Protesters had to beg to rescue their seven cats before their homes were demolished

Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton, UK: Protesters against fracking who had lived at a camp off New Hope near Preston New Road, on private property, have been forcibly removed by a squad of eviction specialists and bailiffs without notice and without a court order.

The protestor's camp
The protestor’s camp. Photos by Blackpool Gazette staff photographer. Montage by PoC.
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A team of more than 30 officers of various kinds piled into the camp unannounced to remove all the protesters and to bulldoze their properties which were temporary constructions and which in fact the protestors say were dismantable so their destruction was unnecessary.

They’d been there for three years and had acquired seven cats. It appears that, initially, the cats were ignored and that there was no attempt to protect and put them in carriers at the early stages. Residents had to beg the officials to allow them to rescue their cats before the diggers moved in to demolish the constructions.

The protesters imply that the cats’ welfare and safety was jeopardised by the operation but this is rebutted by the officials who say that they helped in retrieving the pet cats from the site.

The police monitored the whole thing and approved it. A campaigner against fracking, Nick Danby, said that the protesters were very disappointed with Lancashire Police helping the bailiffs.

He said:

“We knew something might be going to happen. But the way it has been done is disgraceful. We have lawyers involved. We have done our best today to retrieve seven cats from the site, but we think they have damaged solar panels which are worth thousands and a wind turbine too.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said:

“We can confirm we’ve used the drone [see photo above] to monitor the site and safety of the inhabitants. Our role today has been to prevent a breach of the peace.”

The protesters say that the landowner did not request that they leave the site but the bailiffs said that the landowner had asked them to act against the protesters to remove them. The bailiff company involved, Able Enforcements, said that they were allowed to carry out their operation under common law and did not need a court order. Local businesses were apparently against the protestors as they would be because their concern is financial profit while local residents were supportive of them because the protestors were providing a service to the community in getting rid of fracking in the area which is detrimental to the area’s amenity. The fracking business, Cuadrilla, has I understand ceased work on the site so the protestors were successful.

Note: this article is essential a news item but contains some opinion as well. The source is blackpoolgazette.co.uk

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