The Gig at the Rig went off! There was an estimated 250 people from all over the country,enjoying the music, poetry and speeches. The event was a peaceful one which may or may not have had something to do with the absence of the police. As the party starts to wind down, the protectors will be turning their thougths to tomorrow’s convoy.
The Barton Moss Protection Camp is set to continue as the court case earlier today was adjourned until March the 6th. Peel Holdings had issued an immediate possession order on the land next to Barton Moss lane, wanting to remove protectors this Sunday.
At the camp this morning there was another fantastic turn out to greet and escort the iGas convoy. However the police were up to their usual tricks with at least one reported arrest of a young girl.
Sunday is also the day of Gig at the Rig, starting at 1:30pm. See the Manchester Evening News for more details here. It’s going to be a busy one, even the Judge mentioned it in court today.
There was another great turn out at Barton Moss for what would turn out to be a long and challenging day. Firstly police officers approached the protectors with a deal of no arrests if future convoy escorts were to last only an hour. The camp made it clear they have a right to protest and don’t need to make agreements with the police to do so.
Following the days convoy there two arrests, of an ex-service man now a fireman and a mother who had brought her children to the Kids Day event. There was also further aggressive and violent behaviour towards other protectors, something that is sadly becoming all too familiar.
Later on a legal representative handed the camp an immediate possession order on behalf of the land owners: Peel Investments and The Manchester Ship Canal Company both owned by The Peel Group. The court hearing is at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.
Following Saturday’s appalling display of violence from the Greater Manchester Police, protectors from far and wide turned up at the protection camp to meet the convoy of lorries. Unfortunately the policing tactics were just as aggressive, with reports of shoving and kicking by the police line behind the protector’s march. Two individuals sat down in protest and were then arrested.
Police violence reared its ugly head again at Barton Moss with one protector being arrested and dragged by their handcuffs whilst reportedly having a seizure. Luckily no bones were broken but they were left with severe bruising and required a trip to hospital.
One protector managed to climb on top of one of the delivery trucks, delaying operations. There were six arrests in total.
The land owners also sent out a warning that the continuation of the community protection camp would be considered trespass, but it is unlikely that this will stop the protectors in their efforts to stop the iGas convoys.
Today’s convoy turned around and left Barton Moss following the court ruling that the road leading to the iGas site is a public footpath. An all day blockade delayed trucks to the point of giving up as police were powerless to intervene.
Three months of persistent peaceful protest in the face of terrible weather, unproven allegations, police stitch ups and police violence have started to pay off. Let’s hope with continued support from locals and supporters from all over the world we see more convoys retreating from Barton Moss.
The Manchester Evenign News report on yesterday’s court ruiling concerning Barton Moss Lane can be read here.