205 Residents’ Groups Oppose Fracking on Human Rights grounds

Julie Wassmer tells Talk Fracking how 205 anti-fracking residents’ groups up and down the country organised themselves in just 5 days in support of a report, commissioned by the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, calling for a moratorium on fracking on human rights grounds.

On UN Human Rights Day (December 10th) it seemed wholly appropriate that a strong message should go to our government to take careful notice of a report which calls for a moratorium on fracking, on human rights grounds.

A Human Rights Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Unconventional Gas Development in the UK, (http://tinyurl.com/lvmcnwp), was commissioned by the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation and had originally been delivered to 10 Downing Street on 26th November.

Together with other campaigners I went along to support Bianca and the report’s authors, one of whom is Anna Grear, Reader in Law at Cardiff Law School and Director of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (www.gnhre.org). It later occurred to me, however, that the report’s important findings could be further highlighted if residents’ groups up and down the country demonstrated their own support by re-presenting the report to Downing Street in their own democratic action. Bianca Jagger was supportive of this, as was Anna. So we had a plan, but with only five days to go before UN Human Rights Day how could we put it into effect?

Downing Street police were very helpful in obtaining speedy permission for us, but it was Helz Cuppleditch of Frack Free Sussex who came up with a creative use of infographics to draw in responses on the BIFF! Facebook page, from the groups whose names we needed for the supporting letter. I had hoped that, if we were lucky, we might obtain a 100 names. But in a huge concerted move, which I found incredibly moving, no fewer than 205 groups signed up to this action!

Frack Free Sussex alone has over 10,000 followers, so the seven page list of groups that was hand delivered yesterday to Downing Street represents a significant number of ordinary citizens who are actively campaigning against fracking in the UK – a point that did not go unnoticed by the national news journalists who contacted me after receiving our press release.

Presenting the letter and the report, on behalf of so many people, and alongside Frack Free Fylde campaigner, Gayzer Frackman, was a true privilege.

Julie Wassmer
East Kent Against Fracking
Mothers Against Fracking