Day 14 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people were joined by others in voice, in the flesh and elsewhere, in solidarity actions that empowered those involved and added spirit to an uplifting day at the roadside. Despite the coldest temperature of all the days and a persistent, niggly little drizzle that worked its way in through fabric, skin and bone… hearts were warmed at the sight of the jubilant, accordion-equipped Liverpool Socialist Singers making their way toward us.

So the day started as it was to continue, slow; no sign of a truck till 11:15 and only a total of 7 for the day at its end. The reason was clear when a Protector who had spent his early morning slow-walking some trucks at their start point of AE Yates of Bolton, came to the roadside and soon after, slow-walked the same trucks into the PNR site. Nice. This strategy of slowing the trucks at origin is looking like it will be an effective addition to the ever-evolving tactics being devised, to stop not just this site from development but the entire industry from progressing.

For 6 years now fracking has been halted in the UK… due solely to public pressure – that’s us, the Protectors of our communities who raised our voices, called meetings, leafleted, researched, shared information, lobbied politicians, wrote letters, signed petitions, set up camps, slowed-trucks, spoke at Planning meetings and Appeals and so much more . If passion, creativity and determination alone were enough to stop fracking… it would have been all over years ago. Sadly the system of government is in on the act and working with the frackers, against the people. It’s no longer even pretending to focus on democracy but instead has put itself at the service of industry and is even willing to create laws to help lubricate it into our lives.

It’s exhausting, soul-destroying and so sad sometimes. Yesterday I went for a nice family meal, been ages since I did and although it was lovely, it left me realising how much is missed and how much has been sacrificed by those of us who spend our time this way. I wonder too what those who work to get fracking underway think?

The politicians, shareholders, employees, contractors etc. do they imagine we are all crazed fools of no intelligence who just decided to sacrifice all spare hours to stop an industry because…? Because what? Pharmacists, aeronautics engineers, teachers, midwives, academics and all manner of others stand on our roadsides – couple this with countless fracking bans across the world and you have to wonder at what point, moral obligation and sense kicks in for those who serve the frackers. Our children are relying on us to leave them safe air and water… and maybe a voice in their democracy – fracking will steal all these things.

However… for all that is lost and all that is missed from a once-upon-a-time life, there is richness, little-miracles, kindness and joy in this world of activism that I wouldn’t exchange. Today’s smiles were brought to us by those singers from Liverpool who bothered; who got up on a rainy miserable day and journeyed all the way to PNR to sing us happy… they succeeded with bells on (and an accordion). Visits are more than just a chance to see each other face to face – they are a hug of solidarity and shared commitment.

Thank you Liverpool Socialist Singers and the Protectors in Bolton for all you did today xxx

*Thanks to Ros for image of new sign – someone suggested replacing the word ‘putting’ with ‘shafting’

*Playlist highlight of the day… Elbow – One Day Like This. I tried to do interesting things with my board like the video linked here – I failed but may secretly rehearse alone lol