Green Mondays at Preston New Road, Lancashire

Green Mondays

Lancashire’s anti-fracking protests

by Allan Todd

Green Mondays were begun on 14 August 2017, with Natalie Bennett as our first speaker. She was also one of the speakers at our first anniversary Green Monday on 13 August last year. Today’s Green Monday - with Danny Goss from Friends of the Earth as the speaker - is our 65th.

They grew out of Rolling Resistance,organised by Reclaim The Power for the whole of July 2017: there were many lock-ons & truck surfs, with the aims of delaying Cuadrilla’s operations and getting publicity for the protests. It was very successful!

Towards the end of July we discussed the need to keep the momentum going. We decided to have a rolling programme of Green Mondays. In order to maximise numbers they were to be as broadly ‘Green’ as possible: so much more than just the Green Party. There was a deliberate intention to appeal to Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc, with two aims:

1. Publicity for the campaign against fracking at Preston New Road, Lancashire (and elsewhere).

2. To delay - via non-violent direct action (mainly sit-downs in front of the gates - but also some lock-ons) - Cuadrilla’s operations.

It quickly became apparent that if we got 50+ protesters turning up - what I called ‘The Magic 50’! - we could get sufficient people prepared to do some effective peaceful civil disobedience.

Speakers we’ve had since August 2017 include many Green Party leaders - Caroline Lucas (who attracted over 200 people!), Amelia Womack, Jenny Jones, Jonathan Bartley, Siân Berry, Magid Magid - and prominent journalists, activists, academics and authors, including George Monbiot and Kate Raworth. We’ve also had speakers from Global Justice Now!, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, War on Want, Left Unity and the Public and Commercial Services Union.

However, since High Court injunctions were granted in June/July 2018, the non-violent direct action aspect has been virtually impossible to do - though there are still the occasional ‘high spots’!

Nonetheless, we still need to have a big presence outside the gates - hence we’re keeping the Green Mondays going until Cuadrilla go.

Now and again we organise solidarity trips to other fracking sites or courts where environmentalists are on trial. The Stansted 15 are those who peacefully stopped a deportations flight from Stansted Airport. Originally charged with aggravated trespass, they were subsequently charged under Terrorism legislation. They have been found guilty and are due to be sentenced in the first week of February.

The Green Party on how fracking puts a sledgehammer through climate targets

Green Party Petition to the Government on fracking

Green Party Petition to hold a vote in Parliament about banning fracking

How to get to Preston New Road from Liverpool

By train:

Change at Preston for a 10 mins. journey to the nearest rail station: Kirkham & Wesham - & then pick up a 61 bus which will be heading to Blackpool: there are stops right at the site, & at the Community Hub at Maple Farm (a 20 mins walk from the fracking site).

 

By car:

Probably best to head up the M6, then come off onto the M55 at Junction 32, then leave the M55 at Junction 3, following signs to Kirkham/Blackpool, onto the A583. This takes you past the fracking site and, a few minutes later, there’s the Community Hub, Maple Farm Nursery Garden,[PR4 3PE] on the R., just past Moss House Lane. You can't miss it - there are loads of anti-fracking signs!! There’s some parking there - & also at World of Water, on the far parking space - but, if parking there, please let someone in Ma Baker’s Café know (they do really good chips & cakes!)