Legal

Horse Hill protest case dropped “in the public interest”

Two campaigners who locked themselves together outside the Horse Hill oil site near Gatwick Airport more than a year ago will not be prosecuted.

Protest outside Horse Hill oil site in Surrey, 10 December 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had dropped charges against Gillian Fletcher and Steve Lowes because the case was not “in the public interest”. They had been due to appear at Staines Magistrates Court tomorrow (14 January 2021).

Both had been charged with wilful obstruction of the highway. It was alleged they locked their arms together in a steel pipe in front of the Horse Hill gates for eight hours on 10 December 2019.

The campaigners, members of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, were informed on 8 January 2021 that the charges against them had been dropped.

The CPS said:

“The decision to discontinue these charges has been taken because a prosecution is not needed in the public interest.”

The action was part of an ongoing protest against a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc, which has permission to produce oil at the site for 20 years.

Gillian Fletcher, 58, from Wokingham, said:

“We carried out this action over a year ago to bring attention to UKOG’s unnecessary and destructive plans to extract oil and gas across the south east.

“They intend to industrialise our precious countryside and ruin our environment in order to extract fossil fuels which we don’t need and which will contribute to our own extermination. We and others will not stand by silent and allow them to do this.”

Steve Lowes, 49 from Staines, said:

“The Government has been using the current health situation to subtly erode rights of protest in a way which will be difficult to reverse when the situation changes. 

“They have been insisting on prosecuting peaceful protestors, forcing them to travel against their own guidelines to reach courts for hearings. 

“The dropping of our charges as ‘not being needed in the public interest’ is perhaps an indication not only that some prosecutors are aware of who the real criminals are in this scenario, but that they are starting to exert their independence from political interference.”

In November 2020, the CPS discontinued charges against two women and two men, also members of Extinction Rebellion, following a separate protest at Horse Hill in June 2020. In that case, the CPS said there was “not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”. Extinction Rebellion said there was “abundant photographic evidence reported by news outlets”.

An interim civil injunction remains in force at the Horse Hill site, prohibiting specified forms of protest.

UKOG said in December 2019 that it was considering whether to take formal action against Gillian Fletcher and Steve Lowes for contempt of court. The company accused them of being “in clear breach” of the injunction. So far, UKOG has not publicly pursued the pair.

A legal challenge to the injunction is due to be heard at the High Court next month. It is the first interim injunction secured by UK onshore oil and gas companies to go to trial to decide whether it should be made final.

33 replies »

  1. Of course, the main problem with fossil fuels, is that the use of them and the monopolistic control of exploration and production provides an awful lot of political clout.

    The fossil fuel oiligarchies have been using the threat of withdrawing their support, both politically and industrially, in countries that have rich fossil fuel deposits. The result is never beneficial for the populace at large. Corruption and self serving greed always follow.

    We have seen across the world how counties with large deposits of fossil fuels are destabilised and forced into regime change and civil war if they dont play ball. Then the fossil fuel oiligarchies muscle in a run the show purely for profit. The result is nearly always massive pollution and oppressive government control while the real profits are taken off country and politicians are bribed and turned into self serving tin pot gods in countries which are in poverty and starvation if you are not part of the ruling class.

    Happy to provide plenty of examples anytime.

    Of course that methodology can be used with any monopolistic product or resource.

    The real question, is how to prevent that mind set from exploiting every resource on the planet and how to change systems of politics and social mores, so that the object of the exercise, is only for the benefit and evolution of all for everyone. Not just a wealthy few.

    That is the real problem that faces mankind. No progress of any real substance can be made in any field of human activity and the natural environment, if the only outcome that is allowed to exist, is greed, monetary profit, political power, and total exploitation of every resource, be that animal, vegetable, or mineral.

    We are are going to have to grow up sometime as a species.

    It might as well be now.

    In fact, it better had be now.

    Or there will be no species of any kind on a dead planet.

  2. So, landowners were NOT guaranteed a net profit of £150k per year, per wind turbine, to initially “demonstrate” what a great idea they were?? Self serving greed, or what!

    And the world’s richest man, who has just been stopped (temporary) from trashing a German forest, in order to become richer still? Oh yes, Mr. Musk!

    And Cash for Ash!?

    Obviously, green is pretty close to greed.

    • Quote from my post:-

      “Of course that methodology can be used with any monopolistic product or resource.”

      Wind farms are based on twenty year old technology and are not as efficient as the latest technology can make them. Like i said, its the mind set that must be changed. Any resource, renewable or non renewable may be exploited with the standard “greed is good” mindset. We need to move away from the greed for profit imperative and into a mindset that only has the greatest good (Gretast good?) for the planet and for all mankind. Not just a greedy few.

      Simply pointing out greed in the opposite camp doesnt solve the problem. Get rid of the greed for money power and control at all costs and concentrate on every technology and human activity being used for the benefit of the planet, and for all life, not just human, and that is the only intelligent way forwards. That is true evolution.

      Speaking of forests being trashed, perhaps it should be noted that Jim Ratcliff is about to trash a Belgian forest to build an ethanol chemical plant? Musk like isnt it…..

      Cash for ash there too.

      Green and greed have an entirely different meaning. Are you saying that because there is only a diffence of one letter in both words that they are similar gramatically? Or that they have a similar meaning? Yes they are one letter apart, in modern spelling, but they mean entirely different things.

      Green is a colour of the visible light spectrum. It has tended to be used both promotionally and derogatorily by various factions, but they are not the same thing at all.

      In actual fact, green is a reflected colour when seen through the human eyes. Everything we see is reflection or filtered through a medium such as air or water. So, in actual fact “green” forests and grasses are not green at all. The main source of energy for chlorphyl in plants that reflects green light. Actually plants derive their photosynthesis from mainly blue light. Green light is not of any use to chlorophyl, and is rejected and reflected back. That is what humans see when looking at a “green” plant or leaf. Most animals cant see green light at all, they see blue or black, but are more sensitive in other frequencies. For some reason, humans are particularly sensitive to green light. Ancient agricultural heretige perhaps.

      https://study.com/academy/answer/green-light-has-a-wavelength-of-499-nm-what-is-the-frequency-in-hz.html

      “we have given λ=500nm=500*10^-9 m

      we are asked to find frequency (f)=?

      .we know that speed of wave of light is 3*10^8 m/s. and speed of light is distance travelled per time interval. v= λ/T , f(frequency)=1/T so , v= λ*f

      then, f=v/ λ, where λ is wavelength in meters and v present speed meters per seconds.

      so, f= (3*10^8 m/s)/(5*10^-7)m

      f= 6*10^14Hz

      therefore frequency of green light with a wavelength of 500nm is 6*10^14 hertz”

      Wheras “greed” is an abhorent destructive human activity that is based upon fear. Fear of lack or scarcity, and is destructive to all other life.

      https://www.dictionary.com/browse/greed

      “Where does greed come from?

      The first records of the word greed come from around the early 1600s. It’s actually a back formation of the adjective greedy, which means that greedy came first and was altered to make the noun greed. The first records of the word greedy come from before 900. It comes from the Old English grædig, which is related to the Gothic grēdags, meaning “hungry.”

      Greed makes people insatiable—meaning that they’re hungry to acquire more and more money or things, but they’re never satisfied with what they have.

      Greed is one of the so-called seven deadly sins in Christian theology. In this context, it is sometimes known by the more formal names of avarice and covetousness.

      In pop culture, greed is associated with the character Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol—so much so that the name Scrooge has become a way of referring to a greedy miser or moneygrubber. A more modern example of a character who personifies greed is Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street, whose catch phrase is “Greed is good.”

      The opposite of greed is often considered to be generosity—a willingness to give away one’s money or possessions instead of being obsessed with acquiring more.”

      So, literally, the words are 500nm is 6*10^14 hertz and Old English grædig, which is related to the Gothic grēdags, meaning “hungry and hence are even less similar to eachother.

      Much better to avoid mixing meanings with merely similar letter spelling isnt it.

      Oh, I am enjoying this!

      Such fun!

      • Gordon Gecko did not say the sentence ‘Greed is Good’, he actually said “that greed, for lack of a better word, is good”! Fact!

        Phil C: Do your views and statements relate to the views of a communist country? Sounds like?!?

        • “Gordon Gecko did not say the sentence ‘Greed is Good’, he actually said “that greed, for lack of a better word, is good”! Fact!”

          Did you supply a source link for that? What is the difference between the long version and the short version? Says the same thing doesnt it?

          “Do your views and statements relate to the views of a communist country? Sounds like?!?”

          Sounds like what? There is no sound involved. What you see, is typing on a digital page, not the spoken word. If you cant use the correct terminology, that lack of logical description only serves to entirely discredit what you write. English grammar is clearly not your strong point is it.

          Perhaps Chinese or Russian is more your native language? Reads like?!? So perhaps your views and statements really do relate to the views of a communist country?

          No. Wrong again. Not doing very well are you? Apparently with no logical argument to supply. It typically resorts to attempts at demonising anyone else with spurious labelling inferences of completely failed political systems? The last desperate attempt at dismal name calling and spurious labelling does not impress, nor convince, it merely points to desperation and failure of your arguments.

          No change there.

          What on Earth has freedom and health for all life on planet Earth got to do with any political insanity system?

          For your information, Communism was set up by the western banks in Russia and China in order to impose total government control over every aspect of life of the populations, while simultaneously destroying the concept of god and religion. Thereby forcing the population in successive generations to increasingly rely on government for everything, including religion.

          We see how fervent and brainwashed populations are in Russia and China and Korea. Dissent is utterly destroyed and millions have been murdered. Those countries have minimised and reduced religion and belief in god to a sideline. The governments want to be seen as unnaproachable and omnipotent and in a god like perfect status. That is a total corruption of all human values into mere subservient slavery and brainwashed obesecence to the saviour government.

          Communism is a deeply flawed spuriously political system that was set up by the western banks and financiers in first Russia, then China. The purpose was to create a godless subservient population that could be made ready to rule the world in the so called new world order. The operation of those regimes was to totally infiltrate, corrupt and take over western democracies and create take over attempts as we have seen in USA with Biden and Harris as clearly communist infiltrators who want to enslave the Americans and imprison dissentors, and we are experiencing the same here in UK too.

          No Elie, i’m apolitical, no system of politics will do anything other than enslave us all. Polarisation of parties is merely a sick game of thrones and nothing will ome from that but chaos and slavery.

        • You should know by now, E-G, that there is a record of inaccuracy with some posters. Excitement overtakes accuracy, and then that is put forward as intelligence!

          Following that, nonsensical conspiracy theories are added into the mix, to substantiate the parallel universe.

          All a very interesting outline of a certain type of activism, but I suspect it does little to make those with genuine, rational, concerns get their message heard and appreciated. But, it seems, with the advent of the Internet, it is the way that all protests/campaigns end up.

          Away now to do some painting. Derived from oil, of course, but there is woad for those who prefer. (That should keep the search engines busy for a while!)

          • Ha! Ha! Is a certain someone spouting more conspiracy theories again? Merely labels itself doesnt it? Simplistic irrelevance at the very least isnt it. At worst, merely dismally incoherent.

            If certain someones, who shall remain nameless, want to refer to communist conspiracy theories then address such comments to the writer of the communist conspriracy theory.

            Not my words.

            In fact the term conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory in of itslf. The act of such an accusation requires belief in the term itself. And therefore any such use of the term is a conspiracy theory in its own intent.

            Ooops! Oh dear, the writer is therefore hoist by its own petard…Again!

            Conspiracy theorist is, as conspiracy theorist does. No change there either.

            And still no contribution to the subject matter of the drill or drop post whatsoever.

            Which, as the usual suspect contributors have clearly forgotten, or are carefully trying to ignore the subject matter, is:-

            Horse Hill protest case dropped “in the public interest”

            Fascinating isnt it. That when nothing intelligent can be said about the subject of the post, all that can be said is to pour out these insanely wild and desperate insinuations and aspersions of communism and conspiracy theories that are intended to demonise and discredit. But do no such thing.

            The use of such insinuations and aspersions actually discredit the “contributor” themselves, and not anyone else.

            Its like talking to a loose incoherent set of vague memes and tropes without any real world context or perception isnt it. An empty void of spurious rhetoric. No substance or subject reference at all.

            No change there….Again.

            This is fun! I knew this year would be a good year! All the usual certain someones who shall remain nameless, very own suspect worms are hatching out and being regularly discredited.

            And not before time either.

            I am enjoying this!

            • This is the end of this spurious desperate attempt at diversion into conspiracy theories perpetuated by certain such “contributors” as we see here, by the way.

              Its a waste of Drill or Drop time and space and does not address the subject of the post.

              If certain contributors cannot refer to the subject of the post, and continue to make these really rather laughable insanely desperate diversions, accusations, aspersions and insinuations.

              Then that is their look out…..Or lighthouse…… Ooops!

  3. That was illuminating!

    “This is the end of this spurious attempt at diversion into conspiracy theories”

    Well, that sounds familiar, and one can but hope, but I suspect they will soon return, and from the previous posters. This poster, and it can be checked, mentioned nothing about communism.

    So, “dropped in the public interest”.

    Quite reasonable. Why spend more money on prosecution than would be gained in fines-that would just be crowd funded?

    However, probably a good thing to enable an injunction to be maintained, so, perhaps not the outcome some would like to present. Time will tell.

    • Ahh! Still stretching out the fantasy delusions of conspiracy theories ad nauseam and ad infinitum?

      Tut! Tut!

      Has illumination really finally reached the lighthouse? Getting a bit dim in there perhaps?

      And! Returned to the subject at last! The hint finally landed in the in-box did it?

      Where did I say anyone in particular mentioned communism or conspiracy theory? Except by reference to the originator? In fact I dont recall referring to anyone in particular at all?

      Far from it. If someone wants to take anything personally, then that is merely unfortunate.

      Amusing little game this, isnt it. Silly, irrelevant, but amusing.

      I am sure that Gillian Fletcher and Steve Lowes were perfectly honest and stated the truth about why they protested. (apologies for repeating the text from the subject matter from Drill or Drop, but as you can see, its better to keep to the facts rather than go off on yet more long winded diversions into fantasy.)

      From what Gillian Fletcher, 58, from Wokingham, Steve Lowes, 49 from Staines reportedly said about was to bring attention to UKOG’s unnecessary and destructive plans to extract oil and gas across the south east.

      That:-

      “They intend to industrialise our precious countryside and ruin our environment in order to extract fossil fuels which we don’t need and which will contribute to our own extermination. We and others will not stand by silent and allow them to do this.”

      “The Government has been using the current health situation to subtly erode rights of protest in a way which will be difficult to reverse when the situation changes.

      “They have been insisting on prosecuting peaceful protestors, forcing them to travel against their own guidelines to reach courts for hearings.

      “The dropping of our charges as ‘not being needed in the public interest’ is perhaps an indication not only that some prosecutors are aware of who the real criminals are in this scenario, but that they are starting to exert their independence from political interference.)~

      Perfectly clear, and not a mention of “condemning” anything at all is there? Though the political motivated action of prosecuting protestors and using emergency measures as a cover, does appear to stem from a typically communist behavioural trait doesnt it?

      It Wwas said “that some prosecutors are aware of who the real criminals are in this scenario, but that they are starting to exert their independence from political interference.”

      So, aparently there are some in the legal profession that are not willing to be influenced by political motives? Whatever insane political party source and country of origin that truly comes from of course? Communism perhaps?

      Always happy to correct errors from whatever source.

      Have a nice day…..

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