Anti oil-drilling campaigners on the Isle of Wight gathered online last night (Tuesday) to hear advice and encouragement from successful challenges against fossil fuel exploration in the North of England.
Lessons learnt from Frack Free Lancashire
Tina Rothery, from Frack Free Lancashire and co-founder of the Nanas against fracking, spoke of her involvement in 1,000 days of protest and action at the fossil fuel site at Preston New Road (near Blackpool) until fracking was suspended in summer 2019.
She identified the ‘spin’ which oil companies demonstrate in planning applications to hide their real intentions for their activities on the site, and how important it is to remain positive, creative and human.
“The companies underestimate the intellect and determination of people when they are defending the most important things in their life: their families, home, community and the environment they depend on. My purpose is to save my grandchild – it was not my intention to be a radical activist.”
Rothery: We have to see through the spin these companies will use
Tina stressed that protesters will get involved at different levels from petitions to direct action, and told the story of a driver who honked a horn in support of the protest who was then threatened with arrest by a police officer, and so arranged a 100 strong convoy of beeping vehicles to make his point.
“We have to see through the spin these companies will use.”
Dowding: Lobbying councillors, working together and keeping spirits up
Gina Dowding, Green Party Lancashire County Councillor and Former MEP, explored the role that councils can play in stopping oil drilling, as well as stories of peaceful protest at the exploration sites.
She stressed that lobbying councillors, working together and keeping spirits up are really important. In Lancashire, whilst the County Council refused the planning application to drill, the local community were overruled by the national government who pushed the drilling through.
“We were always talking about a lack of democracy and who was in control. Many councillors were very concerned about the lack of transparency, and joined the campaign to fight the attack on our democracy.”
Lowthion: It isn’t too late to submit your objection
Vix Lowthion, the IW Green Party spokesperson, said after the meeting,
“It is so important that as many people as possible take part in this public consultation on potential drilling for oil outside of Arreton on the Isle of Wight.
“It isn’t too late to submit your objection via email or Website, but we also must prepare for the coming months and years ahead if this application is approved.
“The Isle of Wight Green Party are committed to protecting our countryside and keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Instead we must invest in clean and renewable sources of energy such as solar, tidal and offshore wind.”
The deadline for objections to the planning application is this Friday, 24th July. More information can be found at Don’t Drill the Wight Website.
News shared by Vix Lowthion on behalf of Isle of Wight Green Party. Ed