Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 13 January 2014 at 9:24 GMT

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo by M Kilsby

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo by M Kilsby   (Click to enlarge)

Exploratory drillers told to "Frack Off"

Matt Kilsby

On Sunday, more than 500 activists, trade unionists and environmental campaigners joined a march and demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford.

The march was called in solidarity with anti-fracking campaigners that have been camping at the site - where IGas is carrying out exploratory drilling - for several months.

Whilst IGas have stated that they only plan to do "exploratory drilling" at the site, the company has estimated that there could be up to 170 trillion cubic feet (4,810 cubic km) of gas in the areas of northern England that it has a licence to explore.

If shale gas and methane are found in Barton Moss, then it is likely that fracking and drilling will begin at other sites in Salford and Greater Manchester.

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo by M Kilsby

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo by M Kilsby   (Click to enlarge)

And with the government’s recent announcements and David Cameron’s declaration that “we are going all out for shale” the fight to stop fracking in the UK is well and truly on. In a push to make it easier for companies to expand drilling and fracking operations across the country, the government intends to allow councils to keep 100% of business rates raised from fracking sites.

Cameron has also said that revenues from fracking could be paid in cash directly to homeowners living nearby. In his Autumn statement George Osborne announced the halving of tax levied on companies carrying out exploratory drilling.

These policy announcements are nothing more than the prostitution of the environment and the bribery of councils that are struggling to cope with the government’s spending cuts. Councils and local planning authorities should be protecting the environment and the interests of local residents.

Such bribes would create a shocking conflict of interests and effectively mean the buying and selling of planning permission for fracking and drilling operations.

Link campaigns together

Over the past few weeks the police have tried to break up the protest camp by making numerous arrests and being heavy handed with protesters. As a number of speakers at the rally pointed out, at stake is the right to protest peacefully without harassment from the police.

Speaking from the platform at the rally Steve North, branch secretary of Salford City Unison, linked the struggle against fracking with the struggle against council cuts and austerity.

Last week Salford's Labour council announced devastating cuts of £23 million which will mean 300 workers being made redundant.

At the next demonstration against these cuts, we need to see trade unionists, workers and the people of Salford united and protesting alongside environmental campaigners and activists.

We want Salford's Labour council to tell IGas to frack off and refuse to implement Tory cuts that will devastate the city.

One protester from Salford told the Socialist: "I am here to safeguard the environment for my children. We do not want fracking in Salford or anywhere else. This protest camp has not been forced on Salford by outsiders; we fully support the protesters".

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo M Kilsby

Members from the Socialist Party in Salford joined the protest and a number of people filled out cards to find out more about us and what campaigns we are active in across the city.

We also produced a leaflet and poster urging IGas to "Frack Off" - which proved very popular.

We say:

Protest against council cuts and fracking

Wednesday 15th January, 8.30am

Civic Centre, Manchester Road, Swinton, Salford

Salford Socialist Party public meeting

Wednesday 5th February, 7pm (venue TBC)

No to fracking in Salford

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 13 January 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Related links:


triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleLabour mayor needs to stop all cuts

triangleSalford Socialist Party: A debate - High rise or low rise housing?

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Uber, the gig economy and capitalism

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution


triangleAnti-fracking campaigners' legal fight

triangleGMB conference: angry mood from delegates

triangleTheatre review: Fracked! Political satire skewers frackers

triangleGMB union should support anti-fracking campaigners in Fylde


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot


triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism


triangleHackney Socialist Party: How can the environment be saved?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni



PCS ballots members on the pay cap


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice