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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2017
Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight
Anti-fracking demo, Manchester, 21.9.14, photo Dylan Murphy (Click to enlarge)
John Sibbald, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party
Ineos, the largest shale gas exploration company in the UK was granted an interim injunction against anti-fracking protesters on 31 July.
This injunction specifically outlaws so-called 'slow walking', where protesters attempt to delay delivery vehicles. This has been ruled as a lawful form of protest by some district judges.
It significantly increases the risks to those who protest against fracking. The maximum penalty for obstructing the highway is a £1,000 fine, although most people who are found guilty are given a conditional discharge.
The maximum penalty for contempt of court is two years in prison. According to Ineos, anyone who breaches the order by "interfering with lawful activities" would be "held in contempt of court and may be imprisoned, fined or have your assets seized".
Ineos claim that they are not opposed to lawful protest, that is to say that they don't object to a few people with placards. However, shouting at Ineos staff or anybody delivering to Ineos sites is looked on by them as unlawful.
The next hearing in the High Court in London is 12 September. If this is not challenged in the strongest possible way it could affect not only anti-fracking protests but also other kinds of demonstrations and protests.
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In The Socialist 6 September 2017:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight council cuts - back the Brum bin strikers!
Historic McStrike: if we don't get it, shut it down!
Problem gambling soars by 33%
UN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin
Them & Us
What we think
Tories weak: time for the TUC to act
Schools and teaching
Schools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay
Socialist Party workplace news
Strike together for better pay
RMT fighting for passenger safety, accessibility and security
Merseyrail strike over safety: Labour mayor and councillors must reverse their decision
Three week Argos strike ends
Fawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"
College workers ballot for action in Nottingham
International socialist news and analysis
Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism
Extreme weather events and global warming
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Determined protest against Chatsworth Ward closure
Young people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017
Huddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review
Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally
Bristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!
Demonstrators see off far-right in Keighley
Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight
Socialist Party comments and reviews
How the Single Market blocks socialist policies
Bosses' pensions robbery
Magic money tree
Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights
'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'
The Socialist 6 September 2017 |
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