Commenting on his arrest for protesting peacefully against the environment risks from fossil fuel exploration at the controversial oil drilling site at Woodburn Forest, Northern Ireland, Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland’s director said:
“I was acting within the law when I visited the Woodburn Forest drilling site on Sunday to support the anti-drilling campaign, and was astonished to be arrested for simply asserting a public right of way that has been used by the community for decades.
“I am determined to fight this charge and am currently in discussions with my lawyer. The company has no legal right to occupy and prevent access to this right of way.
“Drilling for oil at Woodburn Forest would pose a real threat to the local environment - including drinking water – and our climate. To ignore the fact that this can go ahead without any planning permission undermines our democracy and efforts to end our dependency on climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s acting campaigns director Mike Childs said:
“James Orr has our full support. Peaceful protest is a vital activity in a democracy, and many of our freedoms and rights have resulted from this in the past. We will continue to back James and the campaigners opposing drilling at Woodburn Forest.”