Friday, 24 June 2016

Before court...

I am NOT surprised... I already sensed the humanity at the heart of our movement. Already knew what solidarity felt like after five years being immersed in an alien place I now call home. Because it’s not about being me, it’s testament to the power of people who empower themselves – who refuse to watch continued injustice on ANY level. What’s happening to me isn’t the end of the world, isn’t a fraction as bad as what could be and what is, in so many places right now. What #IamTinaRothery did I think – was offer the chance on a very real, human level, for people to show they give a damn and not just about a planning application or ugly government ruling – but about each other. Standing up for each other, brings out the best in people; the part that won’t stand by silently when another is unjustly treated... and that means (as activists) we are always in the company of the best of people, whoever we are with. Tomorrow is, on a personal level, my little line-in-the-sand – my choice to refuse to make the next step, the one I am told to make (pay or face further courts, costs possibly a little time). I won’t walk further into the fraud, the sham, the disgrace that is our ‘justice’ system, any more than I will back down from protecting the precious things – our wellbeing, health, the future, my young. Tomorrow for our movement of campaigners, activists, sharers, concerned people... is also about more than being genuinely caring, kind and valued friends, it’s an opportunity. We come together in clusters and gatherings to share information, inspire each other, offload anguish and make plans for better and sometimes to we mass ourselves into a larger chunk that makes an impact with feet on streets at marches and rallies... but this has been another view of the shape and size and intent of us. From where I am – the most amazing perspective right now – I see words in languages I don’t understand, faces of friends, smiling strangers not yet met and humanity at its most beautiful best. I also see how in the years since social media came along and independent media emerged, how we have come to be masterful in the use of these new tools. A hashtag is more than just a file name, it’s a call to action, a chance for deeper research, of finding wise minds and other ways of thinking, a way of nudging others or as is happening now to @CuadrillaUK – overwhelming and shaming them. The press seats at many events, actually have genuine journalists that bring honour to the role - now that those driven to report truth because it really matters, have woven into our view. Independent journalists making the sharp contrast to the old-world common media that looks more and more like a rerun of itself that’s wearing out and with cracks and flaws all the more visible. Tomorrow will come and go as days do – but on a personal level, I have seen what true reality looks like and I wouldn’t have missed it – for the world <3 span="">

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Look at the state we’re in with these ‘negotiations’
Contorted distorted EU in-out connotations
Awash with a choice of no-win situations
Cause this isn’t about us and what’s good for the people
Isn’t about home, habitat or foreseeables
Isn’t about what’s right and what’s wrong
Just focused on making trade, weak or strong.
When its all about an economy
It’s not about humanity
In sharp contrast I’m soothing here...
Where the colours are rich and hope grows
Where those who act, reap what they sew
Where seeds once planted in occupied space
Grow strong through the gaps
Of democracy’s disgrace
Where you and me and them and us
Aren’t divided by manipulated mistrust
Where fact is made plain and truth is raw
And no-one is turned away from an activist’s door
I’ve witnessed more humanity, warmth and grace
More genuine faith Balcombe, Crawberry and Barton Moss Horse Hill, in village halls and Didcot
Than ever is gathered in any other place
Where kindness is written on every welcoming face
And even in mud under barrage of assault
The music plays, the voices raise and we go on
And the pain inflicted on ANY of us,
Is dispersed through the many
Till it’s virtually gone
...Absorbed by the mass-unified
Wound’s entry point faded from sight

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I Am Tina Rothery

Updating things...
I’ll be in Blackpool Law Courts at 10am on 24 June 2016 - Chapel Street, FY1 5RJ (though some are meeting outside from 9am) This is of course rather worrying and not something I know how to prepare for... but as it has turned out, I couldn’t be in a better position to cope. Since sharing the news that the court wants me to pay £55,342.37 in court costs for an ‘eviction’ (that wasn’t as we’d already gone) in Summer 2014 of a 3-week camp in a field earmarked for fracking by Cuadrilla... the support, warmth, concern and pure humanity in messages, posts and hugs – has quite taken my breath away. Campaigners here in Lancashire with Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Plane Stupid, Occupy London, Reclaim The Power, Greenpeace UK and countless individuals and anti-fracking groups across the country have made clear their shared outrage and support – each recognised exactly what this is – an attack on our right to defend our communities and exercise peaceful protest. In other countries, honourable activists can be killed for what we do and often are – while we do have a semblance of democracy – I think we are beholden to make it work for us and to not allow this bullying that would sacrifice our rights and make us vulnerable in future to the whims of corporations seeking profit at risk to us. So the court wants me to explain why no money has been paid (I actually really can’t as I am very poor and without assets)... but I find the question is pointless. What point my bringing in financial excuses when my real problem is that I WILL NOT pay criminals, or contribute in any way to harm. What that means for my case is I believe that I will be in 'contempt of court' - I though believe that the corporate abuse of our legal system is ‘contempt of justice’. Lovely people have offered to crowd-fund but I truly think this is the wrong way to go – it sets a precedent and means that we will face this situation time and again as they break us financially and eat up our valuable time in courts and prisons. I am really fortunate to have been a travelling activist in this fight to keep the UK frack-free... so my network is broad and I know, kind and supportive. But I know many who work harder... on front lines at camps, slowing trucks, writing endless Freedom of Information requests, arranging events, sorting transport and function rooms, digesting thousands of pages of reports and researching in every spare moment – not all activists though could get the support I know is there because they aren’t as visible... so what for them if this cost is paid? We should NOT contribute in any way – directly or indirectly by submitting to their ‘authority’ and ability to use our laws to their advantage. Why is the law not working to our advantage? Why can’t we get it to move quickly on behalf of our movement? What recourse and access realistically do any of us have? We can’t win if law and ‘justice’ is based on ability to pay for lawyers – they will always have more A dear friend and fellow activist - George Brown - has kindly set up an event for any who can make it on the day... to make clear - WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED. The event is 'I am Tina Rothey' - rather like 'I am Spartacus'... a bit uncomfortable to have my name as a focus but I understand the purpose and see it more as ‘I am you’ rather than you are me if you see what I mean. They bankrupted Ian Rowland Crane, hit young activists with fines they can’t hope to raise with ease and are ruining future prospects for activists younger than myself who may one day want a mortgage or the freedom to travel and be employed without having to mention time spent in jail. I really don’t have much to lose... and have already gained so much in warm friendship and solidarity. If you can make it for what will likely be a quite short court appearance, that would be great... if not, then perhaps if you could share online to expose this abuse of OUR laws to support an industry that has to bully its way into our lives, that would be lovely. Thank you. #DontFrackJustice #IamTinaRothery

Video from the field in 2014: