Eviction  – Latest News

On Tuesday 12th January 2016 the bailiffs arrived and hundreds of police closed off the area round the camp preventing the dozens of supporters who arrived from witnessing the eviction. 9 people were arrested and with the use of lock-ons and tunnels the campers held out for over 7 hours.

The campers are regrouping and we’re looking at how best to carry on the protest.

One things for sure – as the mass rally the following  Saturday showed – the protests will continue.

 

EVICTION – Court Hearing Update and WHAT CAN I DO?

1 – Update

Anti-fracking protesters have been ordered to leave their camp on land at near Chester that is earmarked as an IGas coal bed methane site.

But they were given 28 days to “pack up and vacate” because they have been at the camp for over 18 months.

To cries of shame, a judge at the High Court in Manchester granted an eviction order for the site off Dutton’s Lane, Upton, to IGas and two landowners, Tim and Peers Dutton.

The campaigners were refused leave to appeal and IGas’s application for costs against two camp residents was also turned down.

The campaigners established the protection camp in April 2014, arguing that the site would be used for fracking.

In court, they said they were legally protected from the Eviction Act because the camp was their dwelling. They said there had been a “tacit agreement” with the landowner for them to be on the land. They should have a proper written notice to terminate what they called a “licence” to occupy the premises, they argued.

Their lawyer asked the court to give “great weight” to children at the camp, even though they were not represented.

IGas argued that the farmer had been tolerant of the camp but had not made an agreement with the campaigners.

He said there was no reason why peaceful protest could not take place without the occupation of the land. He added it was not in the best interests of children to live at the camp.

The national anti-fracking campaign group, Frack Off, said this afternoon:

Community pressure does it again. Upton Community Protection Camp eviction delayed until at least 4th Dec. Every delay is a victory”.

It added:

85% of the community at Upton oppose IGas plans to drill to coal seams in an attempt to extract Coal Bed Methane. The proposed site is located in farmland just 500m from the nearest residents and has 8 schools within a 1 mile radius.”

[The camp’s] presence has defended the community from becoming a regional foothold for the industry.”

The case began chaotically this morning when Chester MP, Chris Matheson, and the local paper, the Chester Chronicle, were not allowed in the court. The case later moved to a larger room. Mr Matheson told the Chester Chronicle he would raise the problems with the Speaker of the House of Commons.

(above courtesy of the excellent journalist Ruth Hayhurst – Drill or Drop)

Updated figures from the Frack Free Upton Street Survey show that out of over 2,800 Upton Residents surveyed, 85% do not want Unconventional Gas Exploration or Extraction in Upton. IGas have no social licence to drill so close to our community and schools. The closest houses are only 500m from the site and there are 8 schools with over 3,200 pupils in total within one mile of the site.

 

2 – Help us keep you upto date

1.  Send an email saying ‘Add Me’ to frackfreedee-volunteer@riseup.net. 

2. Text ‘Add Me’ to 07950950695 to receive update texts.

**Your details will not be shared with anyone else**

Please continue to support Upton Community Protection Camp. Many thanks to all those who have supported the camp over the past eighteen months, they now need your support more than ever.

3 – Attend the upcoming camp events:  

***email uptoncampsolidarity@hotmail.com

 

CAKES TO BLOCKADES….100 ways of resisting Upton eviction

**SATURDAY 21st November  – 11:00-13:00**

There will be roles for everyone during the eviction. It’s not just about locking yourself to a concrete barrel or hiding in a tunnel!

There’ll be someone to talk to the press, someone to keep it visual with banners and someone to catapult cake over police lines to feed the people inside.

**This workshop will give you the chance to share different reasonsfor resisting eviction, and explore different ways of doing it as safely and effectively as possible.

 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

**SATURDAY 21st November 14:00-16:00**

Police and security often rely on communities not knowing much about the law: with a little bit of knowledge we can protest with much more confidence.

Workshop covers: how you can respond when police and security approach you, what laws they might use against people resisting eviction, and what might happen if someone is arrested.
TREE TOP LIVING? – Climbing Training Day    

**Monday 24th November 10:00-16:00**

Ever fancied a day in the trees, living like a bird, free from everyday worries?  

Come along to a full days training session (Monday 24th November 10-4) and learn how to safely climb (and get down from) trees, at the comfort of Upton Protection Camp………all for Free!

Training will include rigging up ropes, safety equipment and how to build temporary structures in the canopy.

Bring youself, your friends, a ‘positive’ attitude and take away these valuable skills to be used as you wish 

If you have any of your own climbing equipment such as Krabs, Ropes, Harnesses, Slings etc., please bring them along.

**Brews included – but if you can, please bring your own food and water.

Any donations such as large sheets of plywood, construction timber (3″ x 4″ or thereabouts), batten timber (1″ x 2″ or thereabouts), willow, hazel, netting, tarps, 6mm polyprop rope, long screws, drill, impact driver, nuts, bolts, will all be very handy

 

Upton Solidarity Weekend – Tunnels, Treehouses and Towers?

**Friday 27th November 16:00 to Sunday 29th November 19:00**

A weekend of building and preparation for the Eviction!

This is the last weekend before the eviction date, our last Solidarity weekend. Friends and supporters will be coming to host workshops and skillshares on site – come along and learn how to prepare for an eviction.

If you have any of your own climbing equipment such as Krabs, Ropes, Harnesses, Slings etc., please bring them along.

**Brews included – but if you can, please bring your own food and water.

Any donations such as large sheets of plywood, construction timber (3″ x 4″ or thereabouts), batten timber (1″ x 2″ or thereabouts), willow, hazel, netting, tarps, 6mm polyprop rope, long screws, drill, impact driver, nuts, bolts, concrete mix etc will all be very handy.

So we call on you… Come and learn how to protect this land. Let’s put a stop to this industry everywhere that it rears its ugly head and make a Frack Free Everywhere!!!

Part of an anti-fracking group? Funding is available to get you to the camp to help out. Contact info@frack-off.org for more info.