26 September 2018
Responding to the news that four environmental campaigners have been jailed for peacefully resisting fracking in Lancashire , Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP and a vocal critic of the policing of fracking protests, said:
"The frack free four are heroes. These people put their lives on hold to defend our environment and climate from the destruction imposed on it by a government blindly committed to fracking at any costs. The latest cost being the liberty of three peaceful protesters whose only crime is resorting to peaceful direct action to resist an industry after every democratic route of opposition was ignored and overturned by the government. The people of Lancashire and their democratically elected representatives repeatedly said no to fracking."
"We are supposed to be a mature liberal democracy that can accommodate dissent. Today's decision blows that myth wide-open; authoritarianism has become a favourite tool of a minority government that lacks the public's support to force through its environmentally destructive agenda by any other means. Any government that conspires with the dirty fossil fuel industry against its own people is rotten to the core."
"Dissent is not a crime in any country with a political system fit to be called a democracy. Consequently, the sentences handed to the frack-free four are chilling."
Notes to the editor
2. Keith has been calling for a review of the policing of fracking and drilling operations across the UK https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/10/police-tactics-at-fracking-protests-need-urgent-review-says-mep