Vox Political reported yesterday on the incident between police and Green Party protester Anne Power outside a Cuadrilla fracking site in Lancashire earlier this week.
Now this lady has written powerfully about her experience in New Statesman. You should read her piece and – in the opinion of This Writer – follow the advice she provides in the headline:
I am an 85-year-old woman, and I have been protesting fracking in Lancashire for four years. You might think this an unusual pastime for someone of my age. But I’ve been proud to be part of a community of Green Party members, local residents and anti-fracking campaigners, young and old, who week after week go to that very roadside.
We do it because we want the world to know we said no to the drills set to destroy our environment as they extract gas. The protests have been peaceful. They involve slowly walking in front of lorries taking away contaminated water, or standing or sitting in the road.
On Monday 9 October, I was sitting on the side of the road when I was astonished to see a heavy goods vehicle swerving towards me. It came extremely close, and with no police warning whatsoever I managed to retreat a little.
A young man standing next to me was hit in the chest by the vehicle, which continued unashamedly into the entrance of the site. That was when we made the decision to sit down in the bell mouth of the entrance. We felt extremely angry, and that several people could have been killed or seriously injured. This was when the police officers came over. I absolutely refused to move, and that’s when they decided to heave me off my seat and drag me across the road.
Friends who protest alongside me have been pinned to the ground by their neck, pushed against vehicles and frequently manhandled. It’s frightening. And it undermines the role of the police: to protect the public. Some police authorities are publicly refusing to help. North Wales has withdrawn reinforcements which were helping to police the site, with police and crime commissioner Arfon Jones saying: “Let them pay for their own security.”
I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I want you to be angry. I want you to be angry at a company like Cuadrilla, which puts profit before local concerns about the environment. I want you to be angry at policing tactics which clamp down on the clear wishes of local people, and the right to protest. And I want you to be angry at a government which makes nice noises about the climate with one breath, and forces fracking on communities with the next.
They might have tried to bully me away, but they’ve just made me even more determined to end fracking for good.
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