy.

  6. Why don’t these protestors target the real world polluters, rather than try to damage the British economy? The Chinese are building a new coal fired power station every month! 80% of China’s electricity comes from coal fired power stations! To target a small British company producing cheap gas for the British citizen rather than importing gas for our essential current domestic use from countries around the world that don’t give a stuff about the environment, the planet or human rights, seems delusional beyond belief. Grow up and contribute to society, rather than constantly trying to bully it.

    • So Terri, perhaps we should all stop buying cheap goods from China, then the coal power stations will grind to a halt?

        • Stop cooking food and heating our homes? Very sensible. There’s not enough renewable energy right now Sherwulfe so we need gas, and we might as well get it from our country rather than propping up a corrupt government somewhere else in the world.

          • Have you ever heard of a salad Terri, or even grown your own? You don’t have to cook all your food 😉

            Heating homes, well we have done this one many times before.

            So Terri, tell me, if we maximise on renewables by catching up with the progress we should have been making if the oil lobbied cons weren’t chomping through the proverbial purse, do YOU think it would work? – renewables maxed out plus a small top up of NS gas? Would that possibly stop imports [particularly if we don’t export, as we do now], and would it slow down the path to hell with increased climate change? I wonder? Do you?

            Think for yourself Terri, don’t voice the views of your employers…

        • Wow Please enlighten us all to this new technology you have that alows our windmills to work with no wind. & solar panels to work when its dark . otherwise stop spouting Horse Manure.

            • Untried, untested (on any scale), unable to attract funding because it looks too expensive, unable to convince those who will be inconvenienced it will be worth the trouble.

              Apart from that, I like the idea of it. If someone can show it is worthwhile via private equity then it may play a part. But as they have not been able to do that, there may just be a hint as to the problem.

              • ‘Untried, untested (on any scale), unable to attract funding because it looks too expensive, unable to convince those who will be inconvenienced it will be worth the trouble.’ – yes, UK shale is…

                • Difference is, Passepartout, tidal requires the tax payer to fund it to find out, UK shale does not!

                  (Wonder how far £1.5 billion would go regarding fusion development?)

                  A fairly distinct difference and one that certainly makes old cynics like me think that if a project can not obtain investment then it is not as good as some would suggest. After all, even Mr. Musk continues to get investment 15 years without showing a profit, so the bar is not set very high.

                  Being even more cynical, I suspect the Swansea project will eventually get the go ahead, show huge financial over runs and end up as a example of how to build a very expensive pier. By which time the Minister who authorised it would be long gone, but the tax payers would still be there paying the cost.

                • You again mention ‘regarding fusion development’ but know nothing about it. This research is already funded by the taxpayer….

                  But as usual you are evading the obvious….climate change. You need to get out of bed with the dead…

                  Loving our trip;next…

                • Except it was myself who had to inform you regarding fusion not too long ago, Passepartout! Of course no-one will have noticed that. Oh, yes they did.

                  Some fusion research is funded by the tax payer. I’m sure a further £1.5 Billion could be welcomed.

                  Avoiding climate change? No, agreeing with Greta. “Creative carbon accounting”. Something West Newton could help with very quickly.

                  Not very consistent you antis.

                  Meanwhile “Electric car sales stall after cut to grants”

                  Hardly surprising when Prof. Bruce states:

                  “Our challenge is how to give it a longer driving range. It’s not good enough now. How can we make it refuel faster? Half an hour to fast charge a car still isn’t good enough”!!!

                  So, electric cars currently cost around £10k more than petrol/diesel and don’t perform! Seems reaction has worked that out as well as Mr. Musk. No wonder the UK is reluctant-they remember the drive to diesel!

                  Suggest when you manage to come up with solutions that actually work in scale then there may be some more engagement. Fusion could be one, hydrogen another but trying to throw the baby out even before the bathwater has been produced, piped and warmed because the money was wasted is an interesting but flawed approach.

                • Just to remind you, we had a nice chat about Tokamak (Energy) and their ST 40, privately funded-although I believe they are recipients of other funding also. Unless it was someone else under the same name!?

                  They believe they should have energy into the grid by 2030.

                  (No, I am not convinced about that myself. No more so than energy from the Swansea Lagoon.)

      • Your point on China has merit, and the heavily criticized US president appears to be doing something about it. Or perhaps you think we should all stand by and watch while the Chinese Belt and Road initiative leads to the entire world environment being completely in the hands of the Chinese?

  7. Obviously a few who don’t believe Greta! What was she saying about UK and “creative carbon accounting”???

    UK currently importing large quantities of oil and gas, some of which could be produced in UK. The “creative carbon accounting” means UK looks good regarding emissions of those imports, the reality is the carbon emissions relating to those imports are higher than they would be if UK production replaced them.

    So, apart from Passepartout, who believes that the £100 billion investment just to replace petrol and diesel cars by 2030 will also sit alongside no need for imports, it would appear there are some double standards at play. Quick and relatively inexpensive steps forward are to be sacrificed to support a dogma that actually works against carbon reduction. Surely Greta can’t be wrong??!! Any development at West Newton will reduce reliance upon imports-it will do diddly squat to development of renewables. Perhaps the antis are not convinced the economics of some renewables will stack up sufficiently to encourage support from the majority? Or, are just after publicity?

  8. The two activists have been cut out and bailed away from the East Riding.

    The coach and cars have returned the supporters back to Blackpool and elsewhere in the UK.

    And the rig continued to drill the second well at West Newton uninterrupted through all the excitement.

    It seems an awful lot of fossil fuels were burnt and carbon emitted, just to boost individual’s fame and egos.

    • Mr Harrison, were you there, hiding down the lane somewhere behind high fences and huge numbers of Police?

      The supporters I met were from New Ellerby, Withernwick, Aldbrough, Flamborough. Including a local county councillor. Never saw a coach. There were some from other areas but the majority were local. Ages ranged from one year to 81 years old.

      You really are talking rubbish for the benefit of Rathlin Energy.

      Dare I say ‘Fake News’ it’s really false propaganda you’re spouting, but Fake News fits.

      [Edited by moderator]

  9. [Edited by moderator] claim a 1 year old is a supporter!

    Good job these youngsters, like Dominic (11) get a little wiser as they get older and the schools start teaching them the real signs of fake news.

    But, thanks for giving the up-date John. Always useful to have several sources of information on this subject.

    • Mr Collier, I’m not being paid, I live within sight and sound of West Newton. If all you can do is make silly comments like that, you are rather lost. Mr Harrisons information is spurious. Believe what you wish.

      • R Burnand, within sight of the mess and litter the activists are creating?, how about the noise they make and the smell from their sewage?

        The activists have failed to learn the lessons from 2013/14 and have once again turned the majority of the local community against them. The declaring of a “party” down there was the final straw, even for those locals who are against Rathlin.

        This is not a game to locals who are now starting to feel bullied and frightened to speak out.

        It is a shame you missed Tina and the Nana’s coach trip from Blackpool. The language towards the police when the coach was prevented from entering Pipers Lane really had to be heard to be believed.

        Those men and women are our local responders that we trust, appreciate, rely on and have no fight with. Hard working tax payers who we thank for maintaining peace and order yesterday.

        As for the East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor that I saw present yesterday. I would have thought there were bigger issues for him to be dealing with, in the deprived area he represents. Rather than trying to interfere in a ward that already has three councillors more than capable of dealing with issues effecting their electorate.

      • [Edited by moderator]

        What we do know is spurious is that a 1 year old is NOT a supporter. Maybe taken along to see that big girls and boys also require nappies, but not a supporter.

        [Edited by moderator]

        I think Mr. Harrison has just demonstrated that his information was gained from being present.

        I believe what I wish [edited by moderator]

  10. The Entitled Mob eh. who Asked them to protest I certainly didn’t they are not there on my behalf nor anyone else I know off. so why do these few fanatics think they have the right to disrupt legitimate businesses. if they have an issue then they should take it to Westminster After all wasn,t it the Government who sold them the Licence in the first place

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s