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‘Not for Shale’: UK Protesters Launch Widespread Actions Against Fracking

‘Targeting everything from government offices and university research facilities to gas company headquarters and fracking sites, hundreds of concerned citizens across the United Kingdom on Monday unleashed a series of direct actions calling attention to the government-backed push to “frack the future” of the UK.

The coordinated demonstrations kicked off a six-day “Reclaim the Power” camp in Blackpool, England at which over 1000 people including a coalition of climate, social and economic activists are expected to join. During the event, participants will take part in protests as well hold workshops to “connect the dots” between various government and industry efforts to expand shale gas drilling in the UK and “challenge the undemocratic, unjust and unsustainable system” to implement more sustainable energy solutions instead.

In London, three activists superglued themselves to the main entrance of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to protest the government’s attempt to keep the dangers of fracking hidden from the public. The activists specifically called for the complete release of a heavily-redacted government report on the impacts of fracking made public last week.

During the demonstration, a fourth activist scaled the building’s scaffolding and unfurled a banner which read: “What’s to hide DEFRA? Don’t frack with our future.”

Protesters in London also blockaded the front entrance to the iGas headquarters, the drilling company whose exploratory wells in Barton Moss have been the target of numerous demonstrations against the government’s “new wave” of drilling sites and gas-fired power stations.

On Sunday, anti-fracking advocates opened the Reclaim the Power camp with a march to show support for the people of Lancashire, who have been engaged in an ongoing fight against a proposed Cuadrilla drilling site in their county. According to the protesters, the drilling giant has made “persistent” overtures to buy its way into fracking the Lancashire countryside, despite widespread local resistance.

Activists on Monday occupied Cuadrilla’s headquarters hoping to, finally, have their voices heard.

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