To: UK government

Protect the right to protest: don't unfairly punish people who oppose fracking

Protect the right to protest: don't unfairly punish people who oppose fracking

The ability of communities to organise, provide critical voices and offer something more than symbolic opposition to the fracking industry is essential.

But there are increasingly severe outcomes and restrictions on protesters involved in protest actions against the fracking industry. These sentences are disproportionate to the acts that they have committed.

We should all be treated equally under the law, no matter what we're protesting about. And the UK government needs to protect the right to protest, starting with commissioning the Joint Committee on Human Rights to conduct a thematic inquiry into the declining space for civil society to effectively oppose the fracking industry in the UK.

Why is this important?

On 26 September 2018, four protesters received lengthy custodial sentences for their part in blocking fracking trucks from entering Preston New Road site.

The civil space for local communities to protest against the shale oil and gas industry in the UK is becoming more and more restricted and this represents a growing threat to fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly. This is exemplified by:

- The granting of sweeping civil injunctions to private companies, giving them special legal treatment in the face of widespread public protests.

- Central government proposals to bypass local councils by making exploratory drilling a ‘permitted development’ - removing the need for planning permission and for local communities to raise their objections through their local representative body.


Reasons for signing

  • One of the imprisoned, Roscoe Blevins, is a work colleague of mine. He is friendly, socially and environmentally conscious, and not the sort of person who I feel would participate in such an act simply to to cause disruption. He was acting in good faith as a concerned citizen and is being unjustly punished for it.
  • One of the imprisoned, Rich Loizou, is my son's teacher. He is a socially conscious, inspirational person who lives his beliefs and should not be punished for standing up for our environment.
  • Friend of mine concerned about Fracking to the environment and imprisoned for causing a Traffic Jam?

Updates

2018-10-12 17:08:12 +0100

Thanks for your support everyone. The three imprisoned anti-frackers Rich, Rich and Roscoe are appealing their sentences this Wednesday 17th October. Please do share this petition on Facebook and Twitter to show the level of public outrage at their incarceration.

Guardian coverage from 6th October:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/05/fracking-activists-to-appeal-against-prison-sentences

2018-10-01 09:14:04 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2018-09-28 07:11:04 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2018-09-27 11:20:47 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2018-09-26 19:56:22 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-09-26 17:36:21 +0100

500 signatures reached

2018-09-26 15:41:11 +0100

100 signatures reached

2018-09-26 15:09:51 +0100

50 signatures reached

2018-09-26 14:53:57 +0100

25 signatures reached

2018-09-26 14:33:17 +0100

10 signatures reached