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From: The Socialist issue 936, 15 February 2017: March to save our NHS

Search site for keywords: Fracking - Wakefield - Socialist - Health - Oil - Yorkshire - Lancashire - Demonstration - Gas - Environment - Health and safety - North Yorkshire

Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017

The Tories' approval for new fracking in the UK is a watershed decision, photo John McSporran (Creative Commons)

The Tories' approval for new fracking in the UK is a watershed decision, photo John McSporran (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

John Sibbald, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party and Frack Free Wakefield

It appears very likely that fracking is about to start in England in 2017. Permission has already been granted at Little Plumpton in Lancashire and in North Yorkshire where the Kirby Misperton protection camp has been established.

Protests have also been held in Sherwood Forest. Here it has recently emerged that Ineos, which has the licence for this area, has been threatening landowners who refuse permission to carry out seismic testing.

This is not surprising considering that the boss of Ineos is Jim Ratcliffe, famous for threatening his workers during the Grangemouth dispute in 2013.

Now in order to make the public believe that fracking is safe, four public bodies - the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Oil and Gas Authority and Public Health England - are touring the country holding drop in sessions.

They were due to visit Wakefield on 7 February and the Socialist Party, along with other activists, planned a demonstration outside the venue.

However, a few days before, the event was cancelled. We don't know why but a local councillor suggested that "maybe they were worried about a confrontation".

I would urge others to check if one of these events is scheduled for your local area, full details are at drillordrop.com.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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