Film aims to inspire people to take a stand against fracking

The Bentley Effect film aims to inspire people to take a stand against fracking.
The Bentley Effect film aims to inspire people to take a stand against fracking.

Campaigners hope that an award-winning film telling the story of an Australian community’s fight against fracking will inspire people in East Dunbartonshire to support the cause.

‘The Bentley Effect’ tells the story of how thousands of people came together in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley in New South Wales, to prevent plans to start fracking for gas.

A series of dramatic blockades ensued, before a final confrontation, when thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of 850 riot police, ordered in to break up the protest. The film’s end shows how that set an historic precedent.

The Bentley Effect is touring across the UK, and the Scottish dates have been timed to coincide with the closing days of the Scottish Government’s consultation on fracking in Scotland.

Maria Montinaro of the Broad Alliance - set up by community groups opposing fracking in their local areas - said: “We need everyone in Scotland who is against fracking to send a clear message to the Scottish Government that fracking is dangerous to people’s health, to our land, our water and our climate.

“The Bentley Effect is a great film telling an inspirational story with a clear message - that when people come together, we can protect our local communities from dangerous gas extraction, and bring about change for the better.

“The only safe option for Scottish communities is a complete ban on unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. We invite communities to come see the film for themselves, then make up their own minds before the May 31 deadline.”

Audiences at the film screenings in Scotland will also get the chance to hear from Bentley organiser Ian Gaillard, and Simon Clough, National Chair of the Lock the Gate Alliance - a group representing Australian community groups opposed to fracking.

Simon Clough said: “The Bentley Effect tells a very moving story. When their local environment was threatened, a critical mass of people from all walks of life – farmers, landowners, mums, dads, activists, scientists – organised themselves to rally against the invasion of unconventional gas on their doorstep. They faced big obstacles, because despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through.

“We hope that people in Scotland will be inspired by the experience of Australian communities, and will then start to take action. Scotland has the chance to stop these gas plans before they get properly started, and we think our stories show that you should force your politicians to take that chance now.”

The Bentley Effect has been screened all over the world and has won several awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Barcelona Planet Film Festival.

The Bentley Effect will be screened in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, 7pm on Monday, May 15 and Kirkintilloch Miners Welfare & Social Club, 7pm on Tuesday, May 16.

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