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Two protesters arrested while blocking frackers

TWO protesters were arrested yesterday during demonstrations at a fracking site in North Yorkshire.

A 69-year-old pensioner and a man aged 33 were cuffed as they blocked the entrance to the site off a country lane near the village of Kirby Misperton, between Malton and Pickering.

Tory-controlled North Yorkshire County Council has given planning permission for fracking operations in some of Yorkshire’s most-loved countryside despite widespread opposition.

The Kirby Misperton site has been drilled by energy exploitation firm Third Energy.

Lorries arrived with equipment needed for fracking to begin but were met by 120 demonstrators.

Fracking involves drilling into underground shale layers and pumping down a toxic mixture of chemicals, sand and water to smash the rock to release gas.

It contaminates local water supplies, pollutes the air, industrialises the countryside and even causes earthquakes. And of course when the gas released is burnt, it worsens climate change.

Eventually police forced protesters away from the entrance to the site yesterday.

Ian Conlan of Frack Free Ryedale said: “We have definitely slowed them down. It took them a large amount of time to clear us.

“Some people were dragged away, some were carried away and some walked away. I’ve been reminding the officers to treat us like human beings, especially as many of us are local people.”

Mr Conlan said police had “kettled” 80 protesters.

Superintendent Alisdair Dey, of North Yorkshire police, said: “We know that there are very different views about hydraulic fracturing but as the local police our responsibility is to carry out our duties impartially.

“We have a duty to make sure that people who want to assemble and protest do so safely, balanced against a duty to ensure that businesses can go about their lawful commercial activity.”

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