United Against Fracking national rally & march takes place in Manchester

  • Thousands of protestors will descend on Manchester today to protest the British Government's continued pursuit of allowing fracking in the UK
  • Protestors from all across the UK will be attending, with coaches coming from as far as Wales, Scotland, and even Ireland
  • Guest speakers will include Andy Burhnam and Bianca Jagger, with live music from fromer Hacienda DJ and author, Dave Haslam, amongst others

Manchester will be host to one of the nation's largest ever anti-Fracking marches today.

Thousands of protesors are expected to turn up to Piccadilly Gardens to hear rousing speeches and protest songs from a range of guests, including Manchester Mayoral candidate Andy Burnham.

Supported by SumofUs, Unite the Union and Manchester Trades Union Council, the rally will commence at 11 from Piccadilly Gardens, with speeches and music, followed by a march with a route (to be confirmed) through the city to culminate at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl later in the afternoon.

The NQ will be there to live report it all, and bring the voice of the protestors to the national forefront.

University of Manchester student Andrea Romero told the NQ why he was going to be attending the march:

"I first heard about Fracking when I was volunteering with Greenpeace. I'm protesting tomorrow because of the negative impact Fracking is having on our environment.

"We're hoping the march will raise awareness of the negative impact Fracking could have, and hopefully build a sustainable movement of anti-Frackers who keep up the fight!

"Manchester is a great city to hold the event in because it's such a diverse city. It can bring in all the different types of groups who are opposed to this environmental-disaster. Hopefully we can all learn from each other and grow as a movement!"

Some of the confirmed speakers for the day include:

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Mayoral Candidate for Manchester, Bianca Jagger, International social and human rights advocate, John Ashton, Former Special Representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Dr David McCoy from Medact

Professor David Smythe, geology expert, and representatives from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Unite the Union will also be speaking, as will members from communities who are currently under the threat of fracking.

Music will be performed by the Open Voice Choir, former Hacienda DJ and author, Dave Haslam and Preston New Road Action Group’s Morgan Marshall, who will perform his violin version of Do You Hear the People Sing? – the frack-free song.

The event will be MC-ed by BBC Comedy Award winner and former Sunday Show host Jenny Ross.

Groups and communities from all over the UK are expected to attend, with coach travel arranged from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

A spokesperson from Frack Free Lancashire said: “We are overwhelmed with the massive effort that has gone into organising this national event, by so many people. This rally should be taken as a message to the government that we will not stand back and allow our communities to be overrun by dirty industry.”