The Grand Dame of Punk issued a rallying call to anti-fracking supporters to ‘fight every battle’ when she visited the site on Duttons Lane on Saturday (December 5), having travelled up from London especially.
Residents of the camp had until 4pm on Friday (December 4) to vacate the field – where IGas have permission to drill an exploratory borehole in the search for coalbed methane – but the deadline passed without event.
The energy firm can now legally remove people from there but protestors have resolved to stand their ground through peaceful resistance methods such as locking on to the site.
Dame Vivienne, 74, was welcomed back with open arms, accompanied by a film crew from Russia Today for an upcoming programme about fracking.
She was present for a workshop on how practical direct action skills run by organisation TalkFracking.org.
She told the Chronicle that Upton Protection Camp is ‘terribly important’ because it is a ‘focus’ of the anti-fracking movement.
Lambasting the Government as ‘criminal cretins’, she said: “Their energy policy defies belief.
“I think the Government has abdicated its responsibility to care for people.
“We should protest on such a level that they are not able to function.
“You have got to fight every battle.”
Back in September, Dame Vivienne rode up to David Cameron’s constituency home in Oxfordshire on a white tanker in a protest against fracking.
IGas’ planning permission for the Duttons Lane site runs out in May 2016.
Dr Steven Peers said the feeling at the camp, where he has lived for the past five months, is ‘upbeat’.
Describing the situation as a ‘battle of wills’, he said they are confident they will be able to ‘dig in’ and hold their ground until the May deadline due to the level of community support they have.
Of Dame Vivienne’s visit, he said everybody appreciates her coming at ‘such a critical time’.
“It is interesting that people are coming at this particular time, when there is the threat of eviction,” Dr Peers added.
Earlier this week IGas spokesman David Petrie said earlier this week that ‘no decision’ had yet been taken over whether the eviction notice would be enforced.