The long and tiring six years defending the right to peacefully protest against all the power of the UK state, which led to defeating the richest man in Britain in the Court of Appeal. Yet our protest rights are not secure just yet.

Ian Roberts, Chair of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) and a key member of Frack Free Lancashire’s hierarchical campaign structure, has a brother called Mark. Ian Roberts first came to prominence in 2012, when astonishingly someone left over £20000 on his doorstep in Lytham St Anne’s (See link). Those of us in the Anti-fracking movement since 2014 at Barton Moss in Salford, will remember Mark Roberts as Chief Superintendent (Silver commander) who created public and media discourse, by alleging a flare was shot at a police helicopter from the camp to conveniently enable Mark and his colleagues at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to obtain a search warrant for the anti-fracking camp, which was situated on Barton Moss road. As I am sure many people are aware, if something like this had happened, no search warrant would have been required under terrorism law and the camp would have been searched that night by specialist officers, not some three days later when it was. Too many, it was a well-orchestrated state masterplan to demonise the camp and anti-fracking activists through the media, which they did, but not with the success they might have been hoping for. However, it certainly showed the depths that this global industry mob would be prepared to go to break the movement up, This it has continued to do until this day through Mainstream Media, Strategic Security Services, Police, Industry, and the state agents on the ground and on social media.

Ian Roberts: https://www.lancashirelife.co.uk/people/the-impact-of-fracking-on-local-residents-in-blackpool-and-the-fylde-coast-1-1569483

Anonymous donation left on Ian Roberts doorstep:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-17080236/lancashire-couple-find-21480-cash-on-doorstep?fbclid=IwAR19p54_GZsDtALC1YbVjwq0O0VcqFM7NJgmac6sa_kDy7D4HfEgVgNVjis

Mark Roberts: https://www.southyorks.police.uk/about-us/organisational-structure/deputy-chief-constable-mark-roberts/

Report on Flare incident: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2534600/Police-raid-anti-fracking-protest-camp-flare-fired-police-helicopter-tried-land.html

Flaregate: www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=2460

Mark Roberts began his police career at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) 20 years before the start of anti-fracking protests in 1993. During that time, he led a syndicate on the Major Investigation Team as Head of Investigations at the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, was a public order and firearms strategic commander and in charge of the tactical response to the 2011 riots in Manchester and Salford, where he was Silver Commander, some two years before the Barton Moss protests began. At the time, protestors at the Barton Moss Anti- Fracking camp who had historical experience of protests, theorised, that the false flare accusation from Roberts could also be the work of Amanda Webster. Webster, for those who are unaware, has national expertise in advising on protest, affecting controversial projects. Webster is known as the ‘protest buster’ in social and environmental justice activism circles for her expertise in bringing “Swampy” to national notoriety when evicting him from the A30 Honiton Bypass in Devon in late 1990s amongst other operations.

Amanda Webster: https://www.harrison-drury.com/people/amanda-webster/

Back in 2014, there was no substantial evidence of Webster’s involvement in the flare incident. However, her links to those at the top of the Frack Free Lancashire hierarchical structure for the ongoing Preston New Road (PNR) campaign, Maureen Mills (Halsall), Barbara Richardson (Roseacre Awareness Group), Nick Danby, Claire Stephenson (Assistant to Gina Dowding MEP), Pam Foster, Tina Rothery (Queenie), Julie Daniels (Rothery’s Sister) and of course Ian Roberts of RAFF himself, has now become more evident. This link was established when Maureen Mills had a party at her house in Halsall in Lancashire were one of the friends on her guest list was the Labour Party’s Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw. Grunshaw’s Assistant is none other but the infamous Amanda Webster, who is also a Deputy District Judge in Lancashire as well as a Consultant. Since 2016, Mills has been a Labour Councillor and spent several years on the planning committees, where she did not declare her interests in several organisations and NGO’s until 2018, concerning when her husband is Manager for Offshore Oil and Gas. Mills (Labour Councillor) would have known Webster, Grunshaw and Mark Roberts in their professional capacities, no doubt why Grunshaw was invited, I have not been able to see the whole guest list, so not sure who else was there.

Labour Party Event: www.labournorthwest.org/uk/west_lancashire_garden_party

Mills unregistered interests until 2018: https://democracy.westlancs.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=243&T=6

At the conclusion of Barton Moss, in the spring of 2014, Mark Roberts took his position as Assistant Chief Constable at Cheshire Constabulary, were he became National Lead for football policing and importantly ‘regional lead on public order’ (See link above), coincidentally at a time when a protest camp at Upton near Chester had been set up, which later faced a High Court eviction and a large police operation in January 2016. Conveniently, during that summer that Roberts moved to Cheshire in 2014, the Lancashire Nannas (whom I will come to later) alongside George Brown with the knowledge of Ian Roberts occupied a field at Preston New Road (PNR) in Lancashire, with Rothery’s and Browns partners at Reclaim the Power (RTP) adjacent to designated future fracking site, which would later lead to the first Civil Court Anti-fracking Injunction, in the UK (much more on this later). This is very significant because at that time Roberts was now Regional Lead on Public Order, so would have been heavily involved with any public order plan for that Blackpool occupation and discussions with Cuadrilla and Landowners.

Upton Eviction operation https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/eviction-upton-anti-fracking-camp-10724264

Nannas begin occupation of Preston New Road: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/business/protesters-launch-fylde-frack-camp-early-1-6775178

Reclaim the Power/Nanna Camp: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/14/protest-cuadrilla-fracking-blackpool

The illustrious career of Mark Roberts, has also seen him Head of Investigations at the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, which is also significant because anti-fracking activists have been labelled Domestic extremists, and it was the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) and Counter-Terrorism Police, National Office of Crime (CTP-NOC) who advised INEOS that they had enough evidence to obtain a civil injunction against the whole world (persons unknown) at a fracking industry meeting in May 2017 in London. That meeting was also attended by Eclipse Strategic Security Services, who are known for their security work against ‘insurgents’ in the Iraq and Kuwait oil fields, who were monitoring anti-fracking activists for the industry, which I attended as I was challenging it. Their office is based in Hereford the home of the SAS.

Eclipse Strategic Security Services: https://www.eclipse-strategic-security.com/

London meeting: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/01/fracking-protest-injunction-based-on-flimsy-evidence

The national lead for the citizen in policing at the NPCC during the INEOS case was the now-retired Chief Constable Dave Jones of North Yorkshire Police. However, David Hannan was acting as Silver/Gold Commander of the Kirby Misperton anti-fracking protests (2016-17), no doubt along with Mark Roberts (Regional Lead on Public Order) sharing a large input in the advice INEOS received, whilst denying people the right to protest. In that sense, these three are at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the denying human rights to protest peacefully, something Ian Roberts friends are also good at, which I will discuss in more detail as we proceed. The evidence shows Roberts is likely behind all injunctions since 2014 as you will see. However, although initially INEOS was successful in gaining the most draconian protest injunction in history, on the advice of the NPCC, I was able to defeat it in front of three Law Lords at the Court of Appeal in London, just a few months ago, after minor adjustments to the original decision at a three day hearing 16 months earlier. This decision, of course, was vitally important for our human rights to peacefully protest, but I suspect all readers by the end, will realise that they still under threat, this time through parliament on the backs of the work of Extinction Rebellion (more on that later).

Boyd Challenge to INEOS Injunction: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/campaigner-challenges-ineos-in-court-over-order-curbing-fracking-protests

Interview with Dave Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRfX3_G07S8&t=288s

INEOS successful Ruling November 2017: https://www.ineos.com/globalassets/ineos-group/businesses/ineos-shale/injunction/judgment-of-mr-justice-morgan-dated-23-november-2017—67191707_1.pdf

Boyd Court of Appeal successful judgement: https://www.ineos.com/globalassets/ineos-group/businesses/ineos-shale/injunction/april-2019/judgment-dated-3-april-2019.pdf

Boyd’s Legal Team’s Press Release: https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2019/April-2019/Anti-fracking-campaigners-win-appeal-on-the-right

Roberts is now serving at South Yorkshire Police, a part of the UK which the petrochemicals company INEOS (Plastics company) has yet to drill but planning applications have been granted permission. So have no doubt Mark Roberts is the lead strategist public order police officer for anti-fracking protests nationally. However, it will be the job of those below him in the hierarchical structure, most notably Richardson and Roberts to make sure those South Yorkshire communities negotiate with police and industry, as Roberts stated in 2012, ‘We are not going to chain ourselves to railings or climb the rigging and demand they go away. We are going to be sensible and grown-up about our protest, but that doesn’t mean we are any less steely or that we will be a push-over.’ What Roberts is implying here is that anyone who does take action is not grown up because grown-ups negotiate with the state to make sure life easier for the fracking industry and obviously his brother Mark.

INEOS Fracking for plastics: https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/2018/10/10/fracking4plastics-a-link-that-drives-plastic-and-climate-pollution/

Roberts Quote: https://www.lancashirelife.co.uk/people/the-impact-of-fracking-on-local-residents-in-blackpool-and-the-fylde-coast-1-1569483

From experience and research, this is achieved by giving money and advice in a discursive manner. This was the case when Richardson, Danby and mostly Roberts all travelled to Kirby Misperton Protection Camp in North Yorkshire and tried to convince Ian Crane for an hour to negotiate protest rights with the state, which of course was refused. Richardson and Mills both donated to a Crowdjustice page I set up to tackle the INEOS Injunction. I had no control over who donated and where the money came from. Richardson tried Roberts North Yorkshire tactics when she drove all the way to Woodsetts public enquiry and handed money over to the group for the cause, which was followed minutes later by a Police Officer wanting Wilkinson’s phone number to make contact with him. Of course, these conversations are how it begins and before people know it, you are in the establishments pocket and following their rules.

Richardson has experience in these discursive tactics from her red herring group Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG), notice the group name is not ‘frack-free’ or ‘against’ like all the other national local groups (so technically they’re not anti-fracking at all, just awareness), not many have noticed that. As chair of RAG, she offered six other areas in Lancashire to be fracked but not her village. Furthermore, the group sent a slide to local councillors which many locals at PNR, felt was implying PNR was a better option for fracking than Roseacre, which Richardson as Chair tried to waffle her way out of (See below). I first came across Richardson when the BBC One show did a piece within her house with other women, with cake and tea. Now that Richardson has acquainted herself with this South Yorkshire Village, Woodsetts, the police liaisons will now start trying to control the community for the frackers because everyone should know by now after INEOS case, sustained community resistance, not just a week or a month can defeat the frackers. The most successful approach for the industry so far has been Community Liaison Groups (CLG’s) because it has weakened community power, which is true democracy for me.

From: Anne Fielding
Sent: 11 September 2014 11:05
To: Bob Dennett, Ebony Johnson; Ian Roberts; Julie Daniels; Pam Foster; Sandra Bigley; Tina Louise
Subject: Fw: Shale Gas Extraction at Roseacre – Mtg with FBC on 4th September

Dear Councillors

I am just writing to make it clear that the second part of the attached circulated slides (following our meeting with FBC councillors) no way intended to suggest that Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG) feel that the Preston New Road (PNR) site, at Little Plumpton, is a more suitable site for fracking than Roseacre Wood. Some of our friends at PNR appear to have misinterpreted the slides and we are sorry for this.

In fact, quite the contrary, we have already objected to Cuadrilla’s plans to drill and hydraulically fracture for shale gas at Preston New Road. We are also part of the Frack Free Lancashire alliance and feel fracking will cause considerable harm to the health and well-being of residents and the environment as well as existing industries such as agriculture and tourism.

The purpose of including the slides, and specifically the list of existing SP1 sites within the Fylde, was merely to demonstrate that, should the government pursue this industry at all costs, there are far more suitable industrial sites, in Lancashire, rather than in our precious countryside, i.e. rural sites designated as SP2 land (countryside) which includes both Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road.

This is an industrial process which, should it go ahead, needs to be located in an area with suitable infrastructure such as an SP1 site and must be proved to be totally safe, with fit for purpose regulations and monitoring (hence the references to the PHE and RS reports), before being considered anywhere else in the county or indeed the UK.

I hope this helps explain our position and reassures our friends at Preston New Road.

Barbara Richardson

Chair of Roseacre Awareness Group

Slide show for FBC Councillors

During my time at Barton Moss in 2013/14, the residents at the camp, except for George Brown (AKA Silver Fox) and most likely a few others were unaware of the link between Mark and Ian Roberts. Of course, I now know George Brown was aware of the link because he has always been a close ally of Rothery and Daniels who are very close friends with Ian Roberts, so it would be impossible for any of these three not to know the link with his brother Mark. As I confirmed earlier, Mark Roberts began his police career in 1993, long before the Occupy protests and two decades before fracking was known to many. Rothery, Brown and Daniels were involved in the London Occupy protests, Rothery was actually one of the leaders (whose leader though) and all three were involved at the first Anti-fracking protest in 2013 in the village of Balcombe in West Sussex, when I first started my campaign history with some online participation. Interestingly, during their time at Occupy, Rothery and Brown’s close friend, Tammy Samede, was behind a trespass injunction case in London, with Samede setting trespass case law for injunctions on private land. During the Barton Moss campaign which started later that year, which I was resident at, Rothery used to come to the protest once a week, no doubt to get herself acquainted with the protests and see her long-time friend George Brown, who was a resident on and off throughout that campaign. It was also the first time I had met Rothery in person, if only I’d knew then what I know now, I would have walked away from campaigning, just a month in, like many newcomers since have.

Tina Rothery Occupy: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=+Tina+Rothery+of+Occupy&view=detail&mid=C0D2724C00022EE077EBC0D2724C00022EE077EB&FORM=VIRE

Samede Case Law: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/160.html

As I discussed briefly earlier in connection with my successful legal challenge against INEOS, the Frack Free Lancashire campaign to control the local PNR community and its activists began in earnest in 2014, with an occupation that Rothery, Daniels, Brown and Ian Roberts were all involved in, with later assistance from the State led support group Reclaim the Power (RTP). Remember, Ian’s brother Mark was the regional lead on public order at the time, which would have meant direct communication between Frack Free Lancashire, RAFF, Mark Roberts and Clive Grunshaw and Amanda Webster. To this point, there had been Anti-fracking camps at Daneshill, Farndon, Balcombe, Barton Moss, Upton, West Newton and Crawberry Hill with no injunctions, but all camps had turned up close to the drilling dates and when the real opposition was required. As Roberts was leading the anti-fracking protests public order policing, the possible consultancy and strategic directing of Webster and quite possibly Strategic Security Services, it is very plausible at this stage, that their strategic planning was to get their injunction in advance and Rothery, Daniels, Ian Roberts, Brown, their Nanna pawns and trusted state agents RTP would do the work. RTP’s actions are always pre-planned with the state (see below), ‘so they not reclaiming any power at all unless it is for the state’, which makes them the ideal partner to work alongside Rothery and the strategic tactics she is following. RTP is the breeding ground for NGO’s (Neoliberal Government Organisations, which were once Non-Governmental decades ago) Friends of the Earth (FoE), Greenpeace, 350.org, Fossil Free UK (Richardson has spoken on a facebook live with Fossil Free UK as a spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire) and have created more evidence for the state than any other organisation and they (RTP) have played a pivotal role in creating evidence for injunctions, when required ever since (Read injunction papers in INEOS and Cuadrilla). Anyone who studies anti-fracking injunctions 2014-18 will see the overwhelming evidence this state-led organisation has provided. As with all these organisations, which I will come to later with Extinction Rebellion only a very small group of agents make the decisions, the rest are just pawns.

RTP’s Publicly Announced Pre-planned actions: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/updates/

RTP has always claimed they support the leading national campaign group Frack Free Lancashire (wrestled from Bob Dennett and Ebony Johnson late 2015) themselves in leading the resistance against the fracking industry in the UK. However, there was a live drilling site active at West Newton in East Yorkshire during the Lancashire occupation in 2014, so why didn’t RTP go there if they intended to disrupt the industry. However, this is further evidence of the power of the people I have spoken about earlier from Frack Free Lancashire, but also RTP’s lack of interest in stopping the fracking industry, rather working for them. What has always troubled me since, about that occupation in 2014, was the area size of the Section 6, on the most high profile piece of designated land in the country in anti-fracking circles, by a dozen Lancashire nanna’s with no experience of this type of occupation before, with just the assistance of the Machiavellian Brown. At that time, even a local security firm had the employment of protecting the PNR field under lease to Cuadrilla UK. This local security firm guarding the field, Rothery had the head of this firm on her Facebook friends list. He was also seen in her hotel long before Cuadrilla came to town. A witness, said, he was around when they were holding some of their early planning meetings there, but they didn’t know he was at the time.

Live Fracking site at West Newton and Crawberry Hill: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/news/west-newton/

These Lancashire Nannas of which Tina classes herself as the ‘Queenie’ really became prominent to the wider anti-fracking community during this occupation. Many nannas have come and gone in that time after verbal abuse and attacks from Rothery and Daniels, for not towing their line. Others have walked away for her disgusting outburst and her tarnishing of the historical Suffragettes at the Tory conference in Birmingham, keeping numbers down is important for her as Cuadrilla have work to do. To keep Rothery as a high-profile public figure and in control, the nannas brand has had to keep reinventing, the Suffragettes (video below) and Women in White (link below, notice the women’s names) are two prime examples.

Rothery Abuses woman at Tory Conference: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/anti-fracking-campaigner-taunts-mother-over-suicide-krqrkgl5h

Women in White: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/women-in-white-against-fracking

Rothery also has the backing of the Green Party, FoE and Greenpeace (who disgracefully put Rothery in the Top 5 badass women in the world, a group of real people being oppressed) which helps to sustain her presence. Rothery herself has stood against George Osbourne in Tatton and on the Fylde on a couple occasions (of course more self-promotion by the greens because she has no chance of winning). She operates through discursive media appearances, newspaper articles and online articles of which there are many, to keep people emotionally attached to her gaslighting and therefore be unsuspecting of what she is really doing on the ground and in the courts. Ironically, the mainstream media have always given Rothery a voice, especially the BBC along with Richardson, but the same media have never given those locals who have been verbally abused and attacked by Rothery and Daniels a voice, of which there are many.

Green Party National Committee and life member Tina Rothery: http://bright-green.org/2017/10/17/green-party-elect-new-committees/

Friends of the Earth: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/why-i-wont-give-preston-new-road

Greenpeace: https://greenpeace.org.uk/5-badass-women-protecting-planet-international-womens-day-20170308/

Most people go to work and don’t spend more than 1-2 hours a day on social media, so they generally believe, these two are resisting the industry. However, an activist like myself, who was studying for a degree with the Open University (2012-17), followed by an MSc (2017-18) at home because of a long term illness, was able to spend sometimes 16 hours a day online watching and studying everything about the campaign online for almost six years. Add to this my residence on camps between 2013 and 2017, and there are not many people in the UK who have this variety of knowledge in every department. Of course, this experience and deep knowledge was the reason I challenged the INEOS injunction because I understood the injustices, that was now occurring and this is why now I write this article before I go back to work myself because I was unable to during INEOS case for personal reasons.

So now then let us take a closer look at the evidence from these court case, so not to miss some important facts, that not many will be aware of through lack of study and media discourse before I move on to the devastation Frack Free Lancashire has caused since. No one has ever, in theory, challenged Cuadrilla on behalf of Lancashire residents (including Rothery) at the injunction hearing in Manchester in 2014, including FoE, of course, I have already set out why Ian Roberts, Gina Dowding MEP, Richardson or Mills were not likely too. During that case, just as His Honour Judge Hodge QC was about to grant Cuadrilla injunctive relief for the land adjacent to the PNR fracking site but also at Roseacre Wood, Rothery raised her hand to become party to the proceedings, which was a very strange decision at the time because she had no hope of succeeding. Anyway Hodge adjourned the hearing and gave Rothery six weeks to prepare her defence, of course, there was none and on the return date, importantly she was ordered to pay £55000 costs (more on this later) but also she was now a named defendant, so would always be aware at the first moment of any changes (High Court, 2014a, p. 80). This second point was an important factor in research and basis which led to only 8 people in the world witnessing how Rothery operates first-hand, well 10 including Judge and Cuadrilla’s barrister

Cuadrilla High Court Papers: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/isnre2562esz43h/AADxx_pbLq31WC8dyEA2M-71a?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR30b6_0E8Ml-45c4ijZWhmQD1m71qrvmOjoRcDMJx1IBGc2uK0EHNqTrRk&preview=Witness_Statement_-_James_Dobson.pdf (p. 80)

Now an important factor of this case was that Cuadrilla’s lawyers were in effect given a 2-year injunction by Rothery herself. Mr Roscoe of Eversheds LLP working on behalf of Cuadrilla sought there should be a time-limited injunction to expire some 28 days after notification of the final determination of the planning application. Roscoe addressed the reasons for the continuation of the injunction in paragraphs 10 through to 12 in his skeleton argument. He made the point that Rothery had raised no objection to the continuation of the injunction and indeed accepted that it should be continued for a period of 2 years, “which as Ms Rothery’s counsel acknowledged, was a period rather longer than Cuadrilla presently proposed” (High Court, 2014a, p. 80). So then, why did Cuadrilla go after Rothery later for the cost, when it was Rothery who gave them an injunction for a time much longer than they had proposed and why would you do that if you were against Cuadrilla? Was Rothery working on behalf of the Regional Lead on Public Order Mark Roberts or both Roberts and Cuadrilla? Was this the strategic plan of the state, Cuadrilla and media preparing for a later date? Conveniently, Cuadrilla waited until 3 weeks before they were starting work over 2 years after the costs ruling before Rothery was to be in court for non-payment. In all the years of the anti-fracking campaign, this was by far the biggest media ‘circus’ we had seen, but of course it was the NGO’s, Green Party and state’s go-to person in court. Many mainstream journalists were discursively writing about the case (have a search and many articles appear about the case), which was odd in itself looking back, because I am aware only one mainstream media journalist wrote about the INEOS case leading up to the ruling at the Court of Appeal, which of course was much more significant affecting the whole country not just one person (although Rothery is much bigger than that).

Ironically, it was the Machiavellian Brown and Claire Stephenson (Now Assistant to Gina Dowding MEP) who was now well embedded in the Frack Free Lancashire hierarchy after pushing others out and was Rothery’s right-hand woman who was the mastermind behind that social media hysteria, with a hashtag #IAMTINATOO. The media was awash with the phrase ‘Grandmother faces Jail’, as I said early a classic ‘emotionally attached’ tactic. However, what was to happen in the court that morning, no one really knows but of course, Rothery never went to jail. There was a protest that morning from Preston station to the court, marshalled by Ian Roberts.

In 2017, the long-anticipated protests in anti-fracking circles against Cuadrilla at Preston New Road was about to begin. Although there had been a Community Liaison Group (CLG) for the proposed exploration site at Preston New Road from April 2014, once this work began on their site, a new CLG was established which had Miranda Cox and Julie Brickles as the community representatives. However, what we weren’t prepared for was a deal that had been struck between those at the top of the Frack Free Lancashire hierarchy on the ground, Cuadrilla and Lancashire Constabulary for no more than 13 people to protest at any one time or a Section 14 would be put in place. Rothery, Daniels, Hobson and Danby would oversee managing these tactics, which were negotiated in the months leading up to the start of the protests. However, the activist community was unaware of this deal until about 5 days into the site construction at PNR, when Rothery from the side of a lorry made sure she made people aware of the deal and that she was in charge.

I found out about the Section 14, when I took part in the first direct action alongside three others at that site on the 31st January 2017, when the Bronze Commander put restrictions on the protest, that no more than 13 people could protest and only for one hour. Of course, I was locked into a tube device and I had promised myself, that I would sacrifice one day of my life to protect the Lancashire people, so never moved and weeks later was months later found guilty of the offence. For the record, we had to take direct action because unless you were in Rothery’s mob (names above) and prepared to follow her every lead, you’re protesting rights were denied and you were targeted by the police as nationals or domestic extremists. Furthermore, there was a meeting weeks before the protests began at the local cafe, were those in attendance were told not to speak to nationals. Ironically, what would now obviously be a guaranteed charge that led to a conviction was to be rarely used by the police, this had not occurred elsewhere, so it was obvious some people were treated differently by police. After our action, many others took direct action and the leaderboard for longest ‘lock-on’ (arms locked in tubes) continued to grow from our 9 hours.

What was now becoming obvious to all activists was Rothery had lost all control of her job on Preston New Road, and she wasn’t happy. To wrestle back control, the plan was to use her contacts from her occupy LSX days and RTP to occupy the field next to the drilling site. However, we smelt a rat and knew Rothery was up to no good and called out the action on social media. The previous injunction obtained in October 2014, had expired in October 2016, so it had to be about that. Remember, as I’ve just shown activists were on top through peaceful direct action at the time. Furthermore, if Rothery and her team were really interested in disrupting Cuadrilla, why had they not occupied the site between October and February 2017 (Cuadrilla started work the first week in January 2017). Of course, Rothery and her team already had other ideas, just what ideas we were to find out over a week later in Manchester Civil Justice Centre. On the 25th February 2017, although activists including myself had tried to warn people off, all Rothery needed was her close ally on the ground George Boole (Logic Al), to rouse the crowd at a Maple Farm solidarity day event enough and the first step in this strategic plan was to be complete. The live stream I watched that day from home, as I wanted no part in it because I knew Rothery was up to no good, showed the delight on her face as Boole was completing his speech. As planned the field was taken but with reduced numbers because of the alert no doubt, and Rothery quickly left no doubt to celebrate with Richardson, Daniels, Roberts, Florence Gate or Locke and Danby.

During the days leading up to the event when we warning people, we were greeted to the first social media appearance of Florence Gate/Locke the troll, who began to call anyone who opposed Rothery an Anti-Semite and men had the added label of a being called a misogynist, no activists had ever met her at this point in all the previous years of campaigning but we now know she good friends with Danby, Nicci Wood and Richardson and almost certainly all of the above mentioned. The online damage she was to create with her lies in the movement locally and nationally from this week onwards lives on to this day as she is the admin on ‘secret group for admins and moderators’ and as castigated all the finest activists, who don’t toe the line (transferring your power and right to protest to them). Gate/Locke deserves special attention for all social and environmental justice movements in the future as she is a very dangerous online state troll and by far the worst any of us have ever accounted by a country mile. As we had predicted, one-week later Cuadrilla issued court papers to the PNR fracking site Heras fencing, of course, Rothery had her own personal copy, because if you remember from my earlier findings, she was the named defendant in the previous injunction in 2014 (See link below). The one where she put her hand up last minute and got her £55000 court costs, which conveniently was promoted as a hero grandmother in all the papers just before Cuadrilla was conveniently about to begin works at the site.

Cuadrilla go back to Court: https://drillordrop.com/2017/03/03/cuadrilla-asks-court-to-outlaw-access-at-lancashire-fracking-site/

However, what Rothery, Cuadrilla and the state wasn’t to know, is that a team of seven of us were to work on these court papers all weekend without anyone at all knowing because we knew something wasn’t right. We were right of course, in the documents for this new injunction for Cuadrilla was a pen (what sheep go in) which was not in the previous injunction which was granted in 2014, and if granted would have given Rothery on behalf of the state the case precedent to box everyone in to one area through civil law. The pen itself was behind a fence on a field 100 metres from the frack site 25m by 25m (See link below), it was here they were trying to get people to wave their banners from and Rothery was central to it. Anyway, during that weekend we created a skeleton argument and Ian Crane was to be our spokesperson in the court. Of course, we had no intention of challenging the trespassing part of the injunction because we were agreed it was going to be granted after its previous successful 2 years. However, we put most of the focus on the pen and this was to be the focus of our efforts because we knew the lasting implications of that for rights to protest in public and on public land.

Pen Refusal: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-39187020

Judge grants Injunction but rejects protest pen area proposal: https://www.desmog.co.uk/2017/03/07/judge-grants-injunction-cuadrilla-s-fracking-site-rejects-protest-area-proposal

Anyway, the morning of the hearing we arrived at the court in Manchester early to avoid the expected crowd (there was always a crowd and media when Rothery was in court, as I explained above) to put the final preparations of our skeleton paperwork and 40 pages of supporting submissions together, before the usual circus. However, after completing our final assignment, three (Myself, Wayne Paolucci and Bob Dennett) of us went outside for a cigarette and the other four (Ian Crane, Benjamin Dean, Elspeth McRoberts, John Ozric stayed at the ground floor café. As we went out of the building, we were, of course, expecting to see people in yellow (Anti-fracking colours) outside, but amazingly there was no one. There was only one person outside, and he had just arrived and was a local Independent photographer expecting to get shots of his expected normal anti-fracking gathering, who we’d known for years from the protest. Out the blue, Rothery gets out the back of a car on her own, where was everyone else we thought. The photographer was soon to be shocked but differently when Rothery walked towards him and said some 10 metres from where we were standing “what the fuck are they doing here”. Of course, the photographer had no idea we had long worked Rothery out and were there to try our best to railroad the strategic plan she was implementing, so he had no answer obviously, but where was her entourage, not even one nanna insight. Her arrogance that day was further evidence of how she saw us campaigners with disdain, she had long term experienced social and environmental justice campaigners down as total idiots.

After Rothery had entered the building, so did we to join others and head to the courtroom. Of course, she was also surprised to see the other four. The seven of us were together and Rothery was becoming anxious, so phoned a Mackenzie friend (could have been anyone, none of us knew him though). The case began with Ian Crane applying to the judge on all our behalf to join the proceedings and gave Cuadrilla’s lawyer, Rothery and Judge Raynor QC the skeleton argument we had prepared. Of course, Cuadrilla wasn’t going to allow this, after all, they were there for the formality of Rothery giving them what they wanted, so then proceeded to give the judge his reasons why he should not. However, the judge gave Crane ten minutes to explain our position, but Hodge wanted Crane to contest everything (pen and trespass) which he rightfully was not prepared to do. We had all agreed that the trespass injunction was inevitable and was only concerned about the pen. Therefore, the judge proceeds and Rothery began to waffle about being a grandmother and why it was wrong to give the injunction, but very little to say about the pen. Over the lunchtime of the hearing, Judge must have read our arguments which highlighted the difference between the previous 2014 injunction and this new one (the pen) and how crowding people into a pen was dangerous. Thankfully, when Judge Hodge QC made his decision her refused the protest pen. Rothery was livid and banged her hand on the bench and was purple. Rothery was livid because she’d been psychologically abusing the community in the weeks leading up to the case a pen would be a good idea. So how do we know Rothery was there to give Cuadrilla and Police what they wanted? Firstly, there was no entourage (so no witnesses), Secondly, the 2014 injunction had run out, so Tina was not legally binding to the parties herself, but Cuadrilla and Police needed her there, so she was named on the papers. Clever! Thirdly, Rothery claimed she was in Scandinavia, so not had time to read papers. Fourthly, Judge offered her an adjournment to seek legal advice, which she refused. Legal advice is always beneficial with cases of such importance, as this one was, and if Crane had been successful on all our behalf, we would have been seeking further advice. Finally, after the pantomime just two months earlier, when the £55000 costs were no longer, allowing the pen would have also removed her from paperwork and put a line under the previous 40 months work.

This was the end of Cuadrilla in the courts for a while but Rothery, Daniels, Brown, RTP, Strategic Security Services, NPCC, CTP-NOC, Frack Free Lancashire and the NGO’s were about to up the stakes again, this time at the national level, no doubt angry what we had derailed in Manchester. This time the plan would take place during July 2017 at PNR for another fracking firm INEOS, who was going to try and discursively get an industry-wide injunction, draconian in every sense of the word. The ‘Rolling resistance’ protests, were to cause as much disruption as possible for this plan to occur. It is worth pointing out at this point, between the February 2017 and July 2017 in May, that meeting took place in London with Industry, Strategic Security Services, NPCC, CTP-NOC, who else we would love to know. The first direct action of that month which led the way for the stacks of evidence INEOS was now collecting after that May meeting involved three Councillors Julie Brickles (CLG), Miranda Cox (CLG), Gina Dowding (Now Green MP) and Nick Danby (Ex Civil Servant) and others, were they taking one for the team or were they being used as pawns too? Because they were all found guilty at a court in November later that year.

Three Councillors found guilty: https://planetradio.co.uk/rock-fm/local/news/three-lancashire-councillors-found-guilty-blocking-preston-new-road-anti-fracking-protest/

When INEOS went to court at the end of July that same year to gain an ex-parte injunction in a secret court, they unsurprisingly used weeks of evidence from that month’s actions to show an ‘imminent and real threat’. Of course, for Justice Morgan, there was so much disruption it was hard to get away from the evidence of an ‘imminent and real threat’ after all he had 6 hours of video footage, with all the damming clips at the start. However, in reality, it did not paint a true picture and was only a snapshot in time, but the strategic lawyers at FieldFishers LLP knew this. The INEOS case back in the lower court will clarify this at the next hearing, because it is still to be determined, whether they initial judgement to grant was correct on this ground. Overwhelm the courts with 30 lever arch files and give Judge a few hours to decide was the strategic tactic, one which was successful at the time. What only a few people in the UK and none worldwide know is that INEOS was attempting to use this injunction as industry-wide, which of course would have been used by Cuadrilla, without going near a courtroom after their earlier failed attempt. Another masterplan, however, this was not allowed by the judge, so Cuadrilla would need other plans later, using the INEOS decision judgement, of banning slow walking, Direct action and public land restrictions (see judgement), which they did in July 2018.

Rolling Resistance: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/tag/rolling-resistance/page/2/

I spoke earlier about how people like Richardson and Ian Roberts do the undercurrent work in other communities for police liaison matters, no doubt on behalf of Mark. At PNR there is a community liaison group for police, Industry and the community, this is not advised. However, it’s not a community event at all because local members of the community are not allowed to attend only those designated (see below). The meetings are really a tick box exercise for Cuadrilla and in no way benefit the community, For example, no one is able to ask tough questions to Cuadrilla because Brickles and Cox in the same team as Richardson, Roberts, Danby, Claire Stephenson (Frack Free Lancashire spokesperson until very recently, now assistant to a Green North West MEP), they have represented the community and therefore the narrative. No doubt the reason why Cuadrilla can get away with variations to their planning with considerate ease throughout the last 30 months.

CLG Meeting representatives: https://cuadrillaresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/07-05-19-PNR-CLG-Minutes.pdf

In July 2018, with Cuadrilla’s injunction still active and the High Court precedent from the INEOS case now in full force, Cuadrilla, police, RTP, strategic planners, Frack Free Lancashire, state agents had the details for their next approach. In that judgement handed down by Justice Morgan, there was a significant framing within the injunction, notably ‘imminent and real threat’. These two words had changed the whole dynamics of human rights and civil liberty attacks for a protest on public land. However, Cuadrilla still needed a plan after Alan MacClean QC on behalf of INEOS had failed to represent the whole industry, just INEOS. Therefore, a plan needed creating to strengthen Rothery’s, Mark Roberts, Green Party’s and Cuadrilla’s control of the protest outside the PNR site and of course Rothery would need to work with her trusted servants at RTP to succeed.

Let me tell how this strategic planned work. RTP with Rothery and Daniels under their banner of United Resistance would declare three months of action against Cuadrilla. However, the central part of this plan would be the RTP ‘block around the clock’ event, which was posted on social media for Cuadrilla’s lawyers. The ‘block around the clock’ was to establish the ‘imminent and real threat’ Cuadrilla would now be allegedly facing, in line with the previous INEOS ruling. Remember, it is Rothery (Lifelong member of the Green Party and on their National Committee), and Daniels job on behalf of the state, to control the road at PNR, which they had failed in the previous Cuadrilla pen case, which is why the meeting in London took place during May 2017, to decide on another strategic plan to control protests on public land including the highway. As I mentioned above this was the strategic plan during July 2017 with the ‘rolling resistance’ protests, required for the evidence in the INEOS case. Therefore, Cuadrilla, strategic security services, Mark Roberts, NPCC and CTP-NOC were all working with Rothery and RTP. Therefore, Cuadrilla would have prepared deliveries of what was required over those ‘block around the clock’ days in advance, so there would be no block on them at all. There would have been a slight a part inconvenience for site workers but in the long game of controlling the protest, which was now 4 years in, that inconvenience would be minimal to all involved.

RTP advanced declaration of Block around the clock Event: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/fracking/block-around-the-clock/

RTP Facebook event set up two months prior: https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimThePower/posts/1339112699521830

Cuadrilla Secures new injunction: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/01/cuadrilla-secures-new-injunction-against-fracking-protesters

Of course, as predicted Cuadrilla applied to the courts to vary their previous injunction, which was still valid, but this time they wanted a stretch of pavements and highway outlawed from any protests outside the site. This much deeper level on the denial of rights to protest was even worse than the pen, which was bad (see ruling above). This time a smaller team than had previously challenged the pen including myself, Crane, Dean, Dennett and Elspeth, prepared a defence again, with our past experiences in the High Courts on these cases, because we knew what the state was up to and had no support from FoE or anyone else for that matter including RAFF or Frack Free Lancashire. This challenge involved Bob Dennett, a long-time campaigner in Lancashire who had left RAFF in 2015, alongside Ian Crane and two others. Of course, Rothery was outside speaking to media, as if she was behind those of us inside fighting for our rights to protest but she knew we could not win because of INEOS injunction. However, we know she was out there gaslighting the watching televised public like she had so many times, after all as I have laid out, she has played a central role in this long-running strategic battle between social and environmental activism and state. Earlier I spoke of the Women in White, another one of Rothery’s creations to control the community resistance, this useless march once a week, agreed with Cuadrilla, was amazingly (not to us) not subject to the injunction. The Women in White was set up as a ‘call for calm’, cleverly not anti-fracking, but implemented by Rothery to keep her in the media, to continue her work and to feed the gullible public to keep them emotionally attached to her deceit.

Inevitably, we were unsuccessful at that hearing, because of the previous High Court Judgement in the INEOS case. Judge Pelling QC as predicted claimed there was an ‘imminent and real threat’, (see case judgement) but we also knew if I was successful at the Court of Appeal, the case would be recorded as challenged and we could come back to it at a later date on behalf of the people of Lancashire, who are not working for the state’s oppressive tacticians. Ironically, it is only now after all the work we have done to get this far and uncover these injustices, that FoE have stood up. I can say this because during INEOS case they were nowhere to be seen initially, but close to the appeal date, they wanted to put a written submission in, which I reluctantly accepted (Lord Justices may have allowed it anyway). However, when I was successful, FoE dared to claim the victory was generally theirs. Not once have I spoke with any of the FoE hierarchy because they’ve never been supportive of direct action in all my years in the campaign, this includes their directors from all over the UK turning their backs on activists at Barton Moss in 2014. They have also now stepped in and took control of altering the Cuadrilla judgement, obviously to promote themselves on the back of others works and see how much funding they can get out of it, instead of the real heroes Dennett and Crane. However, the case will still need watching closely to see how FoE approach it.

FoE begin High Court action against Cuadrilla’s injunction: https://drillordrop.com/2019/06/24/friends-of-the-earth-begins-high-court-action-against-fracking-companys-protest-injunction/

Cuadrilla 2018 injunction: Will leave for the reader to decide if they want to find it.

Finally, the battle to protect our protest rights is still not over, because when we were successful in the Court of Appeal, only the civil law route of injunctions on private lands succeeded. Therefore, the state requires a different route, one that is likely to be parliamentary through the plans of Mark Roberts, Metropolitan Police via the Home Office and Extinction Rebellion. The first clue to this next stage of this strategic authoritarian plan, which Rothery, Brown, Daniels are all involved in, was a recent 2 weeks of action by the continuation of these organisations Greenpeace, Occupy, RTP in partnership with Extinction Rebellion and very likely the Metropolitan Police (MET). We have already seen Cressida Dick asking for help because of those actions. How do I theorise this? Well, the same tactics have been used in the anti-fracking protests, it is the state’s go-to division tool and this is how it works. Extinction Rebellion (well a small few of them, some leading names below) organise a protest with the state (Marble Arch), these are the negotiators and agents, these are the ‘controlled opposition’. If you don’t abide by the rules of this protest and act autonomously, which you have every right, agents label you, you’re then classed as an extremist or a radical and forced out. You can see these tactics throughout these works! In the Extinction Rebellion case study, the three other locations which are not agreed (of course they are, but only the strategists know about that) were Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and of course the controlled opposition favourite place for case law Parliament square. The MET would have known about these actions in advance of course, which is why they allowed it to happen in the way they did and at a time when parliament was away for holidays. However, 99% of those ‘rebels’ in ER will have no idea they are just pawns in this authoritarian strategic war on the people because the experienced state agents will be leading them a merry dance. Very soon, it will be up to everyone to oppose these changes across the political spectrum after Dick has finished lobbying parliament for a change to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act on the back of these protests, or tomorrow are only democracy will be waving a banner. Members of Extinction Rebellion to watch out for in this strategy will be Thanks to Donnchadh McCarthy, the members of Extinction Rebellion to watch out for will be, Caspar Hughes, Gail Bradbrook, Ronan McNern, Ted Brown, Robert Taylor, Tristram Wyatt, James Kirkcaldy, Lola Perrin, Roger Hallam, Rupert Read, Fletcher Horrobin-Worley, John Williams and of course Tina Louise Rothery.

I hope I have given all readers across media, Green and Black Cross (GBC), NETPOL, Legal professions, academia (sociologists, psychologists, social scientists, citizen scientists, network theorists et al and social and environmental justice movements a clear insight of how damming these findings are and how you should always critically think. Anyone who takes this work, which has taken me 6 years to complete forward I hope it gives you the strength it has given me. Solidarity to all those radically fighting injustices across the world, this is vitally important at a time when the health and well-being of our children from pollution to air and water, is closing in on us day by day.

Solidarity.

MSc Public Health

BA International Studies

Liverpool Echo Environment Healthy Living Award Winner 2019 (Green Air Schools Project. 

Founder of frack Free Liverpool and Sefton 

Email: Josephboyd73.jb@gmail.com

The road from fundamental rights to protest to the attempted corporate takeover of British law in a 21st-Century struggle for democracy

 

Just over four years ago, in late 2013 at the Anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss (BM) in Salford, Greater Manchester, I realised first-hand that our civil and fundamental rights to protest was under threat in the UK. But what was to happen on the 27th July 2017 in a secret High Court hearing in London was way beyond even that, this I will come to later.

Policing of those protests at Barton Moss between November 2013 and May 2014 was so profoundly troubling, only corruption and collusion through an economic system driven by neoliberal ideology could possibly be the reason, it had to be coming straight from the highest ranks of the state.

When that protests memorandum of understanding came out shortly before the end, it confirmed for the first time links between police, industry and local councils, it was evident that the people’s voices would not be allowed to be heard.

This collusion continues across the UK today and it became more evident at a High Court injunction hearing on the 12th September 2017. The court was told that a secret meeting in London on the 10th May 2017 between the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and Counter-Terrorism and Policing National Operations Centre (CTP-NOC) advised INEOS and its security team Eclipse Strategic Security Services, to apply for an injunction. Eclipse, an oil and gas protection unit, is more used to responding to insurgent threats in the oil fields of Asia. This alarming revelation showed how British campaigners were being treated as insurgents, a truly remarkable situation and one we thought was banished after the inclusion of anti-fracking campaigners in the controversial Prevent strategies in 2015 alongside terrorist organisations.

Social licence

Historically, discussions on the future of a UK shale gas industry focused on the notion of a ‘social license’, a term used at the EU’s Horizon 2020 Shale Gas World Conference, in Brussels in early 2014, a conference I attended personally on behalf of the UK Anti fracking community. At that time, social license was seen as the basis for any legitimacy of the shale gas industry in Europe, including here in the UK. Public acceptance was vital, they said.

But social licence took on a new meaning when the UK Government overturned a decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse Cuadrilla Resources’ plans. The voices of the people, through a democratic system, became irrelevant and social licence became a discourse of neo-liberalism, giving people an illusion of democracy.

It turned out that people in UK towns and villages would have to stand up for themselves and protect their communities from an ideology, driven by neoliberalism, which considers people worthless in favour of multinational corporations, foreign private companies and lobbyists with close links to the government. These actions would have to be by any peaceful means possible, including non-violent direct action in true British spirit. This was and is the only option if people are to establish the true principle of no social license.

Corporate takeover and the illusion of democracy went one step further on the 24th November 2017, one day after a judge further granted an injunction against ‘persons unknown’ to the Swiss petrochemicals company INEOS at the Business High Court in London.

In the name of national security, INEOS – the largest of the shale gas companies – said it was asking the planning inspectorate to intervene in planning applications for two drill sites in the East Midlands because there had been no decisions in reasonable time periods (their words, not mine).

With huge opposition to their plans to industrialise the area, some might think INEOS is avoiding local democracy, as it did when it went acquired an ex-parte injunction against ‘persons unknown’ back in July. The clues, to what might soon become a national security issue, lie later in the company’s statement: “These are nationally important issues being made at a local level”.

If the government fast-tracks these highly controversial plans, we can safely say, we are living in a totalitarian state a recent development which is now under the neoliberal fallacy of consultation.

Has the British media been compromised locally as well as nationally?

After almost seven years, 48% of the UK public neither support nor oppose fracking.

The question I often ask myself is ‘If it is really safe, for people and planet, why aren’t the industry and media overloading the UK population with evidence?’

The conclusion I come to from my analysis links to the biggest media discourses so far. Firstly, from Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake, who decided to go to Pennsylvania to see for himself the US industry? He gives a very different account to local people in Pennsylvania, and the many countries and states who have put a halt to the process globally because of the industries negative impacts.

In recent months, we have seen how media in the East Midlands is also using framing in their articles (just like the mainstream media), with the approach used by Hollinrake too. Bigger discourses from local media than ever before lie ahead though, this in an attempt to silence the population and brainwash local communities with ‘dangling carrots’. Last summer, INEOS paid for an all expenses trip for local journalists throughout Northern England to Pennsylvania. Here we start to get a better picture of the infiltration by a large Swiss petrochemical company into the very fabric of our local societies and media, in what was inevitably ‘the next oncoming wave of media discourse.

The discourse became much more apparent in June 2016, when approximately 52% of the UK population chose to leave the EU and take back control of the future of the UK, a perfect division for those driving the system  to utilise and give these companies the opportunity to use, the discourse and framing of our time, ‘energy independence’. The most notable discourse used by industry is that of ‘using the energy below our feet to heat our homes’.

It is our job of campaigners to get this evidence out behind a ‘veil of discourse’ in the media but if you look closely at this ‘Gas for feedstock’ versus ‘Gas for homes’ argument, you will see a very different picture. You soon realise the shale gas is certainly not for UK homes, how the industry, media and those driving the corporate neoliberal cogs, like to portray it. For example, twelve months ago when the Scottish parliament decided to end the hopes of the shale gas industry north of the border, three quotes from the Industry were given.

Firstly, Backing Fracking said “Putting the future of the Grangemouth petrochemicals plant in doubt by denying it access to more affordable local feedstocks”. Secondly, Ken Cronin of UKOOG, said “it’s better for the planet to be producing our gas here rather than shipping it in across oceans from elsewhere, especially when Scotland has a petrochemicals industry so ‘reliant’ on natural gas” https://drillordrop.com/2017/10/03/scottish-fracking-ban-beggars-belief-ineos/ INEOS said they “see shale gas a potential solution to the decline of North Sea resources needed to provide the base ingredients to make its products”.

The second comment from Ken Cronin of UKOOG when balanced with INEOS’s latest announcement of INEOS shipping Natural Gas to China from the US seems very hypocritical indeed, some might prefer ‘scaremongering PR’. Do we really need to put further pressures on our communities in the name of shale gas to supply feedstock for a petrochemicals plant, to make more plastics when the oceans are already awash with plastics?! This is certainly a ‘tragedy of the commons’ that is generally hidden by the industry but is of equal importance to any debates.

This is where strong environmental discussions are taking place right now, not in those Natural Gas filled dragon ships heading to China in the near future.

Personally, one of the most worrying thoughts of the fracking industry getting a foothold in the UK is something which needs speaking about more. How many people actually look forward and see the future in a societal sense and the possible causal factors related to in-country migration that this industry can cause, that’s if people are able to sell and get out, which is very doubtful.

During the early years of an attempt to establish a UK fracking industry the company with the biggest threat to our communities, environment and democracy, INEOS was back in Switzerland, staying out of any limelight amid growing opposition to this technology. INEOS a leading petrochemicals company had, in fact, moved back to Switzerland in 2010 from the UK to save 350 million in Taxes. Six years later and they were back after huge Corporation Tax breaks.

Northern England, if INEOS and Jim Ratcliffe get their way, will see the industrialisation of the land like not seen in recent times, and with it will come, the breakdown of towns and cities. They have licenses to drill in over 1.2 million acres of land which could rise to 2 million if they acquire further purchases from other prospector companies like Third Energy and Rathlin Energy.

Migration to cities

Overcrowded urbanized areas of Northern Cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds et al, could very possibly in the near future, see an influx of even more people, as people protecting their families migrate from the deep countryside in attempt to protect their families from the pollution and change in their peaceful way of life.

When seen through this lens, the industry has the potential to cause a ‘Public Health Emergency’. In a conveyor belt-like migration of people to the City, those at the very bottom already struggling to cope will disconnect from society further, those hanging on to their sanity from many years of ideological austerity will inevitably join them and not only will we have a deepening mental health crisis but we will also have a deepening housing crisis.

The outcome of this migration of people within the UK will cause deepening health inequalities within our society, a truly worrying perspective. One thing we should all be concerned about is these further ‘health inequalities’ which could materialise, regardless of our political allegiances and views. From the Black Report (1980), Acheson Report (1998) through to the Marmot Review (2010) health inequalities is already a crisis, a pressing issue of our time, one that needs no extra burdens. The ‘social determinants of health’ are at the heart of 21st-century health ambitions and the shale industry if given a foothold renders the real possibility of diminishing all possibilities of narrowing inequalities in health and in fact widening them.

Draconian injunction

So now, just over 29 months after the June 2016 EU referendum we have a raft of draconian injunctions throughout England.

On the 23rd November 2017, we failed to overturn the injunction in the High Court, but we mustn’t stop there, too much is at stake.  British laws by foreign companies to block our future could turn out to be ‘profoundly one of the most troubling decisions of our time’. These  injunctions allows for an unprecedented restriction on our fundamental rights, which has forever played an important part in political struggles.

Social and environmentally minded figures at the top of the Green Party (Caroline Lucas, Jonathon Bartley, Keith Taylor and Natalie Bennet) have collectively led the way politically and must be commended for their determined work in opposing this injunction, so far. However, as the Labour Party moves away from the neoliberal direction of the past few decades, we can hope to see more of its members involved with this political and corporate struggles. Yet, citizens, campaigners, activists and guardians of this land need more support from them. We are certainly not seeing enough as we attempt to overturn this injunction or put a halt to these companies’ oppressive invasion. Even some Conservatives are now raising questions but until the right-wing of the party shows its concerns at this attempted Swiss takeover of our law the troubles will continue.

All this attention and exposure of collusion was made possible by determined campaigners for over six years now.

The campaign must be allowed to continue in the same vein, which is why I call on them all to question this judgement, which unless we are successful on Appeal in March 2019 will shut down a functioning society’s aspirations.  These injunctions could be the start of a slippery slope that will be remembered in decades ahead, as a dark time in our country. Even if the Labour Party take office and ban fracking the legacy could linger on long after the shale industry has banished from these shores, by setting in UK law a precedent for other companies to ride roughshod over our way of life and fundamental rights to challenge injustices in a fallacy of a democratic society in an increasingly corporate takeover.  These democratic issues are real and go to the heart of  the biggest troubles of our times.

The injunction itself will be heard at the Court of Appeal on the 5 and 6 March 2018 cannot and will not be left unchallenged; I and Joe Corre will be filing an application for permission to appeal. Like many before who have endured many struggles to earn these rights, including two world wars, we must do the same. The support of everyone concerned with the future and direction of our country can support the case

Joe Boyd BA (Honours) International Studies. MSc Public Health

Anti-Fracking Campaigner.

Admin: Frack Free Liverpool and Sefton.

The Assange precedent: Journalists in Britain threatened with Official Secrets Act By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan

Interesting read, what has happened to press freedom. That’s neoliberalism for ye!

The New Dark Age

16 July 2019 — WSWS

London’s Metropolitan Police threatened journalists with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act last Friday in an unprecedented attack on media freedom.

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