On Saturday 12th November we joined the thousands of others who supported the #UnitedAgainstFracking demonstration in Manchester.
It was a powerful protest, called in response to Sajid Javid’s decision in favour of Cuadrilla’s drilling in Lancashire. Groups from all over the country were present. People had travelled from as far as London, Scotland and Devon to say no to fracking.
They came carrying banners and placards, wearing face paint, holding customised yellow and black umbrellas and even bringing dogs bearing anti-fracking slogans!
We created a little street theatre piece to entertain the people en-route. We dressed as Theresa May saying, “We’ll think not of the powerful but of you,” (quoting her speech outside Downing St on her first day as Prime Minister) and Sajid Javid saying, “Except when the powerful want to frack you!”
Time will prove if Theresa May’s ‘on the side of the little people’ rhetoric will stand up to scrutiny but her Government’s position on fracking in the past few weeks doesn’t bode well.
Following this, we chose to spend our time spreading the word about the ‘One Million Climate Jobs’ campaign, as we have done this year in Northallerton, Manchester and Birmingham. We think its message of the job-creation and climate mitigation potential of renewable energy, public transport and energy efficiency work is an essential part of the fight against fracking and fossil fuel expansion. We gave out hundreds of fliers (Campaign against Climate Change One Million Climate Jobs flyer) and sold a lot of copies of the report (One Million Climate Jobs).
The demonstration ended with a huge gathering in Castlefields. The event featured communal singing (including an anti-fracking version of ‘Do You People Sing?’ and ‘Jerusalem’), chanting and even, at the end, dancing to tracks mixed by the Hacienda’s DJ Haslem.
The quality and profile of the speakers were very high. They included Manchester Mayoral candidate, Andy Burnham (video footage of speech), Bianca Jagger (whose Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation has done work on fracking and human rights abuses – video footage of speech), Tina Rothery (who is facing prison following a peaceful protest in 2014 – video footage of speech) and John Ashton, CBE, former climate change special representative of the then Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
John Ashton once said:
You can be in favour of fixing the climate. Or you can be in favour of exploiting shale gas. But you can’t be in favour of both at the same time. (Friends of the Earth 10 facts about fracking flyer)
All credit to everyone involved in organising the event. It was very well-run demonstration of fracking’s lack of social licence which will have a powerful and positive effect on politicians, fellow citizens, those who attended and shoppers who saw it pass by.
Keep The Frack Out Of Our Future from wellredfilms
United Against Fracking protest attracts thousands to Manchester from Northern Quota
Search tag: ECO*-nomy2016, ECO-nomy2016, Keep*in*ground2016, Keep them in the ground 2016