Day 15 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people were more numerous, more vibrant and growing closer; we welcomed energetic cyclists from Garstang, new and familiar Lancaster visitors and enjoyed a Nana-yellow-glow that comes as standard when we have a nice gaggle of us together. As the hours and days multiply, we have begun tying yellow wool, ribbons and trinkets to the hedge across from the site – showing another shift done by a Protector and appreciated by the many who watch this unfold…
So it was a day of trying to catch-up for the site team that ended (I expect) with an unsatisfied feeling along with the early finish to truck arrivals; just 5 HGVs, 2 small equipment transporters and a road-sweeper for us to slow-walk today. Different companies were represented and no vehicles were seen with ‘AE Yates’ on them – a repercussion of the halting of trucks at source perhaps? Thankfully we are pretty nimble as a movement and as new company livery is noted, other Protectors are encouraged to participate if they are in the area of origin. Some at the roadside have been making a list that I will check on for sharing.
One of the delights found in this ghastly business, is to watch as residents or visitors come to get involved in protecting this community and discover… their inner-Activist. A thing of beauty and hope to behold. Over these past 15 days, I got the joy of witnessing this in front of the trucks – more than a dozen times now. Once you stand up, it becomes impossible to sit back and be quiet again… so what happens here at the PNR roadside, becomes the seed of actions in the future too.
I recall finding my’ inner-Activist’ – the part of myself that refused to be taken for a ride anymore. In 2011 I grew so angry with the road our government had us on where we bailed out banks but took it back off the disabled and chipped away at our NHS and other services; where wars clearly entered into with lies – went un-challenged, un-apologised, un-corrected and unbearably, still causing suffering and where I couldn’t work out how to be heard… and I just stopped doing whatever I usually did next, got a tent and went to learn what this ‘Occupy’ thing was about.
For me, Occupy was and remains, about learning and unlearning – about discovering the richness in others who also stopped ‘going for the ride’ and understanding how our differences can enrich us; the divisions are what prevent us having the power to impact those who need a damned good impacting. Returning from the occupation outside the London Stock Exchange (at the steps of St. Pauls), I walked in my front door to discover information about a new ‘Natural Gas’ boom coming our way in Lancashire… rather wish I’d ignored it!
Today was cold but not damp and there was a genuine sense of happiness throughout. It’s such a relief to have music and smiles rather than the shouting and brutality that has hallmarked much of what we do as we strive to keep the UK frack-free. The community here respects and appreciates what we do too and how we do it – showing this with continuous honks of support that resonate in the ears long after we leave the site. Things though will change and all this, will look very different in a few weeks.
As the stages of work come and go (currently only at road-building stage), altering the processes as well as the shape of the site, our responses too will adapt. This is not a short, sharp thing… this is an industry we’re seeking to stop, not just a building project. Ideas are being discussed amongst all sorts of groups and Protectors and what is possible to share, I will. Much though will be done by others who have their own plans… we all passionately seek the same thing; just people protecting the stuff of life that we ALL depend on… our air and water. There’s no outline on how to do this, no job description and no obvious ‘next step’ – it’s a bumpy, unpredictable road we’re on now.
We’re getting a lovely visit on Friday from Scarborough Protectors, can’t wait. In the meantime, see you tomorrow? x
ps… if you can bring yellow ribbon or wool when you visit, to tie on the hedge it would add to our gorgeous, growing collage.
*Playlist highlight of the day… Acker Bilk’s ‘Stranger on the Shore’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7jZeXvpyZQ), swayed to by all who could hear it – impossible to stay still. Looking at the scene, complete with soundtrack and realise I know nothing… so much to learn xxx
*Photo credit: George Boole