British police are investigating an “appalling” environmentalist video that compares cops protecting a hydraulic fracturing, fracking, site to Nazi SS guards who murdered millions of Jews during the Holocaust.
The video was posted on an environmentalist anti-fracking website in mid-April. A supporter of fracking named Lorraine Allanson took screenshots of the video and reported it to police, asking them to investigate it as a “hate crime.” Police, who have been guarding the fracking site since January from almost daily environmentalist demonstrations and protests, confirmed Monday they are investigating.
The video cuts Nazi concentration camp guards into film of British police officers outside a fracking site in Lancashire. Officers at the site deal with almost daily demonstrations and protests from environmentalists.
In one scene, the video uses a clip of a young Jewish woman being shot in the head by a Nazi SS officer. The woman’s last words are dubbed over with the voice of Tina Rothery, an anti-fracking protester and local Green Party candidate, saying “I am acting in the self-defense of my community.”
“No matter the campaign, no matter the issue, the use of Nazi imagery is utterly unacceptable,” Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, told The Daily Mail. “I find this appalling and offensive.”
The video has been taken down in response to complaints. Policing are spending an estimated $581,000 a month protecting the fracking site from protesters.
“Police officers are there doing their job, keeping the people of Lancashire safe,” Grunshaw said. “They are caught in the middle between the protesters and the business. I think it is disgraceful they are facing this sort of intimidation and abuse.”
Environmentalists lost a major lawsuit last month intended to stop fracking in Lancashire, clearing one of the last major roadblocks to the process in Britain. High Court Justice Ian Dove threw out the suit, ruling that the legal case of the environmentalists was “not made out in substance.”
The U.K. is one of the few countries in Europe to allow 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.
This hasn’t quelled environmental activists. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth gathered more than 186,000 signatures to petition the government to ban fracking.
The U.K. estimates it has 26 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Fracking in Great Britain will create 74,000 new jobs and safeguard another 100,000 energy consulting groups estimate. Fracking for oil has the potential to generate anywhere from $10 billion to $74.6 billion for the British economy and $26 billion in new tax revenue for the British government, according to studies, and could offer up to $16.5 million in benefits to local governments per fracking site.
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