A pickup truck ran over a British anti-fracking activist who was standing in the middle of a road as a form of protest Wednesday.
Witnesses said the man was knocked over by the truck and sustained minor injuries while slowly walking down the middle of the street to impede traffic to a fracking site. Fellow activists filmed the incident near a fracking site in Lancashire, England.
“We try to create a form of obstruction on the highway,” Danny Llew, an anti-fracking activist who’s also unemployed, told The Mirror. “I’ve done it before. It has been used for quite a few years as a peaceful protest method.”
“Sometimes we will stand on white lines and other times we might stand in the middle lane to slow down traffic. Regardless of the situation, pedestrians have the right of way,” Llew said.
The driver of the truck was not arrested, but police officers say they have spoken to him.
“Upon leaving the fracking site, a works vehicle has come into contact with a campaigner despite the driver taking evasive action to try and avoid him,” a Lancashire police spokesman said in a statement. “The driver of the vehicle was indeed spoken to by police, provided a negative breath test and all other personal and vehicle checks were correct and in order.”
Llew said “we are campaigning against fracking because of the impact it can have on the environment, which is the most important part of this, but also there’s the impact it has on health, communities and it creates wealth that is going to benefit only certain people.”
The U.K.-based energy company Cuadrilla began assembling the country’s first large-scale fracking site in Lancashire in January. British officials approved the operation last October, and Cuadrilla expects to begin full-scale drilling in the second quarter of 2017.
The U.K. is one of the few countries in Europe to legalize fracking, but local governments had repeatedly refused to give energy companies permits for years. The central government approved fracking in Lancashire over local objections and issued the first fracking permits in Western Europe since 2011.
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