This morning, Pete Marquis, owner of Fylde Coast based Pete Marquis Contractors, successfully prevented an attempt to deny access to his business by around ten professional anti-fracking activists. The group of protesters from as far afield as Birmingham and London targeted Mr Marquis’ premises with a “lock-on” as he is a local supplier to Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road. With the activists locking themselves together on private land owned by his business, Mr Marquis and other staff members carefully moved the activists out of the way so they could continue with the day’s work.
“I respect that people have got the right to protest but my employees and I have a right to go to work to earn a living too. When we saw what the activists were trying to do to shut us down this morning, we decided to carefully remove them from our premises. As they were trespassing on private property we were legally entitled to do this. This sort of attempted bullying of a local business and workers by out of town professional protesters isn’t fair and it’s not going to work either.”
CEO of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber and Lancashire for Shale steering group member Babs Murphy said:
“The Chamber condemns any bullying and intimidation of local businesses and employees and we commend Pete Marquis for taking proportionate steps to remove those trying to target his business, and many other Lancashire businesses who have also taken a stand against such aggressive and unjustified behaviour.”