Fracking protestor lodges formal complaint, says police acted ‘like a pack of wolves’ by Manchester Evening News, February 20, 2014
A mother-of-five has made a formal complaint about Greater Manchester Police claiming she was assaulted by officers during the Barton Moss anti-fracking protest. Vanda Gillett said she was left injured on the floor for more than 45 minutes waiting for an ambulance to arrive after she was hurt during her arrest at the site in Eccles , Salford . The 37-year-old claimed officers acted like ‘a pack of wolves’ when detaining her on suspicion of a public order offence – injuring her arms and ‘strangling’ her with her coat.
Vanda, who lives in north Manchester, told how she was about to film a protester on top of a lorry when an officer pushed her out the way. She said she swore at the policeman – causing officers to ‘charge’ at her. One video of her arrest shows her screaming ‘I can’t breath’ before going into spasm on the floor. Separate footage shows her lying on the floor covered by a sheet as a police liaison officer says: “She can’t feel her back or her hips.”
According to eye-witness Colin Gong, 49, protesters believed police had called an ambulance for Vanda shortly after her arrest just after midday on Saturday. But he said when one of the group called to check where the ambulance was, she was told none had been requested.
She said: “It was shocking. There was no need to do what they did. One of the officers said to me, ‘I hope that hurt’. That’s not good policing. “Apparently I went into spasm because I had trapped a nerve and I still have bruises on my arms from the police.”
Vanda was de-arrested at hospital but said she was told she would be summonsed to court to face charges. She added she made a formal complaint about the incident at Swinton police station on Tuesday.
The campaigners face being evicted from the camp after landowner Peel issued legal proceedings against them on grounds of trespass. A hearing will take place at Manchester County Court today. [Emphasis added]
Campaigners against hydraulic fracturing at Barton Moss in Greater Manchester may face eviction if a legal bid against them succeeds by Bill Lehane, February 20, 2014, Upstream Online
The Manchester Civil Justice Centre is due to hold a court hearing on Friday on the eviction case, the BBC reported. A legal order was served on protesters by solicitors Wragge and Co representing Manchester Ship Canal Developments and Peel Investments (North). The companies say they own the land the protest camp is on and are petitioning the court for eviction and compensation. A spokeswoman for IGas told the station: “We continue to go about our legal business that has all the necessary planning and permits.”
The protesters have been in the area since late November when UK shale explorer IGas Energy spudded the Barton Moss exploration probe. Campaigners have since staged a number of blockade protests that have stalled deliveries to the site and lead to arrests. The explorer is targeting both shale gas and coal-bed methane potential with the vertical well at Barton Moss Road. IGas Energy said late last year it expected initial results from the two- to three-month drill during the first quarter. The UK onshore explorer has not yet applied for a permit to hydraulically fracture the well.
Campaign group Frack Free Greater Manchester is staging an enlarged protest coinciding with the court case on Friday, and has repeatedly criticised what it says is heavy-handed policing of the demonstrations. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to: