Anti-fracking protesters in a suburb of Manchester, England, say that nothing else they’ve done to stop the controversial oil-extracting process has worked. So now, they are super-gluing themselves to a fracking site there.
On January 2, an as-yet unidentified woman dressed as the character “Where’s Waldo” placed herself on the ground at an entrance to the Barton Moss drilling site in Greater Manchester and super-glued herself to the gate, The Manchester Evening News reported.
The woman was arrested after police finally managed to pry her off the gate, but not before the protester had caused a two-hour delay for trucks and other vehicles exiting the site.
“Once the trucks had gone in and the gates were shut, she just got out the glue and fixed herself to the gates,” said Rachel Thompson of the anti-fracking group Frack Free Greater Manchester. “It looks as though she timed it to cause delays – the trucks usually go out around that time.”
Then on Tuesday at the same site, two women said to be ages 25 and 45, according to a separate Manchester Evening News report, pulled up to the front of the Barton Moss site in a Ford Escort.
They had cut a hole in the bottom of the vehicle. When they pulled up, they lowered a barrel filled with concrete through the hole to make the car immobile. Then they super-glued themselves to the barrel.
The women began their protest at 7:30 am, but it took cops until 10 to get them out of the car and arrest them, followed by another half-hour to remove the blue Ford.
“It’s not a decision they have taken lightly but they have done letter-writing, they have done going on marches, they have tried all the other means and nothing is working so they have had to resort to this,” another fracking opponent, Mandy Roundhouse, explained.
Fracking, which derives from the word “fracturing,” is a process in which drillers blast high-pressure fluids deep into subsurface rock, causing the rock to break apart. The fractures in the rock allow otherwise inaccessible oil and natural gas to seep through where it can then be collected.
While government scientists in the U.K. have ruled fracking to be safe, research in the United States suggests otherwise.
As the web site Think Progress reports, a December study in the medical journal Endocrinology found high levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in groundwater supplies near a fracking site in Colorado.
A separate study in July, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences of USA, found increased likelihood of water contamination in wells near fracking sites.
In areas around Youngstown, Ohio, where fracking is carried out, 109 earthquakes were reported between January 2011 and the same month in 2012, in an area normally free from such seismic activity. When the fracking site shut down, the earthquakes ceased.