After four anti-fracking activists glued their hands and locked themselves to pumps at a gas station being protested, their stunt managed to close down the business for nearly six hours, reportedly costing it significant revenue.
There was only one problem: It was the wrong gas station.
The Total station outside of Manchester in the United Kingdom isn’t owned anymore by Total, which the protesters were targeting; according to station owner Reezwan Patel, it’s owned by Certas Energy…but the signs hadn’t been switched out.
“With the loss of custom(ers) and the damage to the pumps, it could be a couple of thousand pounds we have lost,” Patel told The Bolton News regarding Saturday’s incident.
“The peaceful protesters were very polite and actually apologized for what happened, but the others were very stupid and have cost us a lot of money.”
Indeed Bolton Green Party chairman Alan Johnson, whose group was peacefully protesting next to the station, told the Bolton News he was “very annoyed” at the four activists — three men and one woman — who closed it down and were later arrested for criminal damage and criminal trespass.
“I have to stress that these people have nothing to do with our protest,” Johnson told the Bolton News. “We were there to protest peacefully and warn people about the dangers of fracking and these people have put themselves and others in danger with what they did.”
According to an earlier report from The Bolton News, Frack Free Greater Manchester had called for the protest outside the Total station after the announcement that the French firm would invest at least 12.7 million pounds in the UK’s shale gas industry.
Frack Free member Sophie Baxter had this to say, presumably before the revelation that the targeted station wasn’t actually owned anymore by Total: “Every company that is going to invest in fracking needs to expect these kind of actions. We were very proud of the guys who did this today and were cheering when he heard about it.”
(H/T: The Gateway Pundit)