BY RUTH HAYHURST ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Protest outside gates to Third Energy’s KM8 site, 19 September 2017. Two men were arrested this morning as anti-fracking campaigners gathered at the gates of Third Energy’s shale gas site in Kirby Misperton for the arrival of the first delivery vehicles.
About 50 police and 100 opponents of Third Energy’s plans to frack its KM8 well were outside the site.
The protesters said a line of people prevented access to the site for about half an hour.
A police statement said “several” protesters were moved away for the site entrance. A 69-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. He and a 33-year-old man were also arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.
DrillOrDrop understands that the 33-year-old man has been released and no further action will be taken. At the time of writing, the 69-year-old man was still in custody.
Arrest outside Third Energy’s KM8 site, 19 September 2017. The first deliveries to the site had been expected today after North Yorkshire County Council approved all the conditions of the company’s planning permission.
Work to frack and test the well cannot start until Third Energy has approval from the Environment Agency for its hydraulic fracturing plan and final sign-off from the Business Secretary.
“Disproportionate force”Monica Gripaios, from Hovingham, was among the protesters. She said:
“We came here to show our complete disapproval for fracking. The force used by the police was utterly disproportionate to the mood and actions of the peacefully assembled people’’.
170919 arrests and blockade KMPC2Protest outside gates to Third Energy’s KM8 site. Kirby Misperton Protection Camp said in a press statement:
“Many of those present had never been on the frontline of any kind of protest before, nor had they been approached by the police in this manner.
“The force used caused a great deal of distress and marked an escalation in the policing tactics, on this, the first day of the work beginning. For the younger protectors, it was particular upsetting to see those of their parents and grandparents generations being man-handled by the police.”
One resident of the protection camp said:
‘’Today was the culmination of 9 months work and the entire community were united in peaceful protest. We will not accept this sacrifice to our way of life. We will continue to protect our countryside and our democracy; one in which the will of the people is heard.”
“Police carry out duties impartially”Earlier today, Superintendent Alisdair Dey, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
“We know that there are very different views about hydraulic fracturing, but as the local police, our responsibility is to carry out our duties impartially.
“We have a duty to make sure that people who want to assemble and protest do so safely, balanced against a duty to ensure that businesses can go about their lawful commercial activity.
“Police liaison officers have been engaging with the protest community, and will continue to do so, explaining what is acceptable in terms of safety and reasonableness.”
At about 5pm, the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp reported that another delivery was trying to enter the site and protesters remained at the site. A another person was arrested.
UpdateEddie Thornton, the 33-year-old man who was arrested this morning and later released without any further action, said:
”An officer made the serious allegation that I had tried to steal his pepper spray. After reviewing the evidence North Yorkshire police have chosen to take no further action. I feel vindicated and will join my community in peaceful protest again tomorrow.”
Mrs Gripaios, whose husband was also arrested, said:
“My husband has never broken the law in 69 years. He loves Ryedale and he feels he has to protect it. But he would never mean anyone any harm.”