Trade union leaders stand with imprisoned fracking campaigners

Update: the sentences of all three men have been quashed on appeal as 'manifestly excessive'

Trade union members open letter 

As trade unionists, we the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the four non-violent anti-fracking activists who have been convicted of 'causing a public nuisance', three of whom are now serving custodial sentences.  We strongly condemn this judgement and the dangerous precedent it sets for the right to protest and take non-violent direct action against threats to the climate and the environment.

These are by far the longest prison sentences imposed on activists defending the environment since those jailed for the Mass Trespass in 1932. It can only be seen as politically motivated in support of a government that has shown it is prepared to ride roughshod over the democratic rights of citizens to achieve an end for which it has no popular support.

This is a clear example of the state acting in the interests of big business in the face of opposition to fracking by the community at Preston New Road, and across the UK more widely.  It is important to recall the concerns raised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly in his report in 2016 regarding the "collusion between law enforcement authorities and private companies" in relation to fracking protests.

At the TUC Congress in 2018, the trade union movement called for a moratorium on fracking in England which has already been stopped in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Many of us believe it should be banned in full.  There is no safe fracking. It is not safe for the environment, water supplies, citizens or workers, or in addressing climate change concerns.

Trade unionists have long seen their legitimate rights oppressed with the use of force, and are proud to support of our sisters and brothers taking a stand against injustice.  The treatment of striking miners at the so called 'Battle of Orgreave' remains a potent symbol of the underhand tactics of the state against the working class for which justice is still being sought over thirty years later.

We need investment in a publicly owned and democratically controlled energy system, which can oversee the transition to renewable energy.  A transition that is just by providing social protections for workers, and creates unionised sustainable jobs across all sectors as we develop a new zero carbon economy.

We stand in solidarity with the imprisoned anti - Fracking activists and support the call for a judicial review of this absurdly harsh sentence, and an inquiry into the wider attacks on the right to protest and freedom of assembly.

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA)
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union (NEU)
Ronnie Draper, General Secretary, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
Tony Kearns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, Communication Workers Union (CWU)
Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary, PCS
Ian Hodson, National President, BFAWU 
Kiri Tunks, NUT President (NEU)
Zita Holbourne, PCS Vice President and Chair of International Committee
Nita Sanghera, Vice President, University and College Union (UCU)
Tahir Latif, President PCS Aviation Group
Clara Paillard, President PCS Culture Group
Suzanne Jeffery - Chair CACC Trade Union Group
Dave Green – National Officer, Fire Brigades Union
Sam Tarry, National Political Officer, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA)
Sarah Woolley, Organising Regional Secretary, Region 5, BFAWU
Sandy Nicoll, UNISON NEC, SOAS UNISON Branch Secretary
Rachel Drayson and Graham Petersen, Chair and Secretary of Greener Jobs Alliance
Simon Murch, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Anne Lemon, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Gawain Little, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Louise Regan, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Jess Edwards, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Stefan Simms, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Dawn Taylor, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Annette Pryce, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Patrick Murphy, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Hazel Danson, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Heather McKenzie, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Nick Wigmore, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Jackie Baker, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Joseph Wyglendacz, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Mandy Hudson, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Phil Clarke, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Daniel Kebede, NEU (NUT Section) National Executive
Hilary Chuter, President, Lancashire National Education Union (NUT section)
Sue Abbott, UCU NEC
Sean Vernell, UCU NEC
Marl Abel, UCU NEC
Lesley Kane, UCU NEC
Rhiannon Lockley, UCU NEC
Dave Muritu, UCU NEC
Elane Heffernan, UCU NEC
Margot Hill, UCU NEC
Carlo Moretti, UCU NEC
Julie Herne, UCU NEC
Sean Wallis, UCU NEC
Chris Jones, UCU NEC
Marion Hersh, UCU NEC
Andy Bain, TSSA, former President
Barrie Wood - Chair - GMB T28 Torbay and South Devon Branch
Elizabeth Lawrence, Ex-President and Secretary UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Retired
Mike Killian, UNISON Water Environment and Transport Service Group Executive
Darren Tickle, PCS Green Rep
PCS DWP Wigan Area Branch
Tom Taylor - Asst Secretary, Waltham Forest Trades Council; Secretary, Creative & Leisure Industries Committee, TUC LESE Region
PCS R&C West Mercia Branch
Sam Mason, GMB
PCS 20078 North Wales/North West Revenue and Customs,
Steve Ryan PCS Green GEC rep for Revenue and Customs Environmental  Committee
Tom Jones, Fylde Land Registry, BEC members/PCS member
Peter Billington, UNITE, Secretary, Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils (LATUC)
John Tattum, NUM
Richard Shrubb, NUJ
Mike Frost, Unison
Terry Conway, Unite, Chair, Islington Unite Community
Sarah Pattison, GMB, SWTUC Executive 
Anne Gomez, Musicians Union
Tim Nicholls, PCS, DWP Dorset Branch Secretary (pc)
Chloe Berry, Unison
Matthew Clifton, USDAW
Philip Pearson, Unite Greener Jobs Alliance
Simon Hales, UNITE
Fliss Premru, TSSA
Giovanna Lewis, Unite Community Member
George Binette, UNISON BRANCH SECRETARY (retired)/Chair of Camden Trades Council 
Martin Empson, CaCC trade union group Treasurer
Sue Matthews, GMB
Stephen Smellie, Unison Scotland Deputy Convenor
Les Levidow, UCU
Simon Baker, Unite Community
Pete Firmin, CWU
William Smith, IWW Accredited Representative
Allan Challenger, Unison
Thomas Murray, UCU and RCN
Julie Douglass, Unite
Lesley Grahame, Unison
Leon Rosselson, Musicians' Union
Ian Ferrie, GMB
Mick Brooks, Unite
Steph Alen, UCU Branch Secretary
Mike Phipps, Unite
Julia Charlton, UCU, Branch Chair and NEC
Andrew Strouthous, UCU
Julia Roberts. UCU NEC
Terence Flanagan, UNITE Camden Community Vice Chair UCC Print worker Wapping
Pam Laurance, UNITE / UNISON (Retired Member)
Anne Alexander, UCU
David Taylor, Unite Branch Chair
Steve Wilkins, Unison Secretary Medway Trades Union Council
Anne Handley, PCS Branch Secretary
Kathy Grant, UNISON retired member (former steward)
Ian Crosson, UCU 
Grahame Gordon Innes, Musicians Union
Alan McClenaghan, PCS
Jake Douglas, UCU
Billie Loebner, UCU
Jim Page, Unite Cleaner 
Sam Weinstein, Unite the Community
lois boland, PCS 
Alison Allan, Unite
Stephen Tomlinson, Unite community
Pete Monaghan, UCU Eastern & Home Counties Regional Chair
Lindsay Braga, Musicians union Member
Richard Chute, Unite, Secretary LE/677 Branch
Janet Baldwin, Unite
Greg Peakin, UCU
Una Macnamara, Unison
David Green, Unite
Thomas Kirby, Fife Trades Union Council Chair
Roy Bruce, Unite
James Marsh, Unite
Sue Lloyd, PCS Green Officer 
Murdo Maclean, Unison Member. Ex steward
Steven Roberts, TSSA, President Crewe Trades Council
Keith Simpson, UCU, City University VP
Gary Stacey, IWW Dorset General Members Branch
Steve West, PCS DWP Group Executive Committee
Jane Finney, Unison
Lukas Slothuus, UCU
Honor McCullagh, GMB
June Davison, UCU
Jane Turner, Unite
Derek Hardman, Unite in the Community
Trefor Harris, Unite
Alan Harrison, UCU, Retired, formerly AUT president, Brunel
Alexandrina Braithwaite, Unite community
Zarria Phillips, Unite Community
Giorgio finella, GMB
Andy Hewett, Unite
Yvonne Gibbins, GMB
Soodabeh Balali, Unite
Robert Barbet, Unite
Nick Tidiman, PCS
Bob Anderson, Unite
Tim Caunt, CWU
Allan Challenger, Unison
Ian Guthrie, HCMI
Janet Woodley, UCU
Tessa Harrison, PCS
Tom Webster, UCU
Simon Hales, UNITE
Greg Hewitt, RMT
Roger Thomas, PCS PINS MHCLG Branch Chair
Richard Mcewan, UCU, NCC Poplar branch sec,
Jenny Cooper, NEU
Keith  Russell, USDAW
Alpha Kanr, NEU ISO
David Norwood, Unison
Tim Padmore, NEU (NUT section) 
Pat Irwin Unite
Ken Muller, NEU
Eugene Doherty, NEU, Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Council President
Katherine Cary, UCU
Ralph A Tebbutt, NASUWT
Hilary J Baker, Unite
Ian Malcolm-Walker, UNISON
Paul Atkin, NEU (NUT section)
Andrew Haynes, National Education Union
Grant Buttars, UCU, Branch President, UCU Edinburgh 
Sophia Lycouris, UCU Edinburgh
Jack Marsh NEU
Amanda  Bentham, NEU
David Kirby, Unite
Colin Jones, USDAW
Lauren Collins, Unite
Phil Fletcher, Community Unite Barnet Branch
Steve Masters, GMB
Paul Looby, Unite
Honor McCullagh, GMB
Peter Lucas, PCS Retired Member
Jay Ginn, Unite croydon
Glenn Feeney, NEU (NUT Section), Bury Division President
Linda Taaffe, Waltham Forest Trades Council
DWP HQ Leeds Branch, PCS
Mr G J Downing, Unite
Mary Renshaw, UNISON
Abdirazak Abdi, PCS Rep London Region
Corinna Lotz, AICA (International Art Critics Association
Mike Kennard, Unite Community
Jay ginn, Unite, Croydon
Tania Earnshaw, Unison, Branch Secretary
Nancy Strang, Unite
Sophie Ward, Unite
Conchita Varicak, Unite the Community
Michael Miller, Boilermakers Union
Carmen Vazquez, Unite 
Keith Martin, Unite the Union
Joanne Ainscough, Unite
Brian Debus, Unison, President Hackney Trades Council
Martin McMahon, NEU (NUT Section)
Yolande Mallet de Chauny, UCU
Huzaifa Essajee, TSSA
Janet Rudge, UNISON 
Harriet Wood, Unison
James Melia-Jones, Unison Liverpool City branch
Bill Robson, Unison
Nic Goodwin, BASW / SWU
Linda Walker, Unite Community High Peak
Jill Axford, Unite
Sue Kortlandt, NEU
Floyd Codlin, PCS Culture Section, GEC (Personal Capacity)
Peter Marshall, NUJ
Michael Scrimshaw, Unite 
Jasmine Lota, PCS
Matt Duckett, GMB
James Davies, PCS South West Regional Committee
Iain Solanki-Willats, Kirklees NEU
Mita Solanki-Willats, Kirklees NEU
Linda Clarke, UCU
Steve Leggett, for Bromley Trades Council
Louise Kowalska, PCS, Chair Leith Edinburgh Branch
Chris Saltmarsh, Unite
Kim Hunter, Unite Community, York
John Atkinson, Unite Geographical, Scarborough