The guys who made this film “The Bentley Effect” will be coming from Australia and touring the UK in May and we have been lucky enough to arrange a one -off showing and presentation in Frodsham where they will introduce the film and do a Question and Answer session afterwards. This is an amazing opportunity to meet and talk to these people who were involved in the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Movement and the Bentley Blockade.
The Bentley Effect film showing, doors and refreshments from 6.30pm, 7pm introduction by filmmakers and film showing, followed by Q&As. No tickets, please just turn up on the night, suggested donation £3.
Venue address – Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Cheshire, WA2 7QN.
For those of you on social media, there is a facbeook event for this at www.facebook.com/events/1827467017502736/permalink/1827484980834273
Message from the Bentley Team:
“Ian Gaillard and Simon Clough are volunteering to take the film to as many threatened communities as possible over a 5 week period to share knowledge. Both Ian and Simon had significant roles in the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers movement and the Bentley Blockade.
The Bentley Effect details how the idyllic Northern Rivers of NSW came under threat from invasive industrial gasfields and how the community responded with over 35,000 people visited in their homes and tens of thousands of DVDs burnt and distributed. People were asked if they supported CSG and results showed that on average over 95% opposed it. This ground work resulted in masses of people from all walks of life – activists, farmers, landowners, Indigenous people, mums & dads, scientists – organising themselves to rally against the unconventional gas.
A series of dramatic blockades ensued, before the final battle lines were drawn in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley. Thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of 850 riot police – who had been ordered to break up the protest. What happened next was unprecedented and set an historic turning point…
We believe we have a critically important message of hope to deliver to threatened UK communities. These communities have been ground down by government support for the frackers, strong arm police tactics and a very negative political environment. Not only will we be bringing a message of hope because of our successes in the Northern Rivers, but we also can contribute to strategic planning and Non-violent Direct Action training. Simon and Ian have had considerable experience in both these areas.”
What Was the Bentley Blockade?
“Metgasco’s announcement that they would be returning to drill at Bentley, 14 km from Lismore in 2014, saw the establishment of a protector’s camp adjacent to the proposed drilling site that heralded the beginning of the historic Bentley Blockade. This camp initially started as a road side vigil, but grew to be a fully functional camp with facilities that supported thousands of visitors exercising their right to lawful protest. Numerous activities and events were held over the 4 months the camp was in existence, including legal training workshops, music events, training days and community building events that united people from across the region. Despite Richmond Valley Council threatening to shut down the camp, the generous landholders and Northern Rivers community were not prepared to bow to State government and industry pressure.
The extraordinary and well attended ‘Greet the Dawn’ events at 5 am every morning united the community and sent a loud message to government that people were prepared to put their bodies on the line to defend their community from invasive gasfields. The power of the community to stay resilient, non-violent and united in the face of adversity is a tribute to the commitment and sacrifice of the Northern Rivers community.
Such was the overwhelming opposition to the drilling operation the government had to suspend Metgasco’s licence, just days before thousands of people were expected to show up to protest the arrival of Metgasco’s equipment assisted by significant police numbers to ‘break’ the blockade. Whilst this was a significant victory to people power, Metgasco has since sued the NSW government, and intends to return to drill at Bentley if successful. The community will remain vigilant and will continue to campaign against invasive gasfields until all gas exploration licences across the Northern Rivers are cancelled.”
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