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Majority Of Anti-Frackers Arrested From Outside City

62 of 82 arrested at Barton Moss not from Greater Manchester

Written by . Published on January 23rd 2014.

Majority Of Anti-Frackers Arrested From Outside City

POLICE have released a statement declaring that the majority of arrests at the Barton Moss anti-fracking protest camp have been of individuals from outside the Greater Manchester area.

“We have seen offences of assaults, damage, harassment of residents and workers, a flare fired at the police helicopter and threats to kill."

Since the protests started peacefully in mid-November 2013, there have been 82 arrests at the site as protests have turned more heated. According to police 62 of the protesters arrested come from outside the Greater Manchester area, many from the 'South of England'.

A poster for the upcoming ‘Solidarity Sunday’ march set for Sunday 26 Jan at 1pm, advertises buses travelling from Glastonbury, Bristol, Lewes, London and Balcombe (protest-hit Balcombe has recently seen a victory with drilling company Cuadrilla ruling out fracking there), as well as bus loads expected from Blackpool, Preston, Middlesborough, Swansea, Leeds, Falkirk, Canonbie, Doncaster and Sheffield.

Barton Moss PosterBarton Moss Poster

Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts said: “At the start of this protest the majority of protesters were peaceful and law abiding but over the past couple of weeks local residents and officers have seen a distinct change to this. It now seems that the majority of people who are arriving at the site are not there to protest against fracking but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police.

“We have seen offences of assaults, damage, harassment of residents and workers, a flare fired at the police helicopter and threats to kill. I attended a residents’ meeting last week and people there were close to tears and have had enough of this daily disruption to their lives.  

“The police are there to do a job and that job is to facilitate peaceful protest and to balance the needs of all parties, the residents who live there, businesses who operate from there and the protesters themselves.  It is not up to GMP who operates on this land and who has access to it – we are simply there to police it to ensure that everyone remains safe.”

Recently police have been accused of heavy-handed policing with the release of footage from a disabled Barton Moss protester, Sean O’Donnell, in which he appears to be forced to the ground. Cries of pain can be heard from the protester at minute 8.40. An image, thought to be O’Donnell, of a muddied and bloodied protester can be seen from 11.17 in the footage.

O’Donnell later claimed to have suffered multiple injuries including cuts, bruises and broken ribs. Police said on Tuesday that they have referred the matter to its professional standards branch.

Still image of a muddy and bloody protestorStill image of a muddy and bloody protester

We were contacted by FrackOffUk on Friday 17 January following an article published on Confidential discussing the incident in which a flare was fired at a police helicopter on Saturday 4 January.

FrackOffUk said: ‘I would like to inform you of reality at Barton Moss Protection Camp. I have been given your address by a very concerned Protector who has pointed out the insulting & inaccurate nature of your recent article. We have no leaders!'

Confidential responded and requested an interview with the protest group. FrackOffUk have yet to respond. Maybe they don't have a spokesperson either.

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31 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Simon TurnerJanuary 23rd 2014.

Disgusting piece of police PR. After Hillsborough, Mark Duggan, etc why are we treating police press releases with any credence? Issued a day or two after youtube clips of police brutality went viral. It's self-justifying nonsense. So what if "not from the area"? It's a national issue, and if people want to travel to show solidarity that's a good thing. "It now seems that the majority of people who are arriving at the site are not there to protest against fracking but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police". This GMP guy has lost the plot.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie ButterworthJanuary 23rd 2014.

Fracking's a good idea I reckon. Let's use the resources that we have to provide wealth and jobs. The problem with many of the protesters is that they aren't particularly anti-fracking they're just anti-capitalist. They are the disgusting ones, time wasters who want to cause a bit trouble - for some shapeless cause. And to say just because the police were questionable in their actions in one case they are questionable in a totally unrelated one is asinine. By the way the police were cleared of the unlawful killing of Mark Duggan.

Simon TurnerJanuary 23rd 2014.

Duggan - the police put out a press release saying an officer had been hit by a shot from Duggan. Putting false information into the public domain is part of how the police now operate. That's why we have to school ourselves not to take what they say as face value.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

very well said simon, an attempt by the police to dive a wedge between the people of manchester and the protesters. I guess they hope the comunities they serve will be less concerded about acusations of police brutality if its only people who are not from round here that are on the recieving end.

Poster BoyJanuary 23rd 2014.

The statement "the police put out a press release saying an officer had been hit by a shot from Duggan" is incorrect. Get your facts right.

Simon TurnerJanuary 23rd 2014.

On the evening of the 4th August 2011, the day of Duggan's death in North London, the Metropolitan police told the IPCC that Mark Duggan had shot at police and a bullet fired by Duggan had lodged in a police officer's radio. The IPCC told the media and newspapers carried the story without checking it. Neither the IPCC nor the Met corrected this false information until the 12th August, when they announced they may have "inadvertently misled the media".

Poster BoyJanuary 24th 2014.

Thank you. The responsibility for the press release was the IPCC, The Police did not issue the press release.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2014.

Well the police did give the IPCC incorrect information, and lets face it it shoulnt be that hard for a firearms officer to know whether his/her radio has been shot or not.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2014.

The firearms officer did know that his radio had been shot.

AlexJanuary 23rd 2014.

completely agree with Simon. Scant mention of anti-fracking groups' outlining of police brutality and anti-right to protest actions, never mind denial of police invented excuses to search camp (eg flare). Never mind your jokey dismissive language! Anyway, so what if people arrested are from further afield? If it was majority local, you'd be criticising it as NIMBY! There's a 101 reasons that could explain %. It's a bigger issue than for just us in Manchester, and I thank people for taking the time out from their lives to suffer harassment, risk arrest and protest, whilst I'm unable to.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

They don't "risk arrest" Alex, they are trying to goad the police into being arrested. All those videos they are posting the police are all being polite whilst getting abuse shouted at them by these crusties. The frackers put a video up of a social worker who went down to check on some kids who should've been at school. The abuse levelled at her was disgusting (and she was lovely). Look for it on youtube. Rights or wrongs of fracking aside (which I don't actually think these protesters give a monkeys about), St Francis of Assisi these people ain't.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

"I have been given your address" what an odd thing to say, almost sounds like a threat.

1 Response: Reply To This...
David BlakeJanuary 23rd 2014.

That was email address Anon. No threat.

barrel82January 23rd 2014.

The police have far more patience than me...

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

Usual dog on a string crusties

1 Response: Reply To This...
Simon TurnerJanuary 23rd 2014.

Not at all. One of the locals complaining about police intimidating people going about their lawful right to protest includes an lady called Anne, 82 years old, uses a walking stick. She was surrounded by police and removed from the protest for "walking too slowly"!! And check the video posted above for police violence against a disabled protester.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

Having watched the video, I would not have had the patience of the police. It is not an "index" plate It is a registration number, Whilst he has the right to report a crime it is not his place to tell the police how to act upon that report. The vehicle owner may well receive a fine in the post, same as many other driving offences. It would not be appropriate in this country to "detain" someone for a such a trivial driving offence. The protester threatened to "detain" the driver himself, that would also be unlawful. The person being detained was not "put in the recovery position", he was not unconscious, so why would he be? His screaming when being detained was completely over the top and he was without doubt resisting arrest. I defend anyone the right to peacefull protest, but these people are not doing so. If he is disabled, how come he managed to run the length of the field and keep up with the convoy? I think he should be very carefull in posting this video, the DSS could be watching!!

5 Responses: Reply To This...
True SalfordianJanuary 23rd 2014.

Surely you're a troll, either that you are seriously ill informed. The fella has a knee replacement lol And how the hell can you justify being so brutally assaulted on a completely peaceful protest as they always are on the side of the protectors. What kind of World are you living in where its OK to violently arrest a Legal Observer filming clear illegality, the kind of illegality that if seen by the traffic cops would result in instant off roading of the vehicle, there was zero attempt by the commanding officer to enter into any form of dialogue with the LEGAL OBSERVER, instead he had his face smashed in. Luckily it was not only fully recorded and now going viral due to how horrified civilised English people are at such utter brutality, the assault also happened right outside the naughty boys school, so we'll soon see how quickly THAT video recording can't be found lol Like I say, utter shame on you fracking cheerleaders

True SalfordianJanuary 23rd 2014.

...and please continue this conversation, I don't get that many pro frackers/pro police violence people to thoroughly put straight....

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

Where in my post did I say that I was pro fracking? Where in my post did I justify brutal assault? You are the one with the problem. I watched the video and saw an "observer" that was doing more than "observing" or peacefully protesting. By the way, having a knee replacement does not make you disabled. I should know, my mother has one and she would NEVER describe herself as disabled.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2014.

Also, if you read my post properly, I never doubted his disability. How could I, the nature of it is not mentioned. I did warn that in these days of ATOS and benefit crackdown, that he should be wary of distributing a film of him running the length of a field. If he is not claiming any benefits, there isn't a problem is there?

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2014.

I thought you wanted to continue the conversation. Still waiting.

True SalfordianJanuary 23rd 2014.

Just read and see the MEN's video report about how well loved the Protector Camp is by the Salfordian community, they want for nowt, and not only are they completely catered for with everything that they need, brave Salfordians regularly also put their bodies and liberty on the line to prevent a mass health experiment being carried out on their loved ones and their beloved and rare environment raped by French, Canadian and Chinese oil and gas companies. That "police officers" comments are a disgrace, if there was any justice in this World he would be arrested for inciting hatred towards those awesome brave people in that camp. If a fella can go to prison for promoting a riot that never happened then surely there should be jail time for such a scurrilous smear especially after a man has been so brutally assaulted by GMP for the whole World to see, and ESPECIALLY post Ian Tomlinson. Anybody that is cheerleading for fracking is a disgrace to this land, cheerleading for rich tories to get even richer and our land to be raped by foreigners is treason to me and the sacrificed lives of our forefathers need better respecting. Anyone who is a Salfordian, a Mancunian or a true Englishman will be at the solidarity march on Sunday and its to your eternal shame if you don't stand by a fellow Northern community thats under assault purely to enrich even richer people at the cost of our current and future generations health and environment....shame on the foul cheerleaders

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.


AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

How is he a racist? Explain

DavidJanuary 24th 2014.

His language is both racist and fascist in the way his argument is presented. He refers to Fracking as a way 'our land being raped by foreigners''.He is suggesting anyone who is a 'True Englishman ' will be protesting.And in effect anyone who is not he is accusing of not being one,of being a foreigner.He is a Fascist.

True SalfordianJanuary 23rd 2014.


SimonJanuary 23rd 2014.

Keep the Fracking in Salford and leave us Mancs to live a happy healthy life. And as for Duggan, he was a wanna be gangster, live by the sword and all that.

Jack FrenchJanuary 24th 2014.

Duggan put himself into the line of fire; the police aren't thick, neither are they superhuman; can you imagine what runs through the minds of these fellers, who at the end of the day want to go home to their families? Having an animal like Duggan to try and bring to justice, I am not surprised if mistakes are made. Duggan put himself into the line of fire. These fellers should go and get a proper bloody job like the rest of us.

Simon TurnerJanuary 24th 2014.

Nevertheless, in the Duggan case the police were happy to help circulate false information. I don't intend to debate Duggan and his lifestyle, my point is about the police feeding the media partial or provocative stories. Which is what the GMP did earlier this week in the case of Barton Moss. My point is that unfortunately we are now unable to take what the police say at face value. The Evening News is not known for espousing radical causes but this story about Barton Moss is a useful antidote to recent GMP statements; www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/video-inside-barton-moss-anti-fracking-6556819…

JimJanuary 24th 2014.

I've got a few friends who live near the site and they think the protesters are more of a nuisance than the drilling. I frankly wouldn't want a group of unwashed trouble makers anywhere near my house.

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