Anti-fracking demo, Manchester, 21.9.14, photo Dylan Murphy

Anti-fracking demo, Manchester, 21.9.14, photo Dylan Murphy   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Lucy Nuttall, Lancashire Socialist Party

The GMB union has issued a joint statement with the Chamber of Commerce calling on police to crack down on anti-fracking protesters in Fylde, Lancashire, where Cuadrilla is currently drilling for shale gas.

Attempting to justify their position, the GMB leadership claims that “protesters should not be allowed to prevent workers from getting to and from their jobs.”

This is a divisive tactic meant to pit sections of the working class against each other. Instead, a trade union should be leading the struggle to unite workers and protesters against the common enemy of big business, and capitalism’s ruthless drive for profit regardless of the environmental destruction involved.

The serious risks of shale gas extraction, which receive no mention from the GMB, such as water supply contamination and heightened earthquake risk, could have potentially devastating consequences for working class communities.

The Socialist Party calls for an end to fracking and investment in alternative renewable energy sources to provide long-term, secure, skilled jobs. Only by establishing a socialist planned economy can the world’s resources be utilised for the needs of all.