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6 December 2017

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

Anti-fracking protesters received a blow recently when Mr Justice Morgan ruled that an injunction obtained against protesters by Ineos Shale should continue.

Two environmental campaigners who opposed the order, Joe Boyd and Joe Corre, argued it was "unprecedented" and "draconian" and should be dismissed.

The judge did, however, remove a clause in the original order which would have prevented 'harassment' of Ineos staff and contractors.

Anyone breaking the injunction will be considered in contempt of court and liable to a prison sentence or having their assets seized by the court.

This includes any attempt by protesters to disrupt in any way work being carried out by Ineos or any of its contractors.

The case has been seen as a test of rights to protest and is regarded as important because it may encourage other companies to take similar action against opponents of their activities.

Ineos is an anti-trade union company with a shocking health and safety record. It is currently seismic testing in south Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

It now appears that planning decisions in these areas could be removed from local government and replaced with a government-appointed planning inspector.

Recent freedom of information requests have shown that Ineos, which also has licences to frack in large areas of north Yorkshire, and fracking company Third Energy have had talks with north Yorkshire police to discuss their plans and share information on protesters. This simply highlights the close links between the police and fracking companies.

John Sibbald, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party