Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson is questioning her recent life decisions after a farmer and his manure spreader broke up her fracking protest.
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Thompson (star of movies like Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility, Nanne McPhee and all manner of white-bread British films) and her crew from Greenpeace were trespassing on a farm in the U.K.–all to film a parody of the hit TV show The Great British Bake Off, when the event was instantly broken up by the arrival of an uninvited farmer.
The satirical “Frack Free Bake Off” wasn’t too popular with the man who owned the land. He leases his land to a company that specializes in fracking. Thompson had already been warned away–more than once. In fact, a police injunction had been issued (and ignored). Thompson thumbed her nose at property rights, and hopped the fence with her sister Sophie (past winner of “Celebrity Masterchef”) to produce their protest.
But if you trespass, you give up a certain amount of control. And the farmer was perfectly within his rights to crank up the old tractor. So he looked for a way to make a statement, and found a very effective tool.
He drove three laps around the protest, getting closer and closer to their impromptu stage, and the protestors were forced to flee up onto the stage to keep from getting a slurry bath.
After the third lap, the farmer felt he’d proven his point, and he drove away.
This is one of those rare opportunities for me to celebrate the slow pace of technological advancement. No Smell-O-Vision. I’ve spent some time around manure spreaders, and it can be one of the most repulsive aromas around.
It seriously doesn’t matter that some of the protestors weren’t hit. The farmer saturated the area. He broke up the party rather effectively. Perhaps some police departments should consider the tactic. Instead of driving armored vehicles and peppering protestors with tear gas, they could drive a couple of tractors through and clear everyone out.