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Frack-Off UK campaign schedules local resistance training sessions

Chris Satori
Frack Free Lancashire 4" Stickers 
Frack-Off UK tell us that a series of anti-fracking resistance training opportunities are coming up in Lancashire in response to the Cuadrilla licensing applications. Frack-Off Uk is a nationwide co-ordination of many local groups, including Frack Free Lancashire. You can click here to see the invitation on their facebook page. More training sessions are underway in other UK regions also.

People who would like to get responsibly skilled-up to maximise their usefulness in the local regiments of popular resistance to fracking are invited to attend. There's no need to book and it's a training that can stand you in good stead across a great many situations.

Below you can also find details of how to submit objections to Cuadrilla's licensing applications online.

Training Session Dates
* Legal Observer Training (with Green & Black Cross) (see info below)
Sat 26th July 1pm – 5.30pm, The Steamer, Fleetwood, FY7 6BT
* Know Your Rights Training (with Green & Black Cross)  (see also below)
Sun 27th July 1pm – 3pm 27th July, United Reform Church, St George’s Rd, Lytham St. Annes, FY8 2AE
* Direct Action Training (with Seeds For Change)
2nd Aug 1pm – 5pm, The Steamer, Fleetwood, FY7 6BT

Public Meeting
29th July 7.30pm, Formby Gild Hall, Church Rd, Formby, L37 3NG

Legal Observer Training
The North West anti-fracking movement needs more Legal Observers.  If you want to do something crucially useful at camps, demos & community blockades and want to know your rights inside out… Get trained next weekend! The training is designed to give you more confidence and knowledge of how to deal with the police in most situations.

The training is very comprehensive, covering: Police tactics – Stop & search law & procedure – How to support arrestees – Police ranks & command structure – Supporting direction action – How best to support activists and challenge inappropriate policing. If you want to help protect the protectors and also want to stay well clear of being arrested yourself, this is the job for you.

Frack Free Lancashire badgesKnow Your Rights Training
Find out about the laws that regulate the relationship between police and protectors and what can and can’t be done regarding searches, arrests, giving your details, etc. The training will take the form of a briefing with opportunities afterward for questions.

Community Action Training
Organised residents groups have proven to be the single most effective method for opposing injustice and extreme energy developments around the world. Community direct action took place every day at Balcombe Community Protection Camp last summer and at numerous camps and blockades since. Find out how to plan, take and support direct action. Learn and experience a variety of techniques and how to deploy them effectively and safely. These training sessions will equip and prepare you to resist the threat of fracking in your community.

How to object online
The closing date for objections to Cuadrilla's application for a test drilling site at Preston New Road is 5 September 2014. There have been about 6000+ objections to date and it's starting to look like a regional record. You can lodge your own objections online on the Council's website at LCC/2014/0096 or very quickly sign a pre-filled objection (which you can also edit) at the Friends of the Earth website (click here).

Cuadrilla's application for a similar test drilling site at Roseacre Wood, about 5 miles from Little Plumpton has now been made public and can be viewed on the County Council website (LCC/2014/0101), where you can also submit your views (click here) or very quickly sign a pre-filled objection (which you can also edit) at the Friends of the Earth website (click here).The closing date is 19 September 2014.

Cuadrilla's equally important Environment Agency radioactivity licensing permit applications remain open to objections until 5 August and you have your say on that by clicking here. These are in addition to its applications to the County Council and are for licensing for its use of toxic and radioactive chemicals where there is a risk of pollution to groundwater, and managing its millions of gallons of toxic and radioactive waste (something no fracking company has yet managed successfully).

A national government public consultation on Underground Drilling Access rights - ie the right to drill under private property without the landowner's consent closes on 15 August. Click here to view it and have your say.

Peel Holdings (again) and the Local Authority
Despite the very heavy popular opposition to fracking, Frack-Off UK don't appear to have a great deal of faith in the local authority's ability to follow the evidence and their mandate instead of the hype. Perhaps they have some reason. 

Since 2008 IGas has had a joint venture with Peel Holdings, a major landowner throughout the area. Peel has more influence in Lancashire than Lord Ashton ever had in Lancaster. It is under the control of the Saudi Arabian Olayan Group. Under the deal, Peel has given IGas unlimited access to its entire land holdings for the purpose of identifying suitable sites for drilling for coal bed methane. The companies also agreed commercial terms for leases of sites if drilling went ahead.

Peel owns major holdings throughout the North West, including Heysham Port, which, for tax purposes, is part of the Cayman Islands.  It was the subject of a 2013 report by Ex Urbe which detailed how the company had 'embedded' its people throughout the regional political decision-making infrastructure, obtaining a disproportionate influence over planning decisions and a hugely disproportionate share of public subsidy.
You can read more about that in our previous report: Port in tax avoidance row as Link Road challenge goes to court