Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The most powerful letter

This letter is the most powerful, concise and well referenced argument I've yet seen on the dangers of fracking.

It is from a large number of health & medical organisations, professionals and scientists urging New York State to extend its ban on fracking.

Concerned Health Professionals of New York to New York State

  • Evidence linking water contamination to fracking–related activities is now indisputable.
  • The structural integrity of wells can fail. These failures are common, unavoidable, and increase over time as wells age and cement and casings deteriorate
  • The disposal of fracking wastewater is causally linked to earthquakes and radioactive contamination of surface water. It remains a problem with no solution. 
  • Air quality impacts from fracking–related activities are clearer than ever.
  • Community and social impacts of fracking can be widespread, expensive, and deadly. 
  • Industry secrecy contributes to unsettled science 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Today in court

Dez the musician

arrested for singing protest songs (video) in Beverley the other Saturday because one verse had the word 'arse' in it, pleaded not guilty.  He is accused of:
threatening or abusive words or behaviour within sight of persons likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
So it goes to a 1 day trial on the 17th July in Bridlington.  (The Beverley Courts are too busy in July.)

Meanwhile he is banned from Beverley, as a bail condition.  As he is now living at Crawberry Hill protectors camp this means the nearest centre for shopping or public transport is now impossible.

So he can't, for example, use the train station in Beverley to travel to his court case.

However, he has been invited to play at Beverley Folk Festival in a couple of weeks time.  So the judge, recognising that playing music is, 'what he does', relaxed the condition for the weekend 19th-22nd June so he can attend.

Dominic Solo Hero

Dominic bravely made a single person protest in front of Rathlin's convoy last Thursday.

The majority of his life is lived in close contact with nature, and an essential tool that he uses many times a day is his folding camping knife, that he's owned since he was 16.  It's normally left in his tent, but in the sudden confusion of the arrival of large numbers of police and the equipment convoy he ended up sprinting to the end of the road without chance to consider and leave his tool.  The blade is 3 1/2 inches long.  The legal limit for possession of a knife in a public place is 3".

He was accused of "blocking" a public highway, but the judge was more concerned about the more serious offence of possessing a blade in public, as the sentencing guidelines recommended a custodial sentence.  He pleaded not guilty to both.

However the judge recognised that Dominic was, "not for one moment a knife wielding criminal" and in trying to find a swift, reasonable solution encouraged the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to offer him to "bind over to keep the peace".  The CPS refused.

After some negotiation Dominic changed his plea to Guilty, and the judge concluded:
The courts are rightly concerned with blades and the level of sentencing.
You have this tool as part of your lifestyle, and may live as you wish within the law ... [the knife] innocently kept in a public place.
If  not reasonably in a public place it is normally a custodial sentence.  However as he has no previous convictions, lives his own way of life and wandered in to a public place I will move away from the guidelines.
... a 2 year conditional discharge. 
This means he will not be punished unless found guilty of another crime within the next 2 years.  If he is found guilty of another crime of a similar nature within 2 years the consequences "will be serious".

The other charge of blocking a public highway was dropped, and his treasured camping knife will be destroyed.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Solo Hero - Protector Arrested for Walking down highway

Last Thursday Rathlin brought a load of equipment on to West Newton in a single convoy.

Dominic exercised his right to peaceful protest by walking, alone, down the public highway in front of the whole convoy and police, and was promptly arrested, and banned from both well sites.

Video - "I am not blocking the highway, I am clearly using this public highway to move myself as is my right."
"You're under arrest".

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Rathlin's Water Tanks overflowing... yet again. Also leaking. And sludge?

This is at least the 3rd occasion we've had reports of their tanks overflowing.

We've also heard reports that during the drilling at West Newton there was brown sludge spilt in the street in the village of New Ellerby for 50m in each direction- if anyone has any more information or photos of this incident please get in touch using the contact form at the foot of the page.

So that's several environmental incidents already, and they haven't even started testing yet.

West Newton well site, 23rd May 2014.  The rainwater tank is overflowing into the neighbouring footpath and brook.