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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2018

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

Fracking is bad for the environment, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)

Fracking is bad for the environment, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Dan Gilmore, Newcastle Socialist Party

After seven years of an England-wide ban on fracking, high court judge Justice Supperstone has overturned a request for an injunction on the soon to be opened fracking site in Lancashire run by Cuadrilla.

Fracking continues to be pushed by big business despite complete condemnation by climate scientists and trade unionists, and this decision effectively opens the floodgates for fracking nationwide despite the complete lack of support from the public.

This decision comes just two weeks after the ruling by Judge Robert Altham to jail three anti-fracking protesters for up to 18 months, with another protestor being given a 12 month suspended sentence. These sentences represent an outrageous attack on the democratic right to protest. This sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

Several trade unions, including the National Education Union, the transport union TSSA and bakers' union BFAWU, called the sentences "politically motivated" and "manifestly excessive".

Recent information about Judge Altham has shown his family business, JC Altham and Sons, has direct supply ties to the Irish Sea oil and gas industries.

The company owns three oil rigs in the Irish Sea which supply the energy company Centrica, who in turn have pumped millions of pounds into Cuadrilla.

In addition, Judge Altham's sister Jane, alongside 119 other businesses in the area, has lent her name to an open letter written by the 'North West Energy Task Force' (now 'Lancashire For Sale') which directly petitioned Lancashire County Council to allow fracking to continue. After hearing of the prison sentences Lancashire For Sale has callously remarked that "justice had been served effectively".

These obvious conflicts of interest show how far capitalists will go to protect their profits. Only a socialist society can guarantee the democracy of the working class and protect our environment. We must stand together against those that would potentially trigger earthquakes, poison our water and fracture our communities in the name of profit.

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In The Socialist 17 October 2018:


What we think

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News

Universal credit = universal misery

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist


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Fully fund mental health services now


Workplace news

PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

Striking Brum home carers reject 'final' pay cut offer

South Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

Uber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

Bolton hospital workers strike

Grimethorpe dinner ladies stage all-out strike against redundancy

Cable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

Newham finance staff fight pay and grading insult


International socialist news and analysis

Libres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state


Engels

The renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Demo against far-right DFLA

Socialism - the podcast offering Marxist analysis for the movement against capitalism

'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

Devon foster carers fight 30% cut in allowances

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The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Fracking:

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