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Bentley Effect - (Anti Fracking) Film Screening & Discussion
Sun 28 May 2017, 18:00 – 21:00 BST
The Bentley Effect - A Film of Hope
How a Community Defeated Fracking
Be prepared to be moved by this film. Filmed over 5 years, The Bentley Effect documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia gasfield-free. This timely story of a community’s heroic stand shows how strategic direct action, and peaceful protesting can overcome industrial might and political short-sightedness. It celebrates the power of non-violence and chronicles one of the fastest growing social movements we have ever witnessed.
“The Bentley Effect” is a new feature length documentary that will build empathy, engage audiences and prompt action like nothing else can. It has the power to not just change minds but change behaviours, legislation and build hopeful, more powerful and united communities.
The Threat: the idyllic Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia came under threat when the coal seam gas (“CSG”) industry staked a claim on tens of thousands of acres of our beautiful countryside. CSG and other forms of unconventional gas typically involves thousands of gas wells, with roads, pipelines, compressor stations, wastewater dams and desalination plants. In other words productive and beautiful farm land becomes an industrial gasfield.
The impacts: include disruption of other land uses, fracturing of communities, clearing of bushland, air and noise pollution, contamination and depletion of ground and surface water, mental illness, property devaluation and biodiversity damage. More worrying for communities and food producers are the impacts on human health where conditions such as ‘down winders syndrome’, neuropathy, endocrine disruption, infertility, birth defects, seizures, respiratory & neurological disorders are developing - especially in children exposed to gas field industrialisation.
The response: the community organised and mobilised itself with over 35,000 people visited in their homes and tens of thousands of DVDs burnt and distributed. People were asked if they supported CSG and results showed that on average over 95% opposed it. This ground work resulted in masses of people from all walks of life – activists, farmers, landowners, Aborigines, mums & dads, scientists – organising themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. Despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and State Government were determined to see their gas plan through.
The result: A series of dramatic blockades ensued, before the final battle lines were drawn in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley. Thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of 850 riot police – who had been ordered to break up the protest. What happened next was unprecedented and set an historic turning point.
Spreading hope: Now its time to share this inspiring story.
Hear from the people that lived with fracking and experienced its destructive nature, Simon Clough, Ian Giallard (Bentley Blockade) & film maker Brendan Shoebridge will lead a post screening discussion.
All proceeds from this film go to the Bentley Effect tour. Pre booking for this event was requested by local community, although it is not required it does guarantee you a place.
If you would like to contribute to the Bentley effect tour but can't get to this screening you can use this planet funder link https://planetfunder.org/