Somerset will not become a Gasfield: Frack Free February 2014
This February more than 31 events took place as part of Frack Free February, our second annual month of action to resist unconventional gas in the West Country. Community members were proud to affirm that Somerset will not become a gasfield!
In the run up to Frack Free February, a full coach of caring individuals from Somerset and Bristol made it to Barton Moss to show their support as part of Solidarity Sunday.
The action-packed month however began with a South West Extreme Energy Gathering, that brought together a room full of people to talk about solidarity between extreme energy campaigns, and the onslaught of unconventional gas, nuclear, open cast coal mining and big biofuel plants that threaten the West and those affected worldwide. The evening before saw the first Benefit Gig of the month, taking place at Hamilton House in Bristol.
In the first week, we had the world’s first fracking pantomime, Frack and the Beanstalk, in the Somerset village of Theale, followed by more music and film screenings in Bristol at the weekend.
The second week brought film screenings and public meetings in Congresbury and West Harptree, as well as a whole day of training with Frack Free Wales. On Sunday more than 25 people made it to the Community Action Training workshop, which explored direct action, knowing your rights and more.
Residents of Bath were then welcomed to the Little Theatre to watch the TBTDFG. Thursday meant a trip to South Wales as members of Frack Free Somerset joined Frack Free Wales to protest at the offices of UK Methane in Bridgend.
On Friday night, a full room of people made it to Langport to learn more about fracking, as well as another group in Chilcompton on Saturday evening. On Saturday night, the Beehive Collective came to Glastonbury to share their amazing artwork from their banner produced with communities in Appalachia experiencing mountain top removal. They also shared their stories in Bristol on the Tuesday 25th.
The last week of February brought film showings to Paulton, Axbridge, Bruton and Banwell, where new groups are forming and soon to be storming.
On Wednesday 26th, the biggest event of the month took place with a full house at Wells Town Hall for the ‘How could Fracking affect Farming?’ event, bringing together concerned food producers, farmers and landowners from across the county. You can see the message Jose Bove gave to Somerset farmers here.
To continue the fundraising efforts, Frack Free Frome organised a jumble sale and benefit gig, raising over £1000 for the campaign.
Overall it was an amazing month of action, that showed that people all over the South West are prepared to organise and resist this industry from gaining ground in the UK.
For more information about how to get involved in the campaign, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org