Stop the INEOS fracking injunction

by Joesph Boyd

Stop the INEOS fracking injunction

by Joesph Boyd
Joesph Boyd
Case owner
My name is Joe Boyd and I have been an active anti-fracking campaigner in the UK for the past 4 years.
Funded
on 13th September 2017
£17,956
pledged by 592 people
Joesph Boyd
Case owner
My name is Joe Boyd and I have been an active anti-fracking campaigner in the UK for the past 4 years.

Latest: March 2, 2018

New page for our appeal now live!

A new CrowdJustice page is going live now live to help fund the appeal at: www.crowdjustice.com/case/fracking-round2

Visit the page for more details. 

Myself and Joe Corré have been fight...

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INEOS, a manufacturer of chemicals involved in fracking, was granted an injunction – that seriously limits protest against its activities  

At a hearing on 27 July 2017, INEOS, a privately owned global manufacturer of chemicals, involved in fracking, was granted a wide-ranging injunction, seriously limiting the right of people to protest against their activities and those of companies linked to them.

Since learning about the injunction, which was granted against “persons unknown”, I have been working alongside solicitors from the law firm Leigh Day and barristers Heather Williams QC and Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh, as a named Defendant so that I can challenge its legality and try to prevent it being renewed.

In my four years of campaigning against the fracking industry in the UK, I have consistently seen the role of protesting as a fight for democracy at both a local and national level. This temporary injunction, if renewed at the hearing on 12 September will be an unprecedented and long-term affront to our right to lawful protest.

The hearing – nobody else was represented 

The injunction was granted at an ex-parte hearing at which nobody else but INEOS and landowners who have leased land to them was represented, so there was no chance to mount a Defence to the proceedings. As a result people who oppose the fracking industry, including protesters such as myself, had no way of challenging the application or seeking to mitigate its impact on lawful protest.

INEOS states that it is not against peaceful, legitimate protest but that is exactly what the injunction stops us from being able to do at the eight sites covered by the injunction, which cover areas all across England, as well as in relation to a large number of other companies associated with INEOS.

Penalties for breaching the injunction

An arrest for breach of this injunction, which could simply be for slow walking on a public pavement outside a protest site, will be in contempt of court and the protester will be liable for up to six months imprisonment and or fine up to £5,000.

Our argument will take place on 12 Septemer

Our argument at the hearing on 12 September will be that the terms of the interim injunction breach Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association. By putting myself forward as a named defendant in these proceedings, I want to ensure that we as local people, citizens and campaigners still have the right to hold peaceful protests against the fracking industry and those involved in it.

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Update 4

Joesph Boyd

March 2, 2018

New page for our appeal now live!

A new CrowdJustice page is going live now live to help fund the appeal at: www.crowdjustice.com/case/fracking-round2

Visit the page for more details. 

Myself and Joe Corré have been fighting the injunction in the High Court and I could not have done it without your invaluable support - But now, on behalf of everyone that believes the right to assemble and protest peacefully is a fundamental human right, we need to appeal the decision.

You know the drill by now - please support us by taking action - it will take a few minutes and make all the difference. 

Please can you help by:

  • Contributing to the new appeal page here: www.crowdjustice.com/case/fracking-round2
  • Sharing the page on your social media - Twitter, FaceBook or Instagram.
  • Emailing 5-10 people, with the link to the page and asking them to share.

Remember the link is: www.crowdjustice.com/case/fracking-round2


Update 3

Joesph Boyd

Nov. 23, 2017

Injunction Upheld but we will Appeal!

Today, the High Court has upheld and renewed a pre-emptive injunction granted to fracking company INEOS. The full judgement can be found online.  

Mr Justice Morgan has renewed the interim injunction in all respects save harassment. He accepted INEOS’ evidence that the injunction was justified to “protect people on and around [their] sites and supply chain”.

On slow walking, he held: “The "walking" by the protestors was at an unnaturally slow pace… A court would take the view that standing still in order to block the passage of vehicles on the highway, because the vehicles are being used for a purpose to which the protestor objects would not be a reasonable use of the highway… I simply do not see that the somewhat token amount of movement involved in slow walking would change the legal assessment of the protestors' actions… The rights of the fracking operators should prevail over the claims of the protestors to be entitled to do what they do under Articles 10 and 11. The protestors are doing much more than expressing their opinions about the undesirability of fracking. They are taking direct action against the fracking operators in an attempt to make them stop their fracking activities. It would not be surprising in such a case that the court would take the view that balancing the entitlement to freedom of expression and assembly against the rights of others, the balance should be struck in favour of protecting the rights of others from a direct interference with those rights.”

Today’s judgment will mean that individuals will be in contempt of court if they engage in a variety of different forms of protests, which have not previously been held to be unlawful in all circumstances. An arrest for breach of this injunction could result in a prison sentence of up to two years and/or a fine up to £5,000.

Rosa Curling, my solicitor said: “Free speech is at the heart of any democracy. This case is about the right to protest, a right which has always been, and must continue to be, a fundamental aspect of peaceful political action in our society. Without the right to protest effectively, the ability of citizens to peacefully challenge injustices will be severely curtailed.”

I stated that: “What INEOS has obtained from the Court today is profoundly troubling, it allows for an unprecedented restriction on our fundamental rights. The removal of the harassment aspect of the injunction is an important victory for us. But the rest of the injunction cannot be left unchallenged and we will be filing an application for permission to appeal.”

I am being represented by law firm Leigh Day and barristers Heather Williams QC, Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh and Jennifer Robinson and we have been given fourteen days to submit an application for permission to appeal against the judgment.

Update 2

Joesph Boyd

Oct. 31, 2017

Hearing Starts Tomorrow!

I am ready to challenge the unprecedented pre-emptive injunction granted to Ineos which is having the effect of stopping protests at its fracking sites, its suppliers’ sites and more widely in relation to its business activities. Co-leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas MP has provided a witness statement in support of my case which will be heard in the Chancery Division of the High Court from tomorrow.

Update 1

Joesph Boyd

Oct. 13, 2017

We have a Court date in October!

On 12 September 2017, at the first hearing in this case that was not held behind closed doors, I and another Defendant, Joe Corré, successfully rebutted an attempt by INEOS to make permanent their temporary injunction, which severely curtails the right to protest against their fracking activities.

A further hearing has been scheduled, to start on the 30 or 31 October 2017. It will last three days. The Court will hear detailed argument from our legal teams, setting out why the draconian anti-fracking protest injunction sought in secret by INEOS should not continue. This will require detailed and lengthy preparation, and I am seeking your assistance to ensure that my dedicated legal team is able to devote the necessary time to the important task.

I stepped forward to challenge this injunction because I believe that it represents an unprecedented attack not only on our ability as citizens to protest against the activities of the fracking industry, and the harm they are capable of causing to our health, our countryside and our climate, but also on the right to freedom of peaceful protest and assembly more generally, which could have far reaching ramifications. I am deeply concerned about the breadth of the interim injunction, which INEOS seeks to have made permanent, and about the chilling impact it is already having on legitimate protest and assembly across the country.

Although this injunction concerns the anti-fracking movement, I believe that the issues at stake go far wider, and go to the core of the right to protest which has always been, and must be permitted to continue to be, a fundamental aspect of peaceful political action in our society. Without the right to protest effectively, our ability as citizens to peacefully challenge injustices in society and the interests of powerful corporations will be severely curtailed.

Join me in fighting for our countryside, our climate and for that important right to protest in challenging this unprecedented injunction.

Thank you for your continued support and for sharing this page.

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