'Early Christmas' for Frackers: Site Blocked With Massive Wind Turbine Blade
Wrapped in a large red bow, campaigners leave 54-foot long symbol of renewable energy at entrance of drilling site
The growing protest movement against the "new wave" of gas-fired power stations and fracking test sites around the U.K. added a festive spirit to its campaign on Monday when a group of demonstrators delivered a 54-foot wind turbine blade to a drilling site near the city of Manchester, blockading workers from entering the site.
"This morning fifty pro-renewables campaigners delivered a 17 meter, 1.5 tonne wind turbine blade as a 'Christmas gift' for fracking company IGas," announced No Dash for Gas, the UK-based anti-fracking group behind the action.
After wheeling in the massive piece of equipment and assembling it on the spot, protesters left it in front of the entrance of the site wrapped in a large red Christmas bow.
IGas, the gas company which was carrying out exploratory drilling at a site in Barton Moss, just outside the city of Manchester, was forced to stall production before police eventually managed to move the blade out of the way.
No Dash for Gas protester Sandra Denton, who participated in the action, stated:
We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK.
The Government and the big energy companies are planning to build a new wave of gas-fired power stations, partly fed by thousands of fracking wells across the British countryside.
This would lock us into using this expensive and dirty fossil fuel for decades to come, trapping us in a future of spiraling energy prices and disastrous floods, storms and droughts as climate change kicks in.
Monday's creative stunt follows a heated protest at the site on Friday, where police clashed with protesters.
Ongoing protests at the site have continued since organizers set up a “Barton Moss Protection Camp” in November where "actions are frequently launched from the camp to disrupt drilling activities at the site, and at least ten people, including local residents, have been arrested in the last few weeks," the group says.
The protests come on the heels of a protest movement which spread across the U.K. this summer in opposition to drilling company Cuadrilla, which attempted to drill in Balcombe, West Sussex. Protesters claimed victory when Cuadrilla ultimately withdrew its fracking application.
According to No Dash for Gas, "Barton Moss is now widely seen as the new frontline in the battle for clean energy in the UK."