Protesters wishing for a ‘frack-free 2016’ are holding another demonstration before their Upton Protection Camp gets evicted.

Everyone is invited to the peaceful gathering opposite Long Lane shops in Upton from 10am until 11.30 this Saturday (December 19) before people walk up to the camp in Duttons Lane, which could be evicted by bailiffs at any time.

Opponents fear the environmental impact of IGas Energy’s exploratory coalbed methane borehole – to be drilled near the camp – and the unconventional gas exploration and extraction that may follow.

Frack Free Upton is asking anti-fracking opponents to take placards and banners along to this weekend’s demo as well as warm/waterproof clothing, drinks and snacks.

A spokesperson said: “IGas have no social licence to drill in Upton. Over 2,800 residents have been surveyed and 85% do not want unconventional gas exploration or extraction in Upton. Please come along and support this event.

“Once the eviction has taken place, there will be nothing to stop the exploratory drilling at Duttons Lane from going ahead. Please also continue to support the camp with supplies of food and water.”

Residents and members of Frack Free Upton Jim Cameron, Barbara Cunningham, Jacqui Bulmer, Graham Bulmer and Tonia Darlington
Residents and members of Frack Free Upton Jim Cameron, Barbara Cunningham, Jacqui Bulmer, Graham Bulmer and Tonia Darlington

Recent visitors to Upton Protection Camp will have noticed that it has become increasingly fortified with high wooden walls and tree houses at the entrance to the field.

Seasoned campaigners and people with no previous experience of direct action have said they will resist the forthcoming eviction by using superglue and chains to lock themselves on to the site. And photos have been released showing tunnels and vertical structures.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood recently visited the camp when she took part in a workshop organised by where practical direct action skills were shared.

On Saturday, protesters will meet at 10am outside Long Lane Post Office before crossing the road to gather on the grass island opposite on the corner of Long Lane and Caughall Road. They will remain there in a ‘highly visible’ location to passing traffic until 11.30am when some demonstrators will walk up to the camp. As the peaceful protest is alongside a busy main road, it is not considered suitable for young children.

IGas spokesman David Petrie said in an earlier statement: “We respect the right to peaceful protest however it has been made clear to the protesters they are on our site illegally and without consent. Having recently taken ownership of the lease for the site, we expect the protesters to cease occupation and leave peacefully.”