The Protest Justice logo proudly depicts a group of people entwined with a red ribbon, or red line. The red line is familiar to the anti-fracking community and carries a particularly special meaning, and a personal connection, to those of us who protested against fracking in North Yorkshire. It inspired us on so many levels – here’s the story.
redline (noun) A boundary or limit which should not be crossed.
In Spring 2017, Sam, a mum, and internationally acclaimed needlewoman and freestyle crochet expert, lived in a village not far from the proposed fracking well site at Kirby Misperton. The site, KM8, situated in Ryedale, North Yorkshire became the focus of her protest and Sam decided to use soft crafts against a hard industry.
As a regular supporter of Protection Camp she began asking all those who could knit or crochet to make squares for her Red Line. The plan was to show solidarity by contributing a square to be sewn together to form a visable stop line; a barrier between us and the fracking industry – a red line not to be crossed. A request was put out to the international anti-fracking community and quickly deliveries of red squares from around the world started to arrive. As the word spread Sam started to teach people to crochet on camp or at the well site gates. Craftivism became very popular. It seemed long then but it has grown massively!
Sam teaching campaigners to crochet
Heartbreakingly, we learned in November 2017 that Sam was seriously ill and she passed away at the New Year. She was loved by all who met her and her memory lives on within the Anti-Fracking Community through her inspiration and creativity.
Despite losing Sam, the Red Line has contiued to grow and is now over 41 feet in length.
With it’s unspoken symbolism the Red Line is a welcome sight at significant events; the reopening of the footpath at KM8 after the fracking company withdrew, the trial of the Frack Free 3 at Preston Court and many other events.
Our thanks to the custodian of the Red Line, CFH, for sharing the history of the project.
April 2018 KM8 walk around the well site after the public footpath was reopened to the public & Preston Court September 2018
On 10 April 2019 the community came together to celebrate the first anniversary of the footpath at KM8 being reopened when the frackers retreated. Third Energy may have left a scar on the landscape but the determined anti-fracking community have shown their continued strength, opposing further works which the company have stated they plan for later in 2019.