May 17th, 2017

Frackopoly Tour: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland

By Andy Gheorghiu

In many ways, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) looms as the environmental issue of our time. It touches every aspect of our lives—the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the health of our communities—as it ominously threatens our global climate. It pits the largest corporate giants—international energy and financial corporations—against people and the environment in a long-term struggle for survival.

Fracking has, through the construction of a network of thousands of wells, a significant impact on communities and culturally or environmentally sensitive zones in England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, among other areas in Europe. Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland have already recognized the need to act against this corporate assault and have prepared the first steps towards fracking bans. Sadly, up until now, the UK government has done little to confront the devastating environmental and public health impacts of fracking.

In a historic vote at the beginning of this year, Ireland opted in favour of a law that will make the green island the world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels. On Europe Day, 9 May 2017, the committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment passed the bill banning oil and gas extraction through fracking in Ireland, paving the way for a final vote later this year. The Scottish Government is currently holding a public consultation until the end of May and hopes are that the overwhelming evidence of the negative impacts caused by fracking will also finally lead to a ban in Scotland. People can still support the “Take Action to Ban Fracking Now!” campaign by FoE Scotland.

Wenonah Hauter, founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe will tour through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland from June 3 to June 13, meeting with local activists. She’ll share her comprehensive experience and knowledge about fracking, its devastating impacts and the people and power driving its development, all summarized and portrayed in her book Frackopoly.

Frackopoly describes the dangers inherent in fracking and why pursuing this harmful practice threatens public health, natural resources, and the climate. It describes a political system rigged in favor of laissez-faire economics, allowing a juggernaut of polluters and other greedy economic forces to dominate the media, educational institutions, and our government.

Frackopoly tour dates are:

  • 3rd June, Saturday (3:30pm-4:30pm): Frackopoly talk at Basecamp, Castleton, Derbyshire, North England (host: Friends of the Earth) – after the reading, there will be a Q & A
  • 4th June, Sunday (11:00am-12:00pm): Panel discussion and Q & A on anti-fracking movements in USA (Wenonah Hauter), UK (Tina Rothery from the Nanas) and Australia (Simon Clough, anti-gas activist from The Bentley Effect movie) –  Basecamp, Castleton, Derbyshire, North England (host: Friends of the Earth)
  • 6th June, Tuesday (free & public event, 7:00pm-9:00pm): Frackopoly talk & presentation on situation in EU/Germany – Mystery Tea House, Preston, Lancashire, North England (hosts: Frack Free Lancashire, Residents Action on Fylde Fracking & Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth)
  • 9th June, Friday (free & public event, 7:30pm-9:30pm): Frackopoly presentation and Q&A session – Priory Street Centre, York, North England (host: Friends of the Earth)
  • 10th June, Saturday (free & public event, 2pm-4pm): Frackopoly presentation, panel discussion and Q&A on situation in US, Scotland and EU/Germany, Edinburgh Methodist Mission (Central Hall), Edinburgh, Scotland (host: FoE Scotland)
  • 11th June, Sunday (free & public event, 7:30pm-9:30pm): Frackopoly presentation and Q&A (with activists from Leitrim and Fermanagh), Westville Hotel Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland (host: Sinn Féin MLA Jemma Dolan for Fermanagh South Tyrone)
  • 13th June, Tuesday: press conference, afterwards briefing session in Irish Parliament and Frackopoly presentation event in the evening – Third Space Smithfield, Dublin, Ireland (host: Sinn Féin-GUE/NGL MEP Lynn Boylan)

Learn more about Frackopoly. 

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