Week Ending 2nd February 2014
UK news highlights
Police senseless vandalism adds to brutality
Police are not content with assaulting protectors, they also have destroyed trees around Barton Moss camp. The reason? To give them a clear view of the camp or to expose the campers to the elements?
"This beautiful old tree was a mature Aspen, quite scarce in the landscape of the NW. Native and valued for its scarce invertebrates, so much so that is has its own BAP (biodiversity action plan) for much of Scotland. Vandalism in every respect, shame on the GMP."
Barton Moss police action continues - strong on the ground, weak in court, then cowardice in the face of the media
"The incredible case of "Tigger & the black blanket"
It sounds like a childrens story & i think that was as good as it got for the C.P.S.
At 10 am a short video was shown of a man with a black cloth, covering his face, it was obvious who that was, (it has been established that we have the right to do this as we do not have to assist the police in filming).
Once the film had been shown, the Judge (Ashworth again) asked the C.P.S " Is that all you've got? " Then asked" Do you want to consider if this is in the public interest to continue ? "
After about 40 mins break they said "Yes"One of the Police EG's as witness did very little to help them, i'm not sure he really wanted to.
He stated his duties as Evidence gathering, crowd filming & HACKING !!!
Tigger was only 10 mins or so in the dock & wasnt troubled by the questioning, then the Judge said" I will give my verdict now"
He didn't believe Tigger but said that "It was a little defiant but not sufficient to warrant a guilty of obstruction charge & pronounced "Not Guilty" as the gallery gave 5 seconds of muted applause Judge Ashworth asked about expenses / costs to Tigger !!!
Again the good conduct of all in court was mentioned & im sure this carries weight overall when dealing with protest cases.
Tigger was really tired having travelled last night to get here & shot off after a few pics .This was well & truly a waste of money by going to trial & the verdict was the right one.
Thank you to all who turned up again to show support .
Love n respect to all warriors"
From Katrina -
"Can I just say that the local , ( yes LOCAL ) who drove me all the way home after I was bailed at 10pm for committing no crime at all , was an absolute star . I don't know how I would have got back if it wasn't for him . I do live in the Gtr Mcr area. I tried to offer him his fuel costs and he was most upset at me even trying . He said they it was the least he could do a) to do something practical and b) to thank is for standing up and protecting the land .. So for all those who think that the camp is full of a Southern criminal element with no support from the locals . We are a diverse community for all areas and walks of life and well supported by the local community."
Arrest of Kieran 28/01/14
Report from Tammy :
"They dragged Kieran out of the kitchen .
No warrant and not in breach of bail.
They plonked him in middle of road and caused him to be in breach of bail.
Then they arrested him for it
Here we are trying to make them look at the map the judge gave showing clearly he isn't in breach
They refused to look."
"Down at the court ... by luck we have caught the appearance of the crew arrested this morning for breach of bail .. judge has expressed that he is 'nor happy' with the police/CPS AGAIN ... He has adjourned for 5 mins to see if they can get their act together in that time ... Will update with the outcome soon as a comment.."
Four arrestees were released on unconditional bail. One further arrestee declined to "comply" and refused to give his name. After half an hour of refusal in front og the judge he was detained overnight in custody to reflect on this.
Report from Chris
"On 14/1/14 GMP twice assault and then arrest Lawful Observer at Barton Moss protest against fracking in Irlam Salford.
On 28/1/14 the court DISMISSES ALL CHARGES against the observer.
The purpose of the arrest seems to have been to secure the camera and footage filmed by the Observer of the violent police behaviour against peaceful protest camp against Fracking on Barton Moss.
Police - aptly dubbed "IGAS private army" by environmental protectors on the cam - have been violently assaulting members of the public in an effort to speed up the pace of lorries entering the experimental drilling site. Similar drilling sites all over the world have been blamed for pollution and the early deaths of thousands of individuals.
To date police still hold the mobile phone and digital camera, the personal property of the observer, without any explanation as to why they seized the equipment when it had nothing to do with the charge of "failing to supply a specimen". GMP quickly posted on their website that a charge of "drink driving" had been made, when in fact the observer was quite right in refusing to give a sample because he had not been drinking and not been driving, He is clearly shown in many videos, up to his being assaulted, on foot and simply filming events that day.
GMP Sergeant 08076 David Kehoe (acting inspector) is shown in other videos threatening the observer on previous days on Barton Moss Road. He instructed junior officers to carry out the arrest, based on lies that he told them. He is also the subject of a police complaint for his previous behaviour."
On Thursday police tactics seemed to have changed. They allowed a convoy IGas-bound to go through whilst themselves standing back, with TAU units at the ready. Were they hoping for protector violence to affirm their propaganda lies against the camp? Apparently they were allowing IGas trucks to go through red lights. Again, we have to ask - what are GMP playing at? Whatever it is it is legally challengeable. We can only hope this action - or lack of it - is an acknowledgement that the national media are now interested in how GMP are acting in contravention of their police vows of duty. It is surely no coincidence that this was the day Channel 4 were appealing for video evidence of polie brutality but sent a film crew to the Moss. The police now appear to stand accused not only of brutality but cowardice in the face of the media.
With media absent, on Friday police went again on the offensive, changing peaceful protest into violence..
A Salford resident threatens a Judicial Review against fracking regulator the Environmental Agency for failing to ensure IGas have an appropriate mining waste permit.
The week opened with a sad indictment of how Cameron's government has lost the plot, and any semblance of government for the public good. Let us be more specific. They are attempting to overturn centuries old law, the established law of landownership rights, in the vain hope that they will for a few years buy the country out of a perceived economic crisis.
They are wanting to deprive landowners from the right of objection to fracking under their land. This is not a minor quibble about trespass. This is literally stealing the heritage of landowners across the country. There is no justification for this act. Of course what they are doing is testing teh water, to see how strong opposition might be, from landowner associations such as the CLA (as was) and the NFU. But it is also the rights of ordinary people, ordinary householders, whose rights would be taken away. Cameron's government talks about the law which is firmly rooted in our (unconstitution) history as being just maybe "not fit for purpose". Landowners across the country should send the mesage to Cameron that his government, if it acts against the people, is not only unfit for its elected purpose but in the eyes of many a theoretician, from John Locke onwards, opens itself to the opposition of lawful rebellion.
Another major issue emerged after claims that Cuadrilla had run up against the buffers in Lancashire. The company was quick to deny claims that there had been any "stalling" of its plans. However, it is clear that ill-prepared disposal plans for fracking waste have been discarded, and there remain serious questions about how, where and in what quantity fracking waste can be safely disposed of, if at all.
Cameron went on the offensive again in Brussels telling the EU not to stand in the UK's way in its gung-ho fracking plans. He is looking increasingly like a single issue PM. The poll tax was Margaret Thatcher's downfall. I wonder if I am alone in thinking fracking could be David Cameron's.
On Wednesday "Environment" minister Owen Paterson admitted the government had failed to convinve the public over fracking, a clear indication that the government knows it is pursuing fracking against the will of the people.
A Telegraph report seemed to back this up, with a claim that support for fracking was declining and now had the support of less than a quarter of the population.
The Telegraph seemed to be leading this week in bad news for fracking. On Thursday it published a view from the "world's top energy forecaster" that the UK should not pin its hopes on fracking.
Total are increasing their investment in UK fracking.
The Lords criticised the government for putting its unpopular fracking planning rules changes through parliament on the fast track. Prince Charles said climate change sceptics were "headless chickens".
Lord Browne raises his head again suggesting that we need 40 wells to see how viable fracking will be. With reports of Fylde Borough Council's participation in accepting £10,000 from Cuadrilla (in advance of any planning permission or fracking well plan) for the Lowther Pavilion theatre, we can guess where Browne expects those test wells to be.
"“We have very tight regulation, particularly on planning permission,” Lord Browne added."
If he believes this, it makes clear why pre-permission bribes directed to influence local authorities are seen as an effective investment.
The larger picture, of course, is that even if those with most to gain from fracking haven;'t a clue even if it is viable, how can the public believe Cameron, Osborne and the rest on the supposed benefits? The government's pro-fracking propaganda is incredibly and increasingly ridiculous. And with polls showing it is increasingly unlikely that they will be elected for another term we can be excused for thinking the mad rush to promote fracking by deception and law changes is because of pandering to financial interests of the government's friends.
Fracking companies might not need homeowners’ permission
Law could be changed to allow fracking below houses without owners’ permission
Dashed hopes of cheap gas as fracking giant Cuadrilla scales back
Fracking plans ‘have not stalled’
Cameron warns EU over fracking
Ministers have 'failed to convince the public' over fracking, Owen Paterson admits
Proaction and the politics of fracking
Less than one in four people support fracking in Britain, research finds
No US-style fracking revolution for Britain, says IEA economist Fatih Birol
People cooling on fracking says report
Total buying in more UK shale action
Pro-fracking planning reforms rushed through despite strong opposition, Lords warn.
Climate change sceptics are 'headless chickens', says Prince Charles
Salford resident threatens Judicial Review against fracking regulator
UK needs 40 fracking wells to see if shale gas is viable, says Lord Browne
UK shale gas viability check will take five years, says Cuadrilla boss