Fracking protesters blockade Cuadrilla site

Fracking protesters have erected tripods with hammocks as part of a blockade at the entrance to the Cuadrilla site, this morning.

Police say around 20 protesters from Reclaim the Power moved onto the Preston New Road site at around 4.15am on Thursday, March 15.

Fracking protesters have erected tripods with hammocks as part of a blockade at the entrance to the Cuadrilla site.

Fracking protesters have erected tripods with hammocks as part of a blockade at the entrance to the Cuadrilla site.

A spokesman for the police said: "Please be aware of a delays past the fracking site.

"We have implemented a Contraflow for safety while we deal with an incident. Delays expected throughout the day."

The protesters, who are from Oxfordshire, have positioned themselves at the entrance to the fracking site, using equipment to delay their removal by police or security.

Many are holding banners reading “Until We Win”, Not Here, Not Anywhere”, and “Keep it in the ground”.

Protesters moved onto the site early on Thursday

Protesters moved onto the site early on Thursday

Louise Simpson, Oxford resident participating in the blockade, said, “Fracking gas here in Lancashire or anywhere will only worsen the climate crisis at a time when we know all fossil fuels must stay in the ground. RTP will be here until fracking is no more.”

“Impacted communities – mostly poor, predominately in the Global South - are already enduring the effects of climate change from flooding, to drought, to more frequent and severe extreme weather events, leading to food insecurity and forced displacement. It is our responsibility to say ‘no’ to all new fossil fuels, as the local community here in Lancashire have done, and take direct action to ensure that ‘no’ is followed through.”

The blockade comes the day before RTP’s national demonstration at PNR – Jig at the Rig – where hundreds are expected to converge on the fracking site in protest at its continued operation. The protest is described as a family-friendly demo takes place between 8am and 6pm – the site’s working hours – on March 16.

Henry Belcher, another member of the blockade, said, “We take this action as a last resort, in solidarity with communities leading the resistance to fracking and wider fossil fuel extraction locally and globally. From fracking in Lancashire, to oil pipelines across North America, and coal mining from Colombia to Vietnam, local communities are saying ‘no’ to new fossil fuel infrastructure, but are systematically ignored by the fossil fuel industry, banks and governments who use violence to repress them.”

Protesters moved onto the site early on Thursday

Protesters moved onto the site early on Thursday

“Despite repression including imprisonment of local protectors and growing assassinations targeting environmental defenders globally, especially Indigenous Peoples, the climate justice movement is led by those impacted first and worst by extraction and its effects despite the risks of taking action. Communities most proximate to fossil fuel extraction deserve a democratic say over how their land is used and how their energy is produced. There will be no climate justice without land rights and energy democracy. No climate justice without Indigenous sovereignty. No climate justice without global solidarity.”

Reclaim the Power (RTP) are an urban-based direct-action network who say they have a long-running relationship of practical solidarity with local protesters in Lancashire.