‘I am so cross’; a report from the frontline at Salford

Two organisers from Frack Free Somerset write about their experience at Barton Moss

We were compelled to go; we had to respond to the rally cry to support the good people of Barton Moss (see http://frack-off.org.uk/fracking-manchester-igas-threatens-barton-moss/), and so it was that on Sunday the 8th of December, two of us from Frome Anti-Fracking , together with another friend hit the long road to Manchester.  I didn’t expect to be arrested. We were all simply doing what we have done countless times before; walking slowly in front of a line of police who are in turn ‘protecting’ the Fracking delivery heavy haulage vehicles. No big deal, no violence. We banter with the police, asking them what they understand about Fracking, asking them to stop pushing us etc.. then, suddenly our buddy and ‘Legal observer’ for the day is whisked off by several boys and girls in hi-viz. Shocking and scary. Then  – whoosh- they’ve grabbed me too, ripped my sign from my hands and I’m being frog-marched away from my friends. Being searched at the police van I hear one of them say “we just need one more”!?  You can see footage of the arrest of three of us here:

I must add I that wasn’t strip searched, they made me take down my jeans as I was wearing two pairs!

So, we have all been charged with: “wilfully obstructing the free passage along a highway without lawful authority or excuse..” I was kept in the van for three hours and then in a cell for another six. NONE of us accepted the caution offered, bail conditions are to stay off site and four of us appear in court this Friday the 20th Dec.

We have a good solicitor so fingers crossed eh! I’ll let you know what happens next.

Meanwhile – yes, there is difference between Balcombe’s summer village fete feel and a muddy track next to the motorway in the winter, but the community glue is still tangible; well, we have the knowledge that we are RIGHT to hold us together don’t we!  So get on up there and show your support, you’ll meet some wonderful people. And if that’s not possible then please be assured that any donations received go straight into practical things like solicitors fees, hay-bales, building materials, travel costs, publicity and more.


Posted on: December 17, 2013