Protesters arrested after hanging banner on Blackpool Tower

Posted Aug 7, 2011 by Lynn Curwin
Two men were arrested for hanging banners on Blackpool Tower protesting the practice of fracking (hydraulic fracturing).
Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower
The banners read "Fracking is coming to the UK" and "We can stop it".
The BBC reported that the men involved were a 24-year-old from East Sussex and 63-year-old from Surrey who gained access to the tower early on Saturday by dressing as builders.
They were attempting to warn people about fracking, which involves injecting fluid underground to blast apart rock and release gas.
An Indy Media article quoted Nathan Roberts, one of the climbers, as saying:“There are so many things wrong with this unconventional method of gas extraction, it's hard to know where to start! It has been linked with poisoned water supplies, earthquakes, leaking gas and even radioactive contamination - and that's before you even get to the effect it will have on the climate. It’s unbelievable that they think they can get away with it. We can’t let this happen.”
The second climber, Sami Jones, said the fracking industry is in its infancy in the UK, and steps need to be taken now.
"We hear a lot about energy shortages, but really we need to be investing in researching sustainable energy sources, rather than finding tiny pockets of non-renewable gas and destroying our planet in order to get to them," he stated.
Cuadrilla Resources suspended fraking in the area after a 2.3 magnitude earthquake in occurred in April and a 1.5 magnitude quake took place in May. The company hoped to resume operations within a few weeks.
"It seems quite likely that they are related," The Independent quoted Brian Baptie, of the British Geological Survey (BGS), as saying at that time. "We had a couple of instruments close to the site and they show that both events were close to the site and at a shallow depth.
"The timing of these two events in conjunction with the ongoing fracking at the site suggests that they may be related. It is well-established that drilling like this can trigger small earthquakes."
He added that the earthquakes are typically too small to be felt, but there have been some larger ones.
Although the Energy and Climate Change Committee of the House of Commons stated there was no evidence that fracking was unsafe, it has been linked with methane contamination of drinking water and structural damage, and is reported to have a greater greenhouse gas impact than conventional oil, gas, and coal over a 20-year period.
Pictures of the banners on the tower can be seen on the Indy Media website.