Opposition

Anti-fracking group condemns “aggressive eviction” of protest camp

pnr 191119 Ros Wills 3

Eviction of New Hope protest camp, 19 November 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

The anti-fracking campaign, Frack Free Lancashire, has criticised yesterday’s eviction of a protest camp near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site.

The group accused the enforcement company of aggression and of making false statements about camp residents.

The eviction, which began at 6.30am, involved 30 security staff and reportedly nearly 50 police officers.

Frack Free Lancashire said camp residents had been given no warning and no time to collect their belongings. They described how they were taken from sleeping spaces in the dark and cold. Homes and personal belongings, including solar panels and a wind turbine, were bulldozed.

Residents were not allowed to try to retrieve possessions for more than five hours, Frack Free Lancashire said. Pet cats were frightened by security dogs. Eyewitnesses counted up to 49 police officers at one point in the operation.

The eviction company, Able Enforcements, said in a press release that the operation was carried out under common law rights.

Frack Free Lancashire said the landowner had given no written or verbal notice to the camp.

The group also criticised what it described as “derogatory and untrue” statements made by the company in the press release.

Steve Wood, the operations director, said Able Enforcements had met many of the camp residents before. He said:

“We knew what to expect in terms of aggression, abuse and violence”.

But Frack Free Lancashire said:

“We wholly reject this defamatory statement and know the camp residents to be peaceful and a welcome part of our community.

“The camp was been established with the landowner’s permission and community support almost three years ago. They have in, turn, supported the local residents in their battle against failed fracking company, Cuadrilla. They are part of the community.

“We will stand together with our friends, who have purposely been made homeless following this inhumane eviction process and will work together as a community to assist however we can.”

16 replies »

  1. You only need to look at the web site for Able Enforcements, they boast about evicting Travelers and Protesters. [Edited by moderator]

  2. Perhaps if the Protesters had left when asked there would not have been any need for this however, clearly the Protesters had no respect for other people’s property by their continual occupation of the site so the owners of the site were left with no option. Video evidence of the protesters shows that they, the Protesters, were far from peaceful or pleasant.

  3. Camp residents are peaceful…??? Really…??? Many would agree that is a lie and here is the evidence proving that… very few in the community stand with them, the majority want them, their intimidation and violence gone… including many local anti frackers who welcomed them in 2017 to be turned on at the roadside and online… see the truth not the lie with your own eyes… https://www.facebook.com/PNR-Anti-Fracking-Protest-Truth-Reality-101232571240649/

  4. Dale,

    How would you like to be forcibly removed from your home?

    Are you local by the way or part of the reformed pro-fracking propaganda machine?

    Anyway the issue at the heart of all this is whether or not fracking can safely do what was promised on the tin by Cameron, Egan, Menzies and co:

    1. Create tens of thousands of high paid jobs in Lancashire.

    2. Create demand for massive amounts of accommodation and goods in Lancashire.

    3. Pump massive amounts of cheap shale gas into people’s homes in Lancashire.

    ALL THIS WITHOUT CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGING EARTHQUAKES, TOXIC GASEOUS EMISSIONS OR WATER SHORTAGES.

    OBVIOUSLY NOT!

    AND THAT’S WHY FRACKING NEEDS BANNING IN LANCASHIRE, THE UK AND EVERYWHERE!

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