Breaking news: We’re blocking Cuadrilla’s fracking site
Most of Gill’s early mornings are spent travelling to her job as a costume designer from her home in Blackpool. But this morning was a little different. Today, Gill is one of twenty people going face to face with fracking firm Cuadrilla.
As you read this, Gill – and about twenty other Greenpeace volunteers – are aiming to fully stop work at Cuadrilla’s site. This morning at around 8AM, they locked themselves to heavy, reinforced blocks in front of Cuadrilla’s site, blocking the entrance and preventing vehicles from delivering supplies.
Since January, Cuadrilla has turned what once was a quiet countryside into an industrial zone. They’ve done this despite overwhelming local opposition, and despite the local county council voting against the industry’s drilling plans.
Even though Theresa May’s government seems determined to ignore local opinion, and allow the fracking firms like Cuadrilla to force themselves on a reluctant communities, people here aren’t ready to give up.
Every single day since January, local anti-fracking groups have peacefully protested outside Cuadrilla’s site. And they’ve already had a big impact.
Thanks to the perseverance and passion of campaigners like Gill, Cuadrilla’s fracking plans are running severely behind scheduled. Indeed the only thing Cuadrilla seems to be successfully creating in Lancashire is worry and concern.
Gill says her family support her peaceful protests against fracking because, like her, they’re deeply concerned about the effect on the local area. In fact, she says a lot of local people are worried. It’s her fears for the planet and countryside that have driven her to take this risk today. All six of those physically blocking the fracking company could be arrested by the police. It all sounds like pretty brave stuff. But Gill tells me “the thought of being arrested is scary, but what’s more scary is fracking being inflicted on Lancashire.”
Lancashire could be the watershed moment for this controversial industry. Another volunteer, Hamish, tells me that’s exactly why he’s taking action today – because the start of fracking would be “pivotal” and that something as unnecessary and destructive as fracking isn’t just an affront to Lancashire but to every single one of us who want to protect our climate and stand up against fossil fuels.
The science is clear – we need to leave the majority of fossil fuels in the ground if we are going to prevent runaway climate change. Burning fracked gas will only make the problem worse.
With only 19% of British people in favour of fracking (compared with 81% support for renewables), it’s no surprise that there are thousands of people trying to stop this destructive industry in its tracks.
France and Bulgaria have already banned fracking all together. And just a few weeks ago, Maryland became the third state in the USA to ban fracking too, after campaigners spoke out against the practice. If it’s possible to convince a Republican senator in Donald Trump’s United States, then it’s completely possible here in the UK too.
You can help cheer on our volunteers stopping the fracking industry today by leaving a message of support here.
About India Thorogood
Digital Campaigner at Greenpeace UK