Anti-fracking campaigners take ‘Don’t Frack the Commonweal’ to Westminster

Representatives from Frack Free Isle of Wight joined others at Westminster yesterday to present the Commonweal, one spoke of which was created on the Island during August.


Frack Free Isle of Wight share this latest news. Ed

An artwork in the shape of a wagon wheel entitled, “Don’t Frack the Commonweal”, was presented to frack free supporting peers at Westminster on Monday 20th November.

Its creator, artist Tom Cousins, met with peers Jenny Jones and Jan Royalle for a film and photoshoot of the presentation alongside representatives from the UK communities and groups who worked with him to create it, including Sylvia May from Frack Free Isle of Wight.

The representative group with Jenny Jones (Wearing the FFIOW badge!) on the veranda

Frack Free Isle of Wight hosted a gathering to create our Isle of Wight spoke for the Commonweal Wheel at The Garlic Farm as part of the project.

What is the Commonweal?
Westminster and Parliament was forged around the time of the English Civil War by the concept of the ‘Commonweal’, an idea that “power should be vested as close to the people as possible to manage the environment suitably for their sustenance, over riding the interests of crown and royal decree.”

Tom travelled to meet members of England’s Water and Community Protection Camps and fracking opposition groups, in licensed drilling areas, to make the spokes of the wheel using the almost forgotten pre-industrial craft of bodging – shaping greenwood sections using hand tools.

Sylvia and Tom

Symbolising equality and balance
Although a wheel is not a traditional representational device of the Commonweal, this was presented to members of Westminster – as a reminder of its intended purpose for the common good of its people.

In Tom’s words,

“It symbolises equality and balance, since all the spokes are of equal length and stay firm as they hold their position, allowing society to effectively roll.”

Government however is driving fossil fuel extraction and fracking across licensed areas of the UK against the will of the communities involved, so it seems the Commonweal concept has been forgotten.

A very special day
Sylvia said,

“It was a very special day for all of us and both Jenny and Jan, who insisted on being called by their first names, were gracious hosts and very interested in hearing what we were doing in our communities.

“After we completed our photo and video shoot outside, we returned to the entrance lobby for our tour and tea, to find ‘Black Rod’ mildly admonishing the peers for staging the stunt.

“Jenny admitted that it had happened before and he was smiling hugely as he too welcomed us warmly to the Lords.”

Virtual 3D Model
A virtual 3D model of the wheel and film of its making, six mins – can be found on Tom’s Website.

Images: (L-R) Jenny Jones, Jan Royalle and right Tom Cousins
Veranda: The representative group with Jenny Jones (Wearing the FFIOW badge!)
Weal: Sylvia May and Tom Cousins

Tuesday, 21st November, 2017 3:31pm



Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Top story

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2 Comments on "Anti-fracking campaigners take ‘Don’t Frack the Commonweal’ to Westminster"

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Steve Goodman

The latest Private Eye (1458, p.13 – DRILLS AND SPILLS) has a photo and more on why we should be worried about what’s happening, whatever words are being used by our hypocritical government and their obviously nowhere near “gold standard” multiple permit-violating filthy fracking friends.

Steve Goodman