Week Ending 15th December 2013

UK news highlights

Barton Moss

The weekend get-together finally made some press and BBC coverage. around 300 people were said to have attended the march and rally.

The mood turned sour on Monday morning when 5 arrests were reported, including a declared legal observer. This gave rise to comments that this was the worst police violence so far, and included snatch teams singling out targets with no apparent reason. Complaints were also made of treatment arrestees received, including being denied access to solicitors and free phone calls.

Video of arrests showed snatch officers going in and singling out for no apparent reason individuals for arrest. We can only hope when - and if - a BIG if - the arrested come to court it will be clearly on display by the video evidence that the police case must be thrown out. The police are employing not only aggressive tactics - like an alleged body strip, jeans down, of a female protestor, but that their tactics are not based on law but on intimidation. This is incredibly misconceived and can only harden resistance and increase the movement's appeal to the wider community. The police have failed to admit they have had complaints about their policing policy and complaints to the police and crime commissioner, Labour stooge £100,000 earner Tony Lloyd and his 40-strength staff - the largest in the country - have simply passed complaints back to the force. Who say they have received no complaints...

It looked like a big operation was in progress Friday morning.

Reports started trickling in early Friday afternoon that there was no reduction in police tactics. The protector camp had supposedly negotiated a no pushing and shoving, no snatching agreement with the police. This seemingly came to nought, with reports in of a pregnant woman being thrown into a ditch prior to arrest, and a disabled man having his leg possibly broken. Later reports said he had a broken knee and needed to be transferred to Warrington hospital. Anne, our 82-year old heroine of Barton Moss, was removed from the protest by the police "for her own safety" before they went in heavy handed.

One of the arrestees was reported as a Green Party MEP candidate. It's nice to know at least one political party is fully on board.

There seems little doubt that policing of peacful protest - as they see it - at Barton Moss has come to a (let's hope) all-time low.

Nor are they above dawn raids to arrest protectors off-site

Quote from an arrestee - got arrested at 4am just got back at 5.30 am charged with harassment of agent provocateur...originally accused of threats to kill and theft of a car battery ?? one by the man and the second by the woman.... been bailed from selective area barton moss rd,layby etc.. they smashed my door in,took laptop,camera and phones 2 broke and my proper phone with fb still on .I've borrrowed a comp to use for now.They wouldn't give me them back,have to ring them today...tell everyone what has happened..they've tried to fit me up for taking photos of a guys security cams on my estate ....... Big Hugs to all you lovely souls at the camp and we will have to meet up close to the area I'm bailed from going to.... I'm in good spirits apart from the fact they have stood on my headphones which will need repairing . Endquote..

The Guardian published a severely below-par report of Barton Moss, making it look like there had been aggression from protestors rather than an unwarranted assault by police.

Judge Monday arrests from this video evidence.


"Disabled man thrown aside so a pregnant woman could be snatch arrested"
Judge for yourself from these pictures and the video link below.

Video evidence.

"The reality - the people the police are warring against"

"Some great pics once again by Babs. We are a family friendly place. Please do not let the police intimidate you."

Other UK News

The UK government is gearing up to announcing provisional new licence areas for onshore fracking, presumably hoping that a pre-Christmas announcement will mute criticism.

Pro-frackers are active - the Welsh Government is told it should welcome the prospects of fracking, and Cuadrilla "founder" Allan Campbell promised "billions" of pounds for local communities, and announced plans to take the "truth" about shale to 40 town halls around the country to fill the need for a "Big Conversation". I am sure the local communities will have news for Campbell. Conversation is a two way thing. The "hyperbole" is currently coming from the frackers rather than from the antis.

Andrew AUsten, CEO of IGas told Panorama that 100 sites with 10 wells on each could supply half the gas the country requires.

What a farcical statement. A more potent example of the vacuus misleading information that is coming from the frackers can not be imagined. Austen is either a bald-faced liar or has no understanding of reality.

Ed Davey touted a new biomass scheme and a carbon capture project in North Yorkshire, while the Geological Society announced that the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to CO2 could be double what has been previously estimated.

Lord Deben, aka Beefburger Gummer, was hailed as Government Climate Change adviser when he went on a pro-fracking spree. Personally I think if he believes God put shale gas in the most awkwards places Gummer should ask himself wasn't there a very good reason for that? Didn't He want it left in the ground?

The right-wing media focus on Gummer obscured the fact that the real story - the one they SHOULD have taken up - was that in the opinion of the government advisory body, the Climate Change Committee which Gummer chairs Osborne's policies would add to household fuel bills and impede climate change action. The Independent reported that George Osborne's U-turn on climate change targets could add £200bn to energy bills, equivalent to £8,000 for every household.

In another slap in the face for those suggesting we have the best regulatory protection in the world, the government confirmed there would be no requirement for the frackers to guarantee costs of pollution would be met by the industry.

In Scotland speakers at a conference expressed a range of views from one Edinburgh professor saying people should be compensated for the loss of their property vales and destruction of their environment to dodderer Cluff wanting to set fire to the bowels of the earth.

The Yorkshire Post brought attention to a new Civitas report. The headline was that the UK must not lose out on fracking jobs. However the report itself (the Telegraph didn't even mention fracking - is the Yorkshire Post even to the right of the Torygraph?) talked about the country having lost out on offshore windfarm jobs.

A Geoffrey Lean telegraph blog had no warming message for the frackers. They are losing the war. oOr "getting smashed" as Cuadrilla founder and now loudmouth maverick Allan Campbell put it.

David Cameron stood accused of telling the same old lies about fracking bring energy bills down when he spoke on BBC NorthWest.

The Telegraph moaned about posible restrictions on fracking by EU law, whilst confirming plans to announce next week the schedule for the next round of onshore licensing. This announcement is clearly timed - the week before Christmas - to avoid media coverage, a disgraceful tactic. We remember the new planning curbs on councils were announced right at the end of the summer parliamentary session to avoid debate. This government is running scared on fracking.

The Green Party warned on the future cost of clearing up the fracking mess.

Elsewhere

Romanian protest continues.

A report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed reports last week: that attempts to recycle fracking water are struggling.

Fracking bans were passed in Dallas (!), in Erie County, New York, and a Pennsylvania organic farmer passed a one-man ban which might point the way forward to stopping the would-be UK frackers in their tracks. A number of groups are calling for a California fracking offshore ban. The German Senate passed a fracking moratorium.

In the US a scientist addressing the American Geophysical Union suggested that injection radioactive material down fracking boreholes would be an ideal way of dealing with the nuclear waste problem. There's always one, as they say.

In Canada peaceful protests continued in ALberta, and in Newfoundland a company lost a fracking licence near a UNESCO site.


Any opinions here not quotes from the week's news reports are my own.
Alan Tootill

News As It Came In with links to original stories

Monday

Barton Moss site rally held by anti-fracking protesters

Pictures and video: Protest march at fracking test site

Oil and gas conference to discuss fracking

UK fracking industry's PR offensive 'becoming more canny'

Romanian Anti-Fracking Protesters Clash With Police

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon 'to power £300m spend'

Tuesday

New shale gas drilling areas to be revealed as communities promised £100,000 benefits for fracking

Welsh Government has 'strong interest' in fracking, official adviser tells MPs

The week ahead: fracking, engineering excellence and a plea for help

Mail: Prepare for fracking in your back yard

A Panorama Special on the failure of science and maths teaching in our schools?

Biomass plant 'win for climate'

Earth's sensitivity to climate change could be 'double' previous estimates, say geologists

Wednesday

Britain should push ahead with fracking, the chairman of the government's advisory body on climate change has said.

George Osborne's U-turn could add £200bn to energy bills

Chancellor’s plan to scrap climate change targets could cost every household £8,000

CCC advises government not to revise UK's carbon budget

Taxpayers to pay for fracking pollution if companies go bust

Thursday

MSP asks ministers to move towards shale oil: FoES says no thanks

Scotsman fracking conference: planning reform call

Friday

UK ‘must not lose out on jobs from fracking’

Method makes shale waste water recyclable

An Organic Farmer’s One-Man Fracking Ban

Senate rejects fracking for oil and gas extraction

Erie County Legislature votes 9-2 to ban fracking on county-owned property

Dallas — yes, Dallas — bans fracking in most of the city

Dallas — yes, Dallas — bans fracking in most of the city

Dozens of groups call for offshore fracking halt

Scientist sees fracking as the way to dispose of nuclear waste

Why the fracking industry admits it is 'getting smashed' by public opposition

Fracking hell: what it's really like to live next to a shale gas well

Anti-fracking protesters clash with police at drilling site near Manchester

Irish land owners offer fields for fracking

Saturday

Judge Delays Lubicon Hearing For Application To Get Blockade To Move

Fracking opposition not surprised by licence refusal

Fracking pollution could cost tax payers dear say Greens

Sunday

EU plan for fracking law threatens UK's shale gas boom

New shale gas drilling areas to be revealed as communities promised £100,000 benefits for fracking

Fracking pollution could cost tax payers dear say Greens

Fracking in Ponder, Texas: the real cost - video

  Links to other
anti-fracking sites