“How could the politicians not have told us about this?” This was the outraged sentiment of over 100 people who packed out the Windrose bar in Carrickfergus to hear a report on the plans by InfraStrata to frack less than 300m from Woodburn water reservoir.
The meeting was organised by Stop the Drill campaign, made up of activists from the local area. There were reports about the litany of failures by both Mid & East Antrim Council and the Department of Enterprise Trade & Investment. Local activists found that a Waste Management Plan was missing a crucial document. The local council refused repeated requests to explain why development was being allowed to go ahead despite the lack of proper planning permission.
Local politicians were in attendance, including the Mayor, who refused to call a special meeting of the council to review their decisions. A sham of public consultation is now ongoing until 25 February to gift InfraStrata the go-ahead. It’s clear, however, the politicians are worried about the reaction of the local residents to this plan.
Stop the Drill activists are on the site 24/7 to monitor activities. Support is needed to stop the development of this site over the next 6 weeks for drilling. Already, one man has been arrested for taking part in the peaceful protest. As Tamboran’s defeat in Belcoo showed, mass community action to stop the work can send the frackers packing. Socialist Party activists were to the fore in that struggle and we will not be found wanting this time either.
Protests are ongoing at the site – contact Stop the Drill campaign for more details.