Bianca Jagger(1), Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, joined hundreds of mothers and children at a Mothers Against Fracking(2) rally organized by Frack Free Fylde campaigner, Gayzer Frackman, on Mother’s Day (Sunday 30th March) in London.
The event was held at Old Palace Yard near the House of Lords in Westminster(3), between noon until 3pm, as a demonstration of opposition from families to fracking in the UK.
Speaking at the event, Bianca Jagger said: “As a mother, a grandmother and soon to be a great grandmother, I am deeply concerned about the impact fracking will have on our way of life. Our environment, our water sources, the air and the land are precious resources which we must conserve if we are to leave a habitable world to future generations. Prime Minister Cameron, I urge you to stop endorsing this hazardous technology. It will be a betrayal of our children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren.”
Dr Becky Martin, spokesperson for Mothers Against Fracking said: “We were grateful to Gayzer for organising the rally and to Bianca Jagger for supporting us on the day. The event was inclusive but the focus remained on a large and very visible group of mothers, from all walks of life, who wish to publicly show concern for the future health of their children should the unconventional gas industry be allowed to go ahead in the UK. We do not believe that the industry can be safely regulated as fracking is an inherently risky process and we will continue to campaign until this threat to the health and well being of our children goes away.”
Frack Free Fylde campaigner Gayzer Frackman was joined by fellow Lancashire campaigners, Tina Rothery and Julie Daniels from RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking) and their joint message was a simple one: “Our children’s futures do not come with a price tag.”
Frackman, who changed his surname by deed poll after his home was damaged by seismic events caused by fracking operations in the Fylde(4), said: ‘The potential industrialisation of huge areas of the UK brings with it all the risks to public health, wildlife and the environment that have been documented in other countries where fracking has gone ahead.” He continued “the government’s arguments for extreme energy exploration are discredited. Shale will not bring down the cost of energy bills, nor will it create a jobs boom and it cannot come quick enough to bridge any gap in our energy needs so why would we compromise our children’s health for false promises?”(5)
Other speakers included the Green party leader: Natalie Bennett, Vanessa Vine of BIFF (Britain & Ireland Frack Free), Tina Rothery of RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking), Louise Somerville Williams (Frack Free Somerset), Julie Wassmer (East Kent Against Fracking) and Tammy Samede from the Barton Moss Camp in Salford where a protest has continued for over 3 months against exploratory drilling by IGas.
On Monday 31st March at 3pm, the protest continued when Frackman, Rothery and Daniels joined Mothers Against Fracking to become the 17th group to hand deliver a letter of protest to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street as part of the Walk the Walk campaign(6) begun by Gayzer Frackman in November last year after an epic walk from Lancashire to Downing Street to hand deliver the first letter of the campaign.
Gayzer Frackman will be demonstrating at Downing Street on Tuesday April 1st to raise awareness of the 3rd anniversary of earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla’s fracking in Lancashire.
Notes for Editors
(1)Bianca Jagger’s titles are:-
Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.
Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador
IUCN Plant a Pledge Ambassador
Member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA
(2)Mothers Against Fracking campaign group
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mothers-Against-Fracking/795339480493819?fref=ts
(3) Mothers Against Fracking event address for Sunday 30th March 2014:
Old Palace Yard, Abingdon Street, Westminster SW1
(12-3pm. Speakers from 1pm)
(4) Gayzer Frackman’s group: Frack Free Fylde
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeFylde?fref=ts
(5) Economics: Fracking will not bring down the cost of energy bills.
- Lord Stern, a cross-bench peer and professor at the London School of Economics, described the government’s claims of cheaper energy from UK unconventional gas supplies as “baseless”.
- Since UK gas is traded internationally, any shale gas ‘boom’ in the UK would be unlikely to have an impact on the gas price.
- In the USA, where fracking artificially lowered gas prices significantly at the outset, gas is rarely exported because other markets are too far away.
- Expert commentators from the International Energy Agency to Deutsche Bank have also said different geological, legal and regulatory conditions make it unlikely the US shale gas boom would be repeated in the UK
- The CBI, Chatham House and OFGEM have all expressed their doubts about shale gas bringing prices down.
Employment: Fracking will not create a jobs boom.
- David Cameron clings to the IOD report of 74,000 jobs being created by the shale industry. This report was funded by Cuadrilla, (the fracking company chaired by the government’s special adviser on this industry, Lord John Browne), demonstrating that many arguments for fracking are made by those who have vested interests.
- A far more recent AMEC report provided a greatly reduced estimate of between 15,500 – 24,000 jobs – and only during the peak production period of between 4 & 9 years.
- This is a woeful amount when balanced against the million climate jobs which could be created in that time.
Energy security: Fracking will not bridge an energy gap.
- The government claims that shale gas is needed as a bridge to renewables which are not yet fully available for our energy needs.
- But shale energy cannot be produced in time either.
- Shale requires another decade for production but the offshore industry has existing infrustructure in place and the full potential to meet energy needs until renewables come on line.
- It is also vital for us to ensure Climate Security – the forthcoming IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report is expected to show that we will miss our targets for carbon reduction and exceed global warming levels by 2c leading to irreversible impacts on food and water security and coastal habitats.)
(6)Walk the Walk – Downing Street. Campaign Facebook page:-https://www.facebook.com/events/263004400519592/
Press Release issued by Julie Wassmer.
Editors please note:-
Gayzer Frackman will be demonstrating in London on 1st April. If you cannot reach him please contact:-
Julie Wassmer; 01227 266910; 01227 266910/07400 926053; 07400 926053
For Mothers Against Fracking:
Dr Becky Martin: 07746 730396; 07746 730396
Frack Free Fylde: