Anti-Fracking student protest held on Cornmarket

They were protesting Barclays Bank’s investments into fracking companies in Yorkshire


Today on Cornmarket there was a large student protest being held by the organisation People and Planet.

According to their website, they are “the largest student network in Britain campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.”

The protest was made up entirely of students from all around the country, who come and protest outside Barclays Bank.

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The Tab managed to speak to one of the organisers, Pete Nolan chair of Sheffield People and Planet.

He told us the main aim of the protest was to draw attention to the license that was granted about a month ago to a company called Third Energy that Barclays Wholly owns to frack in North Yorkshire.

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However, they were also very vocal in pointing out the Barclays is currently investing over £1.2 billion in fracking and coal mining across the world from Colombia to Canada with varying degrees of care for labour and local communities.

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protesters wearing large cardboard top hats

Nolan said: “Inefficient fracking is as an extraction method for an energy resource along with the high amounts of green house gases it takes just to extract the gas reserves underground.”

When asked about fracking creating local jobs, he explained how most of the fracking in this country is done by outside contractors and therefore not supporting local communities at all but instead tearing them apart.

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Despite the Third Energy website stating they have set up a “community liaison group” specially for their site in Yorkshire with the aim “to build an open and constructive relationship between the local community and Third Energy.”

When asked about alternatives to fracking Nolan pointed towards our recent divorcees in Europe with countries like the Netherlands and Germany investing heavily in renewable and green energies.

He highlighted one week where Germany “ran completely off wind power”. In the same light he also told us how we as a nation are becoming less dependent on our fossil fuels as according to him we recently went an entire day without using any power from coal stations.

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While this campaign can seem very local to our shores People and Planet were very conscious of pointing out, in the leaflets they were handing out, that it is a global issue and one that has landed on our doorstep with the heavy financial involvement of Barclays, our second biggest bank.

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On these leaflets as well they point out that “Fracking has led to water pollution, and a sharp increase in cancer and birth defects” along with claiming “Barclays finances some of the world’s biggest climate criminals”.