Friday, 20 October 2017

Major 'own goal' by North Yorkshire Police at Kirby Misperton Fracking site

Kirby Misperton the Fracking Frontline

Today marked the first 'Green Friday' trip to Kirby Misperton where the Green Party & the wider Green Movement are being mobilised to support the Prrotectors at the Habton Rd Fracking site. 

There was a major own goal by North Yorkshire Police by not allowing the request for a slow walk by protestors in front of one of the lorry convoys today on their way into the site. By not allowing people their right to peacefully protest North Yorks Police unequivocally put themselves on the side of Third Energy and against the right for people to legally demonstrate their opposition. Instead people were effectively 'kettled' and risked arrest if they moved outside the police cordon. Police on the ground appeared to be ready to facilitate the request but were overruled by their remote commanders demonstrating their poor leadership. Not their finest hour but sadly not their worst either at KM. They have effectively 'upped the temperature' by taking a draconian approach that overtly favours the Fracking company. 

'Tea Lady' Jackie Brookes on the left with frien
Of course the temperature is already high with several arrests following 'lock ons' and towers constructed outside the entrance to the site with protestors atop. The arrest of the 79 year old 'Tea lady' Jackie Brookes has gained worldwide coverage and done nothing to help North Yorkshire Police's reputation for having a heavy handed approach to dealing with objectors to Third Energy's plans. Today's request for a 'slow walk' protest in front of the lorry convoy with police consent offered them a chance to repair their reputation. It was sadly ignored. All that will occur as a result is a renewed resolve by those opposing the Government's plans.

The cost of policing at the Fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire has been estimated at £450'000/month. With the heavy and excessive police presence we saw today then we would expect a similar figure for Kirby Misperton. There are enough reasons to oppose Fracking in its own right, but now we have the waste of   millions of pounds of police resources protecting corporate interests that threaten our environment and our communities as well.

The Kirby Misperton site is expected to commence Fracking within days and is the frontline in the battle against corporate greed, climate change and threats to our fundamental liberties. People of goodwill need to act and get themselves up to Kirby Misperton as soon as possible and as often as possible.
With Carolyn Popple, one of the Core Group of No Fracking Way walkers from March this year
Outside the entrance to the Fracking site


  1. you get a good idea from watching the footage on face book that the police don,t care about human rights or the fact their dealing with none violent none criminal people who just happen to care about the future of the world we all live in unlike the greedy corrupt system we call a Conservative government that could even risk the water supply that so many people depend on a Tory vote is a pro fracking vote don,t forget that at the next election.

  2. Thank you for this report, good to see that the Police's facilitation of the gas company is getting out. May I make a small correction though. Jackie wasn't arrested, she was kettled, surrounded and intimidated by Police "for her own safety" as a pallet tower (which was very stable) was suggested to be dangerous (utter rubbish!) It was horrific to see our lovely Jackie in such a situation but she's a stoic lady and wasn't moving readily for the bullies!

  3. We know the police don't care. Look back at the miners strike. Take care people. The policeman is your friend, unless ordered not to be by their superiors, who are never around.

  4. I'm astonished that you think the police scored an own goal. They were right in this instance.

    You'll know that the law requires the organisers of a moving protest to give written notice to the police. I don't know what the notice period is in North Yorkshire, but around 6 days notice is the norm. Yes, it's bureaucratic and frustrating but it's the law.

    A little slow march would come under the heading of a moving protest. Officers had organised numbers to police a static protest, not a march.

    Without giving written notice, the slow marchers commit public order offences and their "peaceful protest" is unlawful (so no longer 'peaceful'). The police commander on the spot is not in a position to help protesters break the law by saying: "Oh alright then. You're such nice people and its only a little slow march, so I'll say 'yes', but don't tell anyone that I made an exception of you!".

    When celebrities and public figures make guest appearances at demos, protesters are tempted to put on a show, like a slow march, for their and social media's benefit. When the police say No to facilitating an impromptu demo or anything other than a static demonstration, they get criticised for not playing ball. They are called uncaring, heavy handed and brutal even. A balanced view might take into account that (a) they had to say NO, and (b) that local people and other Tax-payers might prefer to have officers back in their communities rather than facilitating protesters' youtube videos and facebook selfies.

    When the police become the target of resentment and frustration, rather than the ministers of state that granted the fracking licence, then I fear that activists, supporters and well-wishers are in danger of taking their eye off the ball.