'Party atmosphere' at fracking demo

Andover Advertiser: Protest signs at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester Protest signs at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester

Around 1,000 anti-fracking demonstrators have marched through Manchester in what organisers have described as a "party atmosphere".

The protesters gathered in Piccadilly Gardens, in the city centre, before moving to Cathedral Gardens for speeches.

The event is thought to have been one of the biggest protests yet in the UK against the controversial shale gas extraction process.

Those taking part included members of the protest camp at Barton Moss, in Eccles, Salford, where test drilling is being carried out.

Martin Porter, from Frack Free Greater Manchester, said it was a carnival atmosphere.

He said: "I would say there were at least 1,000 people from different action groups and trade unions, which was a really good turnout.

"It was a party atmosphere. We certainly saw more people out than we have before and it gave us a great chance to talk to people along the way."

Greater Manchester Police Tweeted: "Thanks to those who organised or took part in today's protest - around 1,000 people took part and we didn't have to make any arrests."

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare, from GMP, said: "We worked closely with the organisers for today's march and it is a testament to them that the event passed with minimum disruption to our city.

Around 1,000 people joined the march and did so in the spirit of peaceful protest to further their cause."

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