Tina Louise Rothery is being threatened with jail for refusing to pay £55,000 to Cuadrilla.
The hearing has been arranged. Please come in support for Tina. (There will be a minibus from London.)
Tina has to appear again. Under threat of 14 days in prison for contempt.
From Tina Louise Rothery:
This is the day when I go before the judge and explain why I am not cooperating with their request to fill in forms. I chose during my last appearance to refuse to interact with what I see as an abuse of our system of justice. This is about deterring activists and making examples.
The original case back in 2014 was because we (tidily) occupied a field for a set 3-week duration to raise awareness amongst the community - of just how close this proposed fracking field was to their homes, businesses and schools. Through the landowner, Cuadrilla had us 'evicted' on the day AFTER we left. They were aware we'd gone as we filmed a fingertip search of the field and alerted police, media, Cuadrilla and landowner that we'd gone.The cost of the eviction-that-never-happened is £55,000+ ...solely in legal fees.
So this is not even about the activism - it is now about court rules of engagement - and the expectation/insistance that I comply or face prison for 14 days. My options are to pay/ to sort a payment plan/ to declare bankruptcy OR to stick with my moral core that says - THIS is not about law or justice... it's about the ones with the power, money and expensive lawyers, using our laws against us in court. It is impossible for anyone up against the powerful to be able to afford justice.
Cuadrilla say this is nothing to do with them now as it is my fight with the court over its ruling... but there would never have been court had the fracking company not lied its way into our community, manhandled 'democracy' and put our wellbeing and children at grave risk.
This is the statement I gave yesterday at court concerning my refusal to pay for legal costs incurred by Cuadrilla over the very civil, 3-week occupation of a field earmarked for fracking (occupation in August 2014). The court officer wrote it down as I spoke it (I didn't have my glasses!).
The next stage is for the lawyers (Eversheds) to respond with how they would like to proceed - pursue me for contempt of court and these costs or accept that this is an unjust use of our legal system and clear victimisation of peaceful protest, aimed at deterring further actions by communities in defence of the health and well-being of their children against this dangerous industry.
With respect to the District Judge and the courts I have huge admiration for a system of justice that is fair but I feel in this case that our law courts are not being used to seek justice but instead being applied like a weapon and a threat against peaceful protest.
The fact that Cuadrilla has the finances, power and vindictiveness to pursue this through our courts is an abuse of one of the most valued aspects of our democracy.
So please accept my aplogies if this seems rude but as this case has nothing to do whatsoever with justice, I will not be complying with any requests for information or payment.
I make this statement on behalf of myself and an entire movement who will not be bullied.