img_1828Members of Netpol partner organisation Green and Black Cross (GBC) travelled to the East Midlands yesterday to provide training for activists at the new ‘Daneshill Community Protection Camp‘ on becoming effective legal observers.

img_1836After fracking company Dart Energy moved its rig (right) from Cheshire at the end of March to the former Royal Ordnance factory site at Daneshill, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, the small camp of ‘community protectors’ has blockaded the entrance every day.

Netpol believes the growing opposition around the country to fracking and other extreme energy extraction methods represents the biggest test of public order policing in 2014. We plan to map out a nationwide picture of the policing of local opposition, including the number and type of arrests, different charges brought, commonly-occuring complaints of excessive or violent conduct by officers and emerging police tactics in support of extreme energy companies.

As well as training volunteers, Netpol and GBC are helping local people to set up a legal support ‘back office’ near the camp, to gather and record information from legal observers on arrests and emerging police tactics. This information is vital not just for defending individual campaigners who are arrested, but so we can also develop a better understanding of the way police forces plan to respond to direct action against extreme energy extraction.

If you want to stay in touch with the work of Netpol members in support of the right to protest against fracking, join our mailing list. If you are part of any new ‘community protectors’ camp and are interested in legal observer training, contact GBC.