FROM LANCASHIRE TO LONDON: WOMEN’S VOTE AGAINST FRACKING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2018
100+ women dressed as Suffragettes will travel to Parliament Square on Wednesday 12 September, raising public awareness against fracking and local democracy failures.  The women are predominantly from Lancashire, where fracking is imminent, having been forced upon communities whilst blatantly disregarding local government decisions. Joined by women from across the country, they bring a message to Westminster: let communities decide on fracking, without the top-down power doctrine of central government.
The 21st Century Lancashire suffragettes have invited all MPs to join them and make clear which side they are on when it comes to the issue of fracking. The women are asking MPs not to support the proposed planning rule changes over permitted development in fracking applications – this policy is currently out for consultation. The women will also present their message on a giant postcard to at the Department for Business, Energy and Industry (BEIS). 
2018 is the 100th year anniversary of women’s victory in gaining a parliamentary vote after the Suffragettes’ campaign to achieve voting equality for women. The Parliament Square event will highlight how there are still many democracy issues on dirty energy companies taking priority over communities.
With cross-party support and from NGOs Friends of the Earth, 350.org and Greenpeace, several other MPs, politicians and campaigners will give speeches, including Baroness Jenny Jones, Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas MP and former leader, Natalie Bennett. They stand in solidarity with residents who are being undemocratically forced to host fracking sites in their communities.
Award-winning actress, Emma Thompson, sent a message of support ahead of the Parliament Square event:
“Everyone should know the story of Lancashire, where local democracy was flushed away by the government along with the decision of the local people to RESIST fracking in the area. Fracking is a ludicrous way of creating energy and flies in the face of everything this government pledged to support in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“Support the Lancashire Women and force this government to listen.”
Dot Kelk, an environmental campaigner who will travel from Lancashire stated:
“We have brought our message from Lancashire to London: local democracy must be respected. On a local level, communities must be able to make planning decisions that are not interfered with on a national level. Otherwise, what is the point in having local governance?
“We say: let communities decide. Dirty energy infrastructure projects that have health, environment and climate impacts for years to come, should not be forced upon communities that have already clearly said no.
“The Suffragettes fought hard to give women a voice, but even today, we find we still can’t be heard by politicians.”
Green Party co-leader, Caroline Lucas MP, said:
“In July the Government quietly approved fracking in Lancashire – abandoning its commitment to tackle climate change by prolonging our dependence on fossil fuels, and defying democratic decisions made at the local level to block this dangerous drilling.
“Just 18% of people in the UK support fracking, while 85% back clean renewable energy. With MPs and women from across the country debating fracking next week in Parliament, ministers must listen to the public’s serious concerns and end their dash for gas.”
In a timely addition, there is also a parliamentary debate  on the same day, proposed by Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, debating planning permission and shale gas exploration. This will take place in Westminster Hall at 11.00hrs.
Notes to Editors
– For all enquiries on the day, please contact Tina Rothery on 07496 842334 or Gina Dowding 07838 793674
– Speeches will begin around 12.30- 13.00hrs, on Parliament Square, following Prime Minister’s Questions.
– Event photocalls are at 1.15 -1.30 and 14.00hrs – 14.30hrs.
- Fracking is back in England – and only the Tories want it | John Ashton
- Postcard presentation at BEIS – time TBC.
- Parliamentary Debate on Shale Gas
Media Consultant & Journalist | The Write Type
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