Protesters today in Grangemouth. Image: Ric Lander.

Around 500 people came to Ineos’ Grangemouth Headquarters to say no to fracking today.  The rally follows outrage at the Ineos’ announcement to spend “up to £640m in shale gas exploration” and fracking in the UK.

An angry yet hearty crowd braved the sleet and rain to hear from a number of speakers. Here’s a few snippets of what said:

“We were here one year ago, when Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe was telling us he’d shut down Grangemouth.  We paid him off this time.  Salmond should have said: here’s ten quid, thanks very much and we’re nationalising you.”

– Penny Gower, Unite the Resistance

“David Cameron says any rational person would say drilling for shale and fracking is safe.  The irony of a Conservative Prime Minister telling us that we need more mining is extraordinary.”

– Pat Hogg (Cllr., Cumbernauld South), SNP

“Do not listen when our politicians tell us their hands are tied.  I come from West Dunbartonshire, where our local council was the first to pass a resolution saying: no fracking here.  We have the power to change this.”

– Gary McClements, SSP

When our local councils are being told by government you must make cuts to our services, and these drilling companies come along offering to pay for services, what do we expect to happen?  The spread of this industry links directly with austerity.

– Morag Miller, Rally Organiser

“The biggest companies in the UK gas industry are telling us there isn’t much gas here, that it will take a long time to get out of the ground, and that it will make no impact on our fuel bills. A lot of people are telling porkies about this issue.  Be on guard.

“We are not reassured when Jim Ratcliffe comes on TV to say they are bringing the best frackers from Unites States.

“The best way to stop this is to get the Scottish Government to ban it.  They have enough reasons: to protect our climate and to protect local communities.  60,000 new members of the SNP expect them to save Scotland from fracking.  They should be careful.”

– Richard Dixon, Friends of the Earth Scotland

“They promise us jobs, money and prosperity.  Take a walk through Grangemouth and you tell me what prosperity 50 years of BP and Ineos has brought here?”

– Maria Montinaro, Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas

“Jim Ratcliffe has no respect for the workers that make him a billionaire, and he has no respect for the land we live on either.

“We live in a world where it’s more important for people like Jim Ratcliffe to be able to make money than for the rest of us to have a healthy future.  This cannot stand.  Until the land that we stand on is under collective ownership we will not give up that fight.”

– Cat Boyd, Radical Independence Campaign

For more information about the campaign visit Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas and Friends of the Earth Scotland.  More photos follow, click for larger versions.