Protests will continue as fracking firm attempts to ban some tactics

Protests will continue as fracking firm attempts to ban some tactics

By Gareth Dennison | 01/12/2017

Protests will continue as fracking firm attempts to ban some tactics
ne protestor makes her views known outsude the INEOS Shale public consultation event at Woodsetts village hall. 171628-5

CAMPAIGNERS pledged to continue protests — both peaceful and noisy — despite a judge backing Ineos’ move to ban certain tactics.

The injunction — prohibiting acts like slow-walking in front of vehicles — was renewed by the High Court last Thursday.

Ineos said it was pleased by the decision because its workers had faced illegal action by “hardcore” activists, including death threats.

Woodsetts Against Fracking called it a sad day for democracy but said the group’s resolve was strengthened.

A spokeswoman added: “The bullies appear to have won, backed by their friends and allies, namely the Government.

“Or could this be the day the rest of England wakes up to the killer that is fracking and the threat to their freedom that big business has planned for us all.

“What has happened today is a huge undemocratic erosion of our civil liberties and our right to peacefully and legally express our opinions.”

A section relating to harassment was not renewed because Ineos did not provide enough clarity, the court ruled.

The WAF spokesman said: “It’s not a major victory but we are on the way. In the end the injunction will no longer have any teeth.

“It makes us hopeful we are witnessing the end of this assault on our beautiful village and all the other areas under threat.”

Deborah Gibson, from Harthill Against Fracking, added: “There are so many more instances of peaceful, if disruptive, protest.

“The whole point of protest is that it raises awareness and draws attention to the documented risks of earth, air and water contamination from the hydraulic fracturing industry Ineos wants to impose on rural communities.

“We will continue to inform people of the dangers of fracking, and we will continue to protest against Ineos’ activities.”

Ineos Shale operations director Tom Pickering said: “These injunctions simply protect Ineos and our people from hardcore activists who game the system and treat the law with contempt.

“They also protect the rights of people to lawfully, peacefully protest.

“We safety train our people to avoid the very hazards hardcore activists naively expose themselves to.

“Walking in front of a lorry whose driver cannot see you or locking yourself to heavy machinery is dangerous.”

The group thanked Joe Corre and Joe Boyd for leading the challenge against the writ, which they plan to appeal.

INEOS is seeking costs.