Politicians who backed suffragettes must end assault on right to protest

24 October 2018

The Green Party will accuse the Government of “rank hypocrisy” for criminalising protest in the same year the Prime Minister supported the suffragettes for their direct action [1].

Womack will call on Theresa May and her Government to “end its assault on the right to protest”, referencing a number of injunctions across the country designed to curtail dissent [2].

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the party, will address activists and campaigners at a rally at Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire tomorrow [3]. The demonstration follows the release of three activists from prison after the Court of Appeal quashed their imprisonment for protesting fracking at Preston New Road [4].

Fracking started in Lancashire this Monday [5], just days after the UN warned we have 12 years to limit climate catastrophe [6].

Womack is expected to say:

“It’s rank hypocrisy that politicians who supported the suffragettes are currently criminalising peaceful protest. From the draconian use of injunctions to the wrongful imprisonment of three anti-fracking activists, a sustained attack on the right to protest is making it harder and harder for people to stand up for what is right.

“The start of fracking in Lancashire has put a sledgehammer through our climate targets and those taking direct action to stop this are environmental rights defenders who should be celebrated, not criminalised. Since Theresa May backed the suffragettes, now it’s time her Government showed the same support for climate campaigners standing up against one of the greatest threats we face by ending its assault on peaceful protest.”


For more information contact: press@greenparty.org.uk / 0203 691 9401


1. http://www.itv.com/news/2018-02-06/vote-100-representation-of-the-people-act-centenary/

2. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/19/transport-secretary-injunction-stop-hs2-protesters-chris-grayling-london


3. Amelia Womack will speak at the demo at Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire at 12 midday on Saturday 20 October 2018


4. Release of anti-fracking activists a victory for right to protest

The Green Party has responded to news three anti-fracking activists have had custodial sentences reduced to conditional discharges by the Court of Appeal today [1].

Simon Roscoe Blevins, Richard Roberts, and Richard Loizou were jailed in September for protesting fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire in July last year.

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“The release of three anti-fracking heroes from jail is a victory for peaceful protest. These sentences were not only heavy handed and wrong, they were part of a nationwide clamp down on dissent  making it harder and harder for campaigners to stand up against climate destruction.

“The Green Party stands shoulder to shoulder with Richard, Richard and Roscoe as they celebrate their freedom today. The anti-fracking movement is stronger than ever. We will not give up this fight until Britain is free of this dirty and destructive industry.



5. Start of fracking puts sledgehammer through climate targets.

The Green Party has responded to news Cuadrilla has started fracking at its site in Preston New Road, Lancashire, today (Monday 15 October). The move marks the first fracking to take place in Britain in seven years.

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, said the start of fracking on the first day of the Conservative’s Green GB Week, and just days after the UN’s IPCC report, revealed the “rank hypocrisy” of a Government which has “backed frackers to put a sledgehammer through our climate targets”.

Bartley said:

“The Government is backing frackers to put a sledgehammer through our climate targets. Just days after the UN warned we have 12 years to face climate catastrophe fracking has started in Britain for the first time in seven years. Marking the start of Green GB Week with the start of fracking is rank hypocrisy.

“This proves just how deeply the filth of fossil fuels runs through our political establishment. The Government has forced fracking on Lancashire after the community said no and now drilling has started before all their concerns have been fully heard or answered.

“Public support for fracking is in freefall and the anti-fracking movement will continue to go from strength to strength. To tackle the scale of climate breakdown ministers must commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground where they belong, and investing instead in a renewable revolution for the future.”


6. Caroline Lucas responds to IPCC report

Responding to the IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said:

"This report couldn't be written in stronger terms: we are at a tipping point on the edge of complete climate breakdown, and governments around the world are failing to prevent it.

"Our own government is pushing us towards that tipping point with carbon intensive and ecologically destructive projects like airport expansion, fracking and HS2 - while slashing support for renewables and continuing to subsidise fossil fuels.

"Ministers have a choice: they can keep coating business-as-usual policies in a green veneer and watch as floods and heatwaves become the norm. Or they can embrace the opportunities to create a fairer, healthier, safer society that come with the economic overhaul we need."



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Euro Election Candidates

The Green Party candidates for the North West region in the Euro Elections of 23 May were:

Gina Dowding. Lancashire County Councillor. Elected.
Wendy Olsen. Salford.
Jessica Northey. St Helens.
Geraldine Coggins. Trafford Borough Councillor.
Rosie Mills. Lancaster.
Astrid Johnson. Manchester.
Dan Jerrome. Trafford Borough Councillor.
James Booth. Macclesfield.

Click here for more details.