Ok… I know I said I wasn’t going to be blogging here again until Imbolc, but I wanted to mention a small but hopeful event that took place in Preston yesterday. Anti-fracking protestor, Tina Rothery, was cleared of the contempt of court charge made against her by Cuadrilla and escaped a 14 day sentence in Styal jail.
At 10.30am, I joined 150 people gathered on Preston Flag Market to march down Friargate, then up the Ring Road to Preston Combined Court on the Ring Way. When we arrived at the court, everybody chanted “I am Tina Rothery” and “I am Tina too”. There was something immensely powerful about the willingness of so many people to put aside their own concerns and identities for the day and become Tina as she waited for the result of the case.
Whether this transformative magic had a role in the judge’s decision to allow Tina to walk free remains uncertain. What is certain is that there was a good deal of slipperiness on behalf of Cuadrilla and their lawyers. Ruth Hayhurst notes, ‘Yesterday, Cuadrilla’s lawyers told the media that the hearing was about the contempt of court ruling and that it had been organised by the court, not by the company. But today’s case was listed as Cuadrilla V Rothery and a lawyer from Eversheds represented the company.’ During the hearing, Cuadrilla made a turn around and decided they would no longer pursue Tina for the money.
Tina’s victory adds to the beacon of hope that shines from Standing Rock. It shows that people coming together to stand for our sacred landscapes and watercourses, our communities and the truth have the power to win out. The anti-fracking movement continues to grow. When we are all Tina Rothery this threat will be banished from our land for good.