Article on Cuadrilla fracking protests prompts 14 complaints to press watchdog

DRILL OR DROP?

pnr-lock-on-170220-with-permission-of-author1 Protest at Preston New Road on 20 February 2017. Photo used with the permission of the author

The press regulator has received multiple complaints about an article by the Telegraph referring to arrests at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site.

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Hey TOSHIBA and Co..Can the UK survive fracking in the vicinity of nuclear sites?

Fylde fracking

The following article was first published on Sisco Media 29th January 2017…

Question: Is it possible that by shining a light on nuclear we could also scupper fracking?

Eyes on Fylde Fracking AND Nuclear

In October the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, overruled a decision by Lancashire County Council and said that Cuadrilla could frack at Little Plumpton, near Preston against the wishes of the local council.  Fracking campaigners are now bravely taking non-violent direct action on the front line. Cuadrilla’s plan is to drill down thousands of feet into the rock and take samples prior to full on fracking. Anti-nuclear campaigners have also fought fracking these last few years, for very good reason.  The government halted all onshore fracking operations in 2011 over concerns at earth tremors after fracking at the Preese Hall site in Lancashire, which were attributed to Cuadrilla’s operations there.  Preese Hall is six miles away…

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Anti-fracking and ‘besetting’: a law against peaceful protest?

Thinking legally

These are Dickensian times so why not revive a few Victorian laws to deal with the indigent, the pauper and the malcontent?

Thus two men caught taking discarded food from a supermarket skip were charged under an obscure section of the 1824 Vagrancy Act, after being discovered in “an enclosed area, namely Iceland [supermarket], for an unlawful purpose, namely stealing food”.

The charge was later (sensibly) dropped, but now anti-fracking protesters have been successfully prosecuted for another obscure Victorian offence: “besetting” the Cuadrilla test drilling site near Balcombe, West Sussex. Natalie Hynde and Simon Medhurst had superglued themselves to a gate and held up the entry of lorries for two hours.

So what is “besetting” – or “watching and besetting” as the offence is properly termed? And could it become a significant legal weapon in the armoury against protest?

The crucial point about the law is that it involves…

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How did you find out about fracking?

DRILL OR DROP?

Cuadrilla fracking site Photo: Cuadrilla Resources

Yesterday, campaigner Louise Somerville asked on Facebook how people had found about fracking. We thought the answers were very interesting and asked for permission to reproduce the thread. Another campaigner, Vanessa Vine, asked the same question this morning. We’ve combined the answers.

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