About Us
Back Issues
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action

Rigged Trial

This week saw the second anti-fracking trial in two months in Preston Magistrates Court.On 1st Dec 2011, protesters from Bristol Rising Tide occupied the test drilling rig, at Cuadrilla Resource’s Banks site, Lancashire, shutting it down for 13 hours.

This saw the trial of three of the activists involved, all of whom were charged with aggravated trespass. Unfortunately for Cuadrilla, it came out in the trial the company had exceeded the 3 months that they were allowed for drilling operations at the time of the occupation. Not only that, they had failed to meet a key condition to safeguard bird life from the adjacent Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest. This may mean Cuadrilla are in a breach of the Town and Country Planning Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. As Cuadrilla's actions weren't lawful, the defendants were found innocent- handing a major coup to the climate activists.

One activist, who faced a separate charge for failing to leave when ordered to do so by police, was found guilty and fined £250 and ordered to pay £750 costs. One of the acquitted activists was quoted as saying, “It’s great to go free but the threat that fracking poses to communities and the environment has not gone away. It is very likely that Cuadrilla will be fracking at sites in Lancashire in the near future. Do we trust a company that is prepared to flout its planning permission to handle a very dangerous technology like fracking?

Coincidentally just as this new trial of the Bristol activists is about to start things seem to be kicking off on their home turf. Another set of frackers, UK Methane Ltd, are about to submit a planning application to drill a Coal Bed Methane well in the Somerset countryside close to the River Avon between Keynsham and Bristol. Coal Bed Methane (CBM) is another form of unconventional gas, very similar in most respects to shale gas. The gas is trapped in coal seams rather than shale rock, but in every other respect is the same short sighted planet rapery you'd expect from Earth's enemies.

Stories about similar subjects...

Put a spanner in the works of the first and the worst of the new road schemes for the UK.

Things are heating up in Antarctica as Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet are about to come head to head for the 9th season.

Anti-nuclear protesters fined for obstructing the highway outside Hinkley Nuclear power plant.

Environmental activist is released after seven years imprisonment.

Anti-road protestors in Bexhill were ambushed by an early start to the tree-felling on the controversial Bexhill-Hastings link road this week, but they rallied and using direct action have put a spanner in the works.

Restart of fracking after year and half delay set to amp up resistance

Activists gather outside UN talks at Doha, Qatar as negotiators pretend to debate climate change.

Anti-Nuclear activists blockade UK plants to protest the extent of destruction upcoming expansion will cause.

Twitter: @SchNEWS