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Lancashire Police lose control as Anti-fracking protesters demand an end to fracking

February 26, 2017

    Photography by Philip Malone


Over a thousand Anti-fracking protesters flocked to Preston New Road in Little Plumpton, Lancashire to demand an end to Fracking. 


The event that started at Maple Farm on Preston New Road in Lancashire near the Cuadrilla Shale gas extraction site hosted a number of speakers and musicians as well as food and drink stalls before the roadside protest got underway. 


Protesters from all over Lancashire were joined by other groups and individuals from all over the UK including Yorkshires, Cheshire and Surrey in a united stance on Fracking.


Among the protesters was the Green party member and contender for the Greater Manchester mayoral elections Will Patterson when asked why he had attended the event he said  "There might not be any fracking taking place in Greater Manchester right now, but we are in the frackers' sights and there are some local businesses supplying Cuadrilla on the Fylde. The more communities learn about fracking, the less they want it to take place in their neighbourhood or anyone else's. That's why I thought it was important to travel through and support the action - we can't turn away from our neighbours when they need our voice to shout along with them." 


The support from the public was overwhelming as passersby cheered and honked horns endlessly throughout the protest. 

          Photography by Philip Malone


The situation soon changed from a static protest to something more chaotic when protesters marched in a non-uniform manor along Preston New road (the A583) and headed towards the Cuadrilla site entrance. 

once at the entrance Cuadrillas private security firm lined up behind the perimeter security fence whilst Lancashire polices Tactical aid unit (TAU) formed a ring of steel in front of the site entrance but they could not overcome the will and determination of the Protesters as they marched forward whilst chanting "We said No" and managed to breach the perimeter fence and gain access to the fracking site leaving police and security powerless. 


The protesters then had Lancashire police and the Private security company running around like wild cats as they spontaneously scattered out across the road and made their way further up Preston New road towards the fracking sites land owners house. The owner Dave Wensley who leases the land to Cuadrilla was reported to be inside the property under the protection of security. As the protester approached the house, security and Dozens of Lancashire police TAU officers scrambled to protect the family home and the Police helicopter was swiftly draughted in. A local member of the group said she was angered by the amount of police protection the family had been given and went on to say "If my house was getting burgled then Lancashire police would not even turn up but they are prepared to spend thousands on protecting these people and facilitating the corporate agenda" 


As people split off in to small groups and even attempted gain access to the rear of the property grounds Lancashire police could only look on. One officer was heard saying "I don't know what to do" as the Protesters asserted their authority and demanded fracking is stopped in the UK.


Among the crowd were members of Bolton against fracking and the Bolton diggers who supplied hot soup and bread to the protesters.  One of the Bolton against fracking  members said "we have sent a clear message to Cuadrilla today and shown Lancashire police that we mean business. We will not go away and if people keep turning out in numbers we will soon put an and to fracking and safeguard our children's futures"


Francis Egan, chief executive of the fracking company Cuadrilla, said "today's action were "unacceptable and irresponsible".


The decision to allow Cuadrilla to frack at the site is to face a judicial review next month. 

               Photography by Philip Malone


Tags: Test article

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