Because I care about the health and well-being of children, I would not choose energy techniques that take risks with the essentials for their lives - air and water. Therefore I protest and along with lots of others, work really hard to raise awareness about dangerous industries like unconventional energy, in order that we protect the things that matter.
That regular, everyday residents are having to do this
...is ludicrous in itself.
There don't appear to be genuine safeguards - just lobbyists with power/influence/money and a compliant system designed to let them have their way for the sake of 'the economy'. What about the sake of 'the community'? Who in office is genuinely looking out for our well-being as human beings?
Tomorrow the Nanas will be in court for part 2 of an action being taken against us and others who occupied a field. We did this primarily to alert the local community of their proximity to the proposed shale gas site and to raise awareness of the processes and risks involved. For the sake of proceedings, the case names me as the Defendant (a name was needed for the case to proceed WITH our involvement) and the landowner - with a lot of help, financing and encouragement from fracking company Cuadrilla - as the Claimant.
I have never been in this situation before and for a while, I have been a bit scared really; courts and law are serious matters and so much about the process is far beyond my knowledge and understanding. I am having to rely on a legal team I barely know (although their record is good and they seem to have good intent) and more than anything - the warm support by those glorious others also striving to stop fracking from proceeding in the UK.
I say 'have been' scared and I suppose I'm still a bit uncomfortable - but as time is passing and the time is drawing near, I am more determined and angry now. How dare this situation even exist - that a grandmother fulfilling her obligation to care for the generations she has produced, has had to battle her government, the energy industry, Councillors, police, heavily-financed PR/Marketing campaigns and all other manner of obstacles - simply because I have deep concerns about the safety of the air my granddaughter breathes and the water she drinks.
Wading through swathes of manipulated words in witness statements by Cuadrilla-financed individuals who know exactly what they are doing and how to take 'justice' and apply it for profit and example... I conclude that I can't play this game. I don't want to negotiate my way out of anything, I don't care to get off with the least harm and I will not say things just to make it so.
So what's the worst that can happen in court anyway... is it as bad as undrinkable water and air that harms your health? Can it possibly be as bad as a community suffering under the onslaught of this loud, smelly, lit-up, dangerous, intensive industry that is fracking?
They just want to stop residents showing opposition to fracking by making it clear that they have more money, more power and more influence and will use it to sue for tens of thousands I don't have. But money is not a drinkable, breathable thing I can bequeath to future generations - they can have everything I haven't got and then some - I'm saving a future not an income.
“We hope the court will extend the interim injunction against illegal trespass on local farmland. We hope that this action will prevent any recurrence.” Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO
They also want to stop residents acting to stop the industry from drilling into our communities by making it clear that they have more money, more power and more influence and will use it to have injunctions put in place that prevent anyone acting to prevent their progress. But sites where fracking is planned are places that are part of where we live, our community - and protecting the environment we live in matters more than a ruling that pretends justice - but really only gives it to the few and applies limitations to the many.
The coach starts its journey in Fleetwood at 7:30am tomorrow, picking up here at 8 and then on to Manchester - all seats will be occupied by people I admire, respect and love - so the journey as honourable Nanas will be a joy. Others from this amazing community of activists from all over the place will be at the court too and this means so much more than anyone can imagine... time is the most precious thing we have and it is not easy to make space in an anti-fracking diary! Online too has been so very uplifting as people share the event, post words of support, reveal their understanding and I know... are thinking of us during the case.
Whatever the outcome tomorrow - it can't possibly stop those who know the risks of fracking, from continuing to do everything in their power to ensure it doesn't happen in ANY back yard.
Whatever the outcome tomorrow - it can't possibly take anything from the beautiful unity, determination and optimism we've been gifted in our roles as Nanas, Protectors, Activists, Residents...
Whatever the outcome tomorrow - I'm going home on a coach full of loveliness and that's a joy I wouldn't have any other way.