Anti-Fracking Protesters Disrupt UK PM Liz Truss’s Leadership Speech

Tolga demonstration during Prime Minister Liz Truss speech during the Conservative Party a
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UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’s closing speech at her Conservative Party’s annual conference was disrupted by a pair of green ultras Wednesday morning, unfurling a banner attacking the government’s fracking policy before being helped out of the hall by security.

Liz Truss was discussing her decision to enact a significant policy of government handouts for households to protect British people from being ruined by soaring fuel bills this coming winter when a banner was unfurled and a pair of protesters began shouting at the Prime Minister. Calls of “who voted for fracking” and “who voted to trash the countryside” were audible in the hall.

Standing at the podium, the Prime Minister remarked “let’s get them removed…” before waiting in silence as the banner was snatched from the hands of the pair, who had entered the conference with official lanyards and wearing convincing Tory activist costumes, and were bundled out by security.

Reading “Who Voted For This?”, the small cloth banner also carried the distinctive logo of veteran environmental group Greenpeace who, the Daily Telegraph reports, confirmed their involvement shortly after and accused the Conservatives of “shredding” the party’s past environmental promises.

Liz Truss, UK prime minister, pauses as her keynote speech is interrupted by Greenpeace protesters during the Conservative Party’s annual autumn conference in Birmingham, UK, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Truss is struggling to keep control less than a month into her tenure, already forced into a humiliating U-turn over her plan to cut income tax for Britains highest earners, which spooked financial markets and hammered support for the Tories in opinion polls. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United Kingdom — as much of Europe — is presently facing a significant and possibly lengthy energy crisis, with the supply of natural gas expected to be extremely contracted this winter and possibly in several years of future winters, too. Given the spikes in market prices are triggered by paucity of supply, the new government of Liz Truss has decided to tackle the problem by increasing supply: vowing to build new nuclear, permit new drilling in the North Sea, and lift the longstanding ban on fracking in the United Kingdom. 

Green activists oppose increasing the supply of energy because enabling ordinary human activity is antithetical to their goals.

With the protesters removed from the hall on Wednesday, the Prime Minister continued with her speech, saying first: “now, later on in my speech, my friends, I’m going to talk about the anti-growth coalition, but I think they arrive da bit too early. They were meant to come later on. We’ll get onto them in a few minutes.”

Reaching that point later, the Prime Minister continued: “They prefer protesting to doing, they prefer talking on Twitter to taking tough decisions.”

These are points that were touched upon by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, in her conference speech on Tuesday. She said of protesters: “I say to the militants, I say to the anarchists and the extremists: I will always back our policemen and women. It’s not a human right to vandalise property. It’s not my ‘freedom of expression’ to protest violently. No – you can’t just start a riot or glue yourself to the roads and get away with it.

“The judges agreed with me last week in the Court of Appeal in the Colston Statue case. And that’s why our Public Order Bill will empower our police to stop this nuisance. So whether you’re Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain or Extinction Rebellion – you cross a line when you break the law. That’s why we will keep putting you behind bars.”


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