‘Desolate North Speaks Loud and Clear/ We Don’t Want Your Fracking Here!’ – Defiant message to delegates of the Shale and Gas Summit, Manchester, 11th October 2016

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Five days after Sajid Javid’s decision to allow Cuadrilla to do horizontal fracking at the Preston New Road site, we joined an important protest at the Shale and Gas Summit in Manchester.

A defiant group of campaigners from Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire maintained a presence outside the Radisson Blu Hotel at Manchester Airport where the industry conference was taking place.

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The event included chanting, singing and drumming. One song included the verse:

In Lancashire they’re going to frack

No fracking way!

The council said no but now they’re back

No fracking way!

And Sajid Javid should be sacked

No fracking way!

Let’s rise up in yellow and black

No fracking way!

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There were many banners and placards, including ones created especially for the event by the e-action organisation, Sum Of Us. They read, ‘99% Said No to Fracking – But the Man from Delmocracy- He Say Yes!!!- #WeSaidNo’

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It was good to have supporters of Reclaim the Power present including those involved in the perfectly timed ‘Keep It in the Ground mobiliser tour’ which had kicked off in Leeds just the night before.

We were there, in part, to promote the climate jobs alternative to fracking, as we had at the Austerity demonstration on October 2 and the demonstration against fracking in Northallerton on May 20 .

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We wanted to stress that while fracking is damaging to health and environment, it is also very poor at creating jobs.

This is explored comprehensively in both the One Million Climate Jobs report  (see pages 60-64) and in Friends of the Earth’s insightful ‘Making a Better Job of It’ report . This report contrasted the job-creation opportunities in the North West from fracking with those from renewables and energy efficiency :

  • Despite the several years of disruption from Cuadrilla’s proposed exploration at Roseacre and Preston New Road, the sites would create only 11 net jobs each.
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency are a better jobs bet: they create over six times as many jobs as gas per unit of power generated or saved, and around three times as many jobs for the same amount invested.
  • Huge potential in the North West: exploiting the region’s huge renewable energy potential and saving energy in the region’s homes could support another 24,000 jobs.

Trade unionists  have voiced support for this report. It is also a message which trade unions are supporting in the People’s Declaration Motion .

Just three days earlier, thousands of people had protested against Sajid Javid’s decision at the Preston New Road site (media coverage).

There are many ways in which we can all stand up against the fracking industry and its supporters in Government. Read more about these and also read about how new fracking sites means ripping up the Paris climate agreement.

“And remember that fracking jobs poison land and people. Climate jobs save lives.

 ‘One Million Climate Jobs’ pamphlet, 2014 (pg 64)

 

Media  coverage of the event.

 

 

 

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