Demonstrating in Preston or ‘3 go to Preston’

Handing in 38 Degrees Petition

Lisa came to her first meeting on Saturday and on Tuesday she was off to Preston to join the anti fracking protest.

Not only that but a Friends of the Earth lady saw her signing as 38degrees Skipton and asked her to hand in the petition.

38 Degrees Members with receipt for petition

Linda, Lisa and Mike and the receipt for the petition

This is the article she has submitted to the Craven Herald…

You know sometimes life grabs you and whisks you off somewhere totally unexpected? Well that happened to me last week.  On Saturday afternoon I was attending a 38 Degrees meeting and three days later I was at Preston County Hall with two new friends, handing in a petition containing 93,017 signatures opposing fracking. Inside, Councillors were meeting to decide whether or not to approve Cuadrilla’s application to use Lancashire as a fracking guinea pig. Residents of the Fylde Coast were asking for support in their fight again this dubious industry, so we, along with many hundreds of other concerned individuals, attended the rally to demonstrate the community opposition to the planned drilling.

Never heard of Fracking? Very basically, its short for Hydraulic Fracturing, which is a technique used to extract gas trapped underground. It involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into the ground to crack the rock and release the gas.  Millions of gallons of water are used and hundreds of thousands of gallons of (undisclosed) chemicals. Imagine how many lorries that involves? And the water used is permanently polluted.

Many people oppose fracking, and with good reason. During the Planning Control Committee Meeting, Dr Sakhti Karunanithi, Lancashire Council’s Director of Public Health was unable to give any assurance that residents’ health would not be impacted. He confirmed that “there are no safe limits for some compounds released by the fracking process”. Cllr Ellard the Deputy Chair of the Committee, proposed the application be Refused.  He warned of the “potential for the industrialisation of the countryside”. Interestingly, the NFU has a new clause in its commercial insurance – it will not insure against anything that happens as a result of fracking.

There is a huge amount of evidence of pollution from the USA – cattle, pets, land and people are poisoned by escaped fracking water- the photographs of residents able to set light to the water from their taps particularly horrified me. Fracking creates air, water, noise and light pollution. It can also create seismic disturbances and cause earthquakes. If you think wind turbines are a ‘relentless blight’, imagine having a fracking pad, vibrating and sending up flare-offs, a few hundred metres from your home?

If you are interested or concerned, please do some research on the web! 38 Degrees Skipton are showing the film ‘Gasland’ at Carleton Village Hall at 7pm on Tuesday 7th July. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film tells the stories of communities in the USA affected by fracking. Come and see for yourself.

Do not be complacent in the belief that it cannot happen in Craven, applications are already being processed in Rydale and there is nothing to stop YDNP or the land under your home being drilled – without your knowledge or permission!

Protestors 23 June

Mike’s report

KEEP the UK FRACK FREE Preston Lancashire 23rd June 2015

Skipton 38 degrees members, Linda Knox, Lisa Leddicoat and Mike Stephenson travelled to Preston on Tuesday 23rd June to support Frack Free Lancashire protest outside County Hall. Inside,  Councillors were meeting to decide whether or not to approve Cuadrilla’s application to use Lancashire as a fracking guinea pig. A very large, boisterous, good humoured, well behaved crowd of Lancastrians, supported by protestors from as far away as the Isle of Wight, mostly decked out in yellow, were present to say a loud NO; they wrapped County Hall in yellow ribbon and sang and danced all day. Yes, lots of young people were present. A range of speakers voiced concerns about  the dangers to health, environment and climate – culminating in a passionate protest against Fracking from Vivienne Westwood  (flown in from presenting her Paris collection of men’s clothes) who railed about the dishonesty of MP’s and warned severely about TTIP for good measure.

A fantastic display of huge posters lined the road over the railway bridge with all the appropiate messages for all to see and Friends of the Earth distributed hand held posters for those who needed them. Messages of support were received from other countries and notable people. The crowd were told that the eyes of the world were on Lancashire, that Fracking must be stopped before it spread everywhere. Lisa agreed to hand in the 38 degrees petition of 100,000 signatures and was suitably escorted into County Hall by security officials; another petition from Friends of the Earth had a 100,000 signatures too. Linda and Mike were photographed, unexpectantly, reading a hand out of The Prolitariat (so that’s their cover blown then!).

The Councillors decide today.  Which way will it go?

Today 29th June we and DEMOCRACY WON WON WON,

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