Activists target Fylde fracking drill rig

Anti-fracking activists blockade the PR Marriott depot to target the drilling rig used by shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla
Anti-fracking activists blockade the PR Marriott depot to target the drilling rig used by shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla
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Ten people were arrested after campaigners blockaded a drilling rig company linked to the Fylde fracking operations.

Activists from the Reclaim The Power group, which staged to two week camp near the shale gas site at Preston New Road in 2014, targeted the PR Marriott site in Chesterfield.

They said they had chosen the company as it stores the fracking rig used by Cuadrilla in past drilling operations on the Fylde.

It is part of a fortnight of action designed to target companies which supply goods or services to the onshore shale gas industry.

The group said at 6.30am on Friday, anti-frackers erected a scaffold tripod and locked themselves onto the gates, blockading the entrance to Marriott preventing traffic from leaving and entering the site.

An activist also entered the site and scaled a fracking rig, hanging a banner which read: ‘Fracking? Expect Us’ and tied the equipment up with a symbolic red line.

“The drilling rig for use at the proposed Lancashire fracking site, at Little Plumpton, Preston New Road, is expected to be delivered any day.”

Actions targeting supply chain firms in Lancashire and elsewhere over the past few weeks has drawn criticism from parts of the business community who have called for action to protect companies from what they say is intimidation when the firms are simply going about their lawful business.

A Cuadrilla spokesman today said: “PR Marriotts are a business Cuadrilla has worked with many times in the past and we hold them in high regard.

“Whilst they are not currently working on our Preston New Road site they, like any other business, have the right to go about their day unimpeded by the reckless, publicity seeking, activity of so called peaceful protestors.”

See also: Who pays police bill for fracking?