Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Greenpeace activists protesting Liz Truss

Greenpeace protesters interrupt Prime Minister Liz Truss as she delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, England on October 5, 2022. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)

'Who Voted for This?': Campaigners Disrupt Truss Speech Over Fracking Ban 'U-Turn'

"Nobody voted for fracking, nobody voted to cut benefits, nobody voted to trash nature, nobody voted to scrap workers' rights," said one Greenpeace organizer.

Julia Conley

Demanding to know "who voted for" new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss' reversal on fracking, Greenpeace campaigners on Wednesday prominently displayed a banner as the Conservative leader spoke at her party's annual conference in Birmingham before being forcibly removed from the meeting.

"Who voted for this?" read the sign displayed by Rebecca Newsom, Greenpeace U.K.'s head of public affairs, and Ami McCarthy, the group's policy officer.

After Truss called for the protesters to be "removed" from the conference hall, the banner was ripped from their hands by security guards, but Newsom and McCarthy quickly produced another sign.

The protest came two weeks after Truss announced the Conservative government will reverse the fracking ban imposed by the party in 2019, following tremors near the country's only fracking site in Lancashire.

Last week, Truss told BBC Radio that the government "will only press ahead with fracking in areas where there is local community support for that" but did not provide details on how local consent would be secured, and did not respond when an interviewer noted that members of Parliament who represent the area don't support fracking.

The Greenpeace campaigners on Wednesday said Truss' plan to return to fracking represents just part of her party's "U-turn" on policy since she took office.

"Nobody voted for fracking, nobody voted to cut benefits, nobody voted to trash nature, nobody voted to scrap workers' rights," Newsom told reporters after the pair were forced to leave the conference hall. "There's a whole host of things that the Conservative government were elected to do in 2019 that they're simply not doing."

The protest followed nationwide outcry over the "mini-budget" the Conservative government released last month, including a tax cut for the wealthy which Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced this week would no longer be included in the plan.

"The chancellor said the government is now listening," said Newsom. "If so, they may want to pay attention to the widening chorus of leading businesses, energy experts, former Conservative ministers, and even the U.S. president telling them to go in the opposite direction."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·


Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·


Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·


Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo