Anti-fracking campaigners 'deserve our gratitude, not a prison term'

By agency reporter
September 27, 2018

In July 2017,, a convoy of lorries delivering drilling equipment to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire was brought to a halt by protestors. Four people climbed up on top of the cabs of the lorries and between them stayed for a total of 99 and a half hours, supported by local residents who supplied food, water and blankets.

After a seven day jury trial at Preston Crown Court, they were found guilty of Public Nuisance. Roscoe Blevins and Richard Roberts received 16 months immediate custodial sentences. Richard Loizou received a 15 months immediate custodial sentence. They can expect to serve half of this time in jail, the rest on licence. Julian Brock received a 12 months suspended custodial sentence.

Commenting on the sentences, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “Peaceful protest is the safety-valve of a healthy democracy. It allows ordinary people to protect their health, families and homes from harm when all other safeguards have failed. It’s a strange society that massively rewards those responsible for causing more climate change while putting those trying to stop it in jail. Ministers have changed laws, taken away homeowners’ rights and distorted the planning process to make way for the shale industry, yet it’s four peaceful protesters that get punished for climbing on a lorry.

“As the world’s leading scientists are about to issue their latest warning on the existential threat fossil fuels pose to our living world, these Lancashire protesters deserve our gratitude, not a prison term. They have done what this government promised to do but is yet to deliver – making sure that we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthier environment than the one we found.”

* Greenpeace UK


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