I’m feeling shocked, sad and angry as I write this. Last year, four brave and committed activists managed to climb onto the roofs of trucks that were bringing drilling equipment to a fracking site in Lancashire, UK. They stayed up there for more than 3 days, supported by members of the local community who were handing up food, water and blankets.
When they came down, they were arrested and charged. And now three of them have been sent to prison.
In taking action, they were responding to a call for support from the local community who have said very clearly that they don’t want fracking in Lancashire, but who have been consistently ignored by the national government, and they were responding to the overwhelming scientific and moral need to prevent runaway climate change.
In charging them under an obscure and antiquated law, and in sentencing them to such draconian sentences, the authorities have decided to protect the interests of big business over the interests of communities and the planet.
Public opposition to fracking has remained consistently high in the UK, and Lancashire is just one of several local authorities who have said they don’t want it in their area. The national government has decided to ignore this though, overriding local democratic decision making and giving permission to fracking companies to start drilling anyway.
They are now trying to push through plans to allow fracking companies to drill without going through any local planning applications. As the government’s consultation on this outrageous plan nears its conclusion, local politicians and citizens from across the UK have been coming together to say that it isn’t acceptable.
If you’re based in the UK, please take this online action to ask your local councillors to sign an open letter to government opposing their plans.