There are no ‘persons unknown’

Jeremy Williams’ blog is consistently worth following

Make Wealth History

I was quite struck by a briefing last week from the New Economics Foundation, reporting on community opposition to fracking. It highlights a high court injunction that has been taken out by the company Ineos, banning people from interfering with their fracking activities. It is addressed to ‘persons unknown’, and threatens said persons with prison, fines or seizure of assets for obstructing the frackers in any way.

The local community is furious about this, naturally. As Rebecca Winson from NEF says, “they are not ‘persons unknown’. They are neighbours, locals, builders, farmers, pensioners, gardeners, healthcare workers, carpenters and even beekeepers, all with strong links to the towns and villages they are prepared to fight for”.

This reminded me of Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything. In the book she argues that industrial capitalism has always needed ‘sacrifice zones’ – marginal places where resources or fossil fuels could be…

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