28 September 2018
The following resolution was passed unanimously:
“This meeting expresses its sympathy and solidarity with the campaigners against Preston North Road fracking, who have been sent to prison for an excessively long time.”
In July 2017 a convoy of lorries delivering drilling equipment to the Preston New Road fracking site was spontaneously brought to a halt by protestors. Four men took the opportunity to climb up on top of the cabs of the lorries and between them stayed in occupation for four days, supported by supplies from locals.
After a seven-day jury trial at Preston Crown Court, they were found guilty of Public Nuisance. Three received immediate custodial sentences - Roscoe Blevins (26) and Richard Roberts (36) for 16 months and Richard Loizou (31) for 15 months. They can expect to serve half of this time in jail, the rest on licence. Julian Brock (47) received a 12 months suspended custodial sentence (1).
Named the Frack Free Four, the men have become the first in the UK to be jailed for protesting - in effect, political prisoners - since 1932. Simon Blevins, one of the jailed protestors, said: “The real victims will be future generations suffering preventable disasters caused by climate change. Our friends and fellow campaigners outside will continue to fight for a ban on fracking and for a just transition to a renewable and democratically owned energy system”
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