Today at 6am, as part of the Reclaim the Power camp, concerned residents from Swansea, students and graduates, dressed as mad scientists, shut down construction of Swansea University’s Bay Campus.
There are two protestors locked on, one up a tripod and a number of the group are inside the site and have dropped a banner which says ‘No Fracking’. Outside the site the banner reads ‘Dim Ffracio’. The protesters were angered by tens of millions of public money being funnelled into research on fracking via Swansea University’s new Energy Safety Research Institute.
Swansea University is currently building a second campus and innovation park on land previously used by BP, who gifted it to the university. Funding for the project was made available by the Welsh Government.
Today’s action was part of Reclaim the Power, a six day camp in Blackpool, organised by local residents and a coalition of climate, social and economic activists. Over 1000 people have joined the camping taking part in direct action against gas drilling, as well as sharing skills and knowledge in a variety of workshops.
.The research at Swansea’s Energy Safety Research Institute will be focused on long-term ‘strengths’ in petroleum and chemical processing – particularly fracking. The primary collaborator will be BP. Research on fracking already being funded by Research Councils UK has been focused on increasing the amount of gas that can be extracted.
.The Norwegian committee on research ethics has told universities that fossil fuel research is ethically irresponsible if it contradicts the UN’s climate targets. Burning the gas extracted through fracking will mean we have no chance of meeting these targets.http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk