Anti-fracking protesters cause disruption in UK cities
- 18 August 2014
- From the section South West Wales
Anti-fracking campaigners apparently super-glued themselves to the doors of a government building as part of orchestrated protests around the UK.
Reclaim the Power set up camp in the doorway to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in London.
Other members brought major traffic disruption to Swansea after blockading a new university building.
Police have been in attendance at both sites.
The campaigners from Reclaim the Power's six-day camp at Blackpool said they were reacting to the release of a UK government report last week.
They claimed 63 sections on the potential impacts of shale gas exploration on rural communities had been deleted.
They said the missing sections include analysis around falling house prices and failing rural services.
They say the chapter examining the effect of drilling on house prices had three sections cut.
At 08:00 BST on Monday in London three activists super-glued themselves to the doors, while another activist climbed the building and put up a banner which read: "What's to hide Defra? - Don't frack with our future."
'Secrets of fracking'
One of the campaigners apparently super-glued to Defra's doors was Lindsay Alderton, from London.
She said it was "shameful" the government was "keeping secret the impacts of shale gas extraction" and the public "has a right to know".
"This morning we're here at Defra to remind them that they work for the public that pays them their wages, and that the public demands to know the facts about fracking - censoring is not an acceptable option," added Ms Alderton.
Some other activists wore black tape across their mouths.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called at 07:30 BST and there were about 15 protesters at the scene - some had climbed scaffolding.
'Public money funnelled'
Meanwhile in Swansea, eight protesters shut down construction of a new Swansea University building on Fabian Way - the main route into the city from the M4.
The protest began at 06:00 BST and caused chaos for commuters.
The activists said they dressed as "mad scientists" to protest against fracking research. They camped outside the site and dropped a "No Fracking" banner from the top of the building while another protester was locked on to a tripod.
They say they are "angered" by "tens of millions of public money being funnelled into research on fracking via Swansea University's new Energy Safety Research Institute".
A spokeswoman for Swansea University confirmed the UK and Welsh governments had both funded research at the institute into "all types of energy, and one of those could be fracking".
She also confirmed previous landowners BP had donated the site to the university, which the protesters have highlighted.
South Wales Police said it acknowledged the campaigners' right "to peaceful protest" and tried to minimise disruption to the community during the protest - which ended at around 13.00 BST.
Activists have also staged a "die-in" at the Blackpool branch of HSBC the bank providing its services to a fracking company, while a PR agency for the company had activists wearing toxic suits turn up.
A UK government spokesman said: "There is no evidence that house prices have been affected in over half a century of oil and gas exploration in the UK or evidence that this would be the case with shale.
"This government believes that shale has a positive part to play in our future energy mix, providing energy security, driving growth and creating jobs."