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On Wednesday afternoon I traveled to London for our film Premiere of ‘Power Trip – Fracking in the UK‘ at the Lush studios in Soho. Paul O’Connor and I co-founded Undercurrents and have worked together on many film projects since 1993. We’d recently filmed various fracking, energy and climate change actions and last July we secured funding from Lush to make this documentary.
The event had sold out. I was feeling nervous as I’d been asked to chair the Q&A afterwards, which is outside my comfort zone, I love to be behind the camera and this event was being filmed and live streamed!
Photo: Paul O’Connor
For the viewing I sat with the some protestors who featured in the film. They were a lively audience, laughing at the cheeky campaign tactics which were so often successful, despite the fortress like police and security presence and there were gasps at the bravery of cab surfers (watch the film if you don’t know what they are!)
Photo: Paul O’Connor
Beforehand I made time to check out who Lush had arranged to be on the panel and I was relieved so see that those I know are people who like to talk….a lot.
There was the amazing Lancashire Nana, Tina Louise Rothery – who is well worth following on Facebook. She frequently live streams video from the Preston New Road protest site and is a major character through our documentary. On the morning of the launch I listened to her narrate the current action which included actress and activist Emma Thomson, and John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK as they headed to the gates of the fracking site. I messaged Paul – Tina’s currently in Preston not London, but he assured me she’d be there – she packs a lot into each day, he said.
Photo: David Hoffman
To her left on the panel was Joseph Corre an activist and the son of Vivienne Westwood. In 2016 he burnt £8 million worth of punk memorabilia on a canal boat in the Thames in a staged protest to encourage the use of renewable energy. He’s currently supporting law suits against the injunctions which are being imposed on fracking campaigners.
Paul Mobbs, known as the @ramblinactivist was next in line. He put his research in to what he called the ‘Frackogram‘ which shows the connections between people profiting from fracking and those in the government. He believes that members of the government are guilty of Misconduct In Public Office as they are not acting on their knowledge of the dangers to the public of fracking. He decided to make a citizen arrest of a Member of the Cabinet to hold them to account – you can watch this amusing campaign strategy in the film.
The others on the stage were Lorraine Inglis from Frack Off, London and Anna from Reclaim the Power who got the chance to announce upcoming actions in the campaign to stop work at the Preston site. Over April, May and June there will be 3 months of daily actions to disrupt the construction.
As expected I did not need to say much from the stage – apart from thanking everyone for coming and Lush for the funding and the venue. The discussion flowed and will shortly be available on Lush Player to watch – the overall message was that the stop fracking campaign is close to winning, the company is suffering from the additional costs and there was a call out for support in whatever way people can help especially over the next three months of daily actions.
Paul and I are planning a series of screenings around the country with Q&A with campaigners from Reclaim the Power. Please do get in touch if you can help us with venue ideas and spreading the word.