To mark the start of London Fashion Week last Thursday 15th February, Vivienne Westwood, accompanied by Joe Corré and a host of models took to the streets to showcase their new ‘FRACKING CLIMATE INEOS/CHAOS’ t-shirts.
It took place directly outside the INEOS headquarters opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, to draw attention to the injunction the petrochemical giant has taken out against protesters.
The terms of the injunction make any form of protest against INEOS and their fracking agenda illegal if it delays or obstructs their activities. Therefore making it an imprisonable offence to exercise the right to protest and freedom of expression. With numerous potential fracking sites, and interest in many more around the UK, the injunction protects INEOS from all forms of protest against the activities taking place at these sites.
INEOS are renowned for their terrible track record in environmental pollution.
Despite a growing awareness of the detrimental effect of plastic around the world - Scotland recently banned plastic straws and other single use plastics - INEOS intend to use shale gas obtained via fracking as a feedstock to produce millions of tonnes of plastic.
Highly unpopular in the UK, a government survey found just 16% of the population agreed with hydraulic fracturing. To extract shale gas from deep underground, water, sand, and chemicals are injected horizontally at high pressure. It is known to be dangerous for a number of reasons, and has been linked to water pollution in America and minor earthquakes in Lancashire in 2011.
As well as this, the Paris Agreement stresses the urgency of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C by the end of the century, in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Investing in a new fossil fuel such as shale gas will only exacerbate a rise in the global average temperature.
Both Westwood and Corré are passionate environmentalists, with the latter recently taking Ineos to court alongside Joe Boyd to appeal the injunction. “If this dangerous injunction is allowed to become a legal precedent” says Corré, “it will open the door to any corporation seeking to stop protest against their plans, regardless of the harm they cause to people and the environment”.
Corporations should not have the power to silence the public.
For more information visit www.talkfracking.org.