Barton Moss Lock on Against Greater Manchester Police Aggression

Barton Moss lock on 21st march 2014 photo by Steven Speed

from Salford Star

This afternoon, two protectors locked on to a concrete drum for over one and a half hours to “highlight our plight…we’ve suffered at the hands of the Greater Manchester Police and the Tactical Aid Unit”. On the lock-on drum were daffodils and a sign reading `We All Love You Vanda’ – a message to the mother brutally arrested this week, who was released on bail from prison this afternoon.

Meanwhile, this morning, another lorry carrying more radioactive material entered the IGas exploratory drilling site at Barton Moss.

The action came at the end of a week that saw numerous arrests and aggressive policing tactics by the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit, including, on Monday, the vicious arrest of Vanda, the mother who was later incredibly charged with assaulting a police officer (see previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here).

“We’re doing this to highlight the dangers of fracking and the danger to future generations, and also to highlight our plight here on the Moss” said Kate, one of the lock-onees “We’ve suffered at the hands of the GMP and the TAU, they’re corporate soldiers created and manufactured by IGas, not to facilitate peaceful protest but to facilitate the lorries going in and out by any means necessary.

“For the last two days they’ve been all nicey, nicey, with the Independent Protest Panel and Police Advisory Group visitors here, but it’s not the sort of behaviour we’ll be expecting on Monday, which seems for some reason to be a mental arrest day” he added “We’re tired of the police and all these fracking drills going up and want to put a stop to it.”

It took the GMP Protester Removal Team over one and a half hours to remove the protectors from the lock-on drum – nicknamed Rose after `a lovely lady who lives in Cadishead’ – which delayed eleven lorries trying to exit the IGas exploratory drilling site. Following the lock-on, the lorries were delayed further by a slow walk downBarton Moss Road.

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This morning, more radioactive material was delivered to the IGas site in a huge blue truck. Last month, when similar material was delivered to the site, IGas told the Salford Star that it would “not represent any danger to the environment if the operating procedures are properly followed” (see here).

Today, like yesterday, the policing of campaigners on Barton Moss Road was good humoured, with three arrests – the two lock-on protectors and a protector who lay down in front of the IGas site gates and refused to move.

However, dozens of people are expected at the Justice4Barton Moss vigil outside Swinton Police Station tomorrow between 12noon and 2pm.

“We are shocked at the level of police at Barton Moss Community Protection Camp and also the media smear campaign by Greater Manchester Police and the shocking heavy handed and disproportionate policing, the incarceration of protectors at Swinton Police Station, and the use of riot police (TAU). Our Human Right to protest peacefully is being taken away” states Justice4BartonMoss

Further details see Justice4Barton Moss Facebook event – click here

Photos by Steven Speed

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