10 October 2017
Thanks to our member Tina Rothery for this account of the disgraceful police action at Preston New Road, 9th October 2017.
Just said goodnight to an 85 year old friend who is currently checking her bruises before bed…
Today for Anne Power– was a sharp contrast to the day before when she sat next to me at the Green Party Conference to be honoured as a ‘Green Hero’ (video: https://www.facebook.com/tinalouiseuk/videos/10159442687125258/) for her dedicated and on-going activism for humanity and its future. Anne is quite literally a powerhouse of a woman who is loved and admired by all who know her. She stands strong in her activism against injustice and the reckless harms being done to the stuff of our very survival – our air, our water, our soil and ultimately, all our children’s futures.
The bruises she is checking for were inflicted by police officers outside the fracking site on Preston New Road in Lancashire. Video footage is available
and here: https://www.facebook.com/michellem.735944/videos/10155995556004887/
that will help you see the events in context. She caused no danger, did no harm and was entirely peaceful and yet, she was lifted from her stool and literally dragged, with no support for her feet… across this broad road. Anne uses a stick to walk and a stool to rest and yes, she is feisty and ferociously dedicated but she is always peaceful, eloquent, polite and intelligently analytical – she knows her rights and the laws better than those who handled her like a rag doll today.
Anne retains the honour dignity and strength that her character commands - and those who grabbed at her gentle skin, pulled at her arms till they bruised, caused her shoes to slip with the dragging and dumped her back down – forfeited their humanity today. They should not rest well tonight as sickness and self-loathing should surely overwhelm them from the pit of their stomachs. I cannot conceive of what it takes, what depths you must reach inside – to put on a uniform and manhandle gentle people whose bodies have journeyed long and have fragility.
Each week we have a ‘Call for Calm’ on Wednesdays – women dressed in white conduct a silence at these gates where so much anguish, violence, frustration and anger have played out since 5th January 2017 when Cuadrilla arrived against our Council or community’s wishes. This week will be our Women's Call 12 walk up to the gates to again call for a re-set point in the week – where we stand as the absent mothers and grandmothers of those on this road who cause violence – to call for calm amidst the tensions. It is worth noting that there have been NO incidents of violence BY campaigners on this road – all incidents that have happened have been during police actions.
This week will be hard. Anne is with us each Wednesday and the epitome of what we seek to achieve. I type with tears for my friend – although she’ll say she doesn’t need them and that she’s fine… I know she will pick herself up, dust herself down and simply keep on doing the things that vitally need doing. So maybe I’ll cry for me or for any of the others in this long battle to protect ourselves from harm in a country with a government that shoves it down our throats. I’ll cry instead for the pain and suffering we each endure, each time the police flex their muscles; I’ll cry instead for the lost time that we’ll never get back because this eats it all and I’ll cry because we have to do it at all – that everyday people have to become extraordinary beings in order to keep their children safe from harm – delivered courtesy of their own government.
The night before, at dinner… Anne popped on her tiara from when the Nanas went to Buckingham Palace to implore the Monarch to act more like a concerned grandma and stop the lunacy of fracking… it was a great night and the conference for Anne as well as me, had been hugely inspirational and uplifting… that this is the day that followed ...is not and never will be the actions or dictates of a lawful government or reflective of civilised society.
I do not understand how we can define the world about us anymore - it is alien to all that is natural. I know though that I stand on the right side of the street and I stand with honour because I stand with Anne "
"*Beautiful image courtesy of Ros Wills""