Greater Manchester’s ‘finest’ fall for obvious Indymedia spoof

GMP logoGreater Manchester Police have today made a public statement that they have proof that a flare WAS fired at a police helicopter on Sat 4th of Jan and that it DID come from Barton Moss Community Protection Camp.

What was their proof? A comment on Indymedia – a website that lets anyone post under any name. Awesome policing! Not grasping at straws at all.

Let’s unpick things from the beginning.

It was alleged that on at around midday on Saturday 4th of Jan a flare was fired at a police helicopter as it attempted to land at Barton Airfield (adjacent to Barton Moss Community Protection Camp), Salford.

The police issued a statement claiming they had intelligence that the flare was fired from the camp and on Monday the 6th they searched the camp (leaving people’s belongins out in the rain) and found nothing.

Throughout Sunday 5th and Monday 6th, the camp categorically denied that a flare had been fired, including via a statement by Frack Free Greater Manchester on Indymedia.

The main body of the Indymedia post is a genuine press release from Frack Free Manchester. It contains a genuine quote from Rachel Thompson refuting the claim that a flare had been fired from camp. Things start to get wobbly with the comments. Lets go through them separating the FAKE from the REAL:

FAKE – Not posted by anyone from Barton Moss Community Protection Camp

‘Time to fess up’

08.01.2014 17:02
Well Rachel Thompson can in her words “refute absolutely these claims” but the cruel truth is that several of us know who did this, why it was done and the reasons behind the present cover up (bad PR in short).

There are simply too many people who saw it happen to try and claim it was a cop fit up when it wasn’t. I’m not in any way defending what the cops did and I was one of those who had their tent turned over by them but IMHO we are better off telling the truth, booting out the twat who did it (without informing cops of course) and moving on. This issue is too important to let it become another ‘Us v Cops’ slanging match (climate camp ! ) that obscures the important reason for the protesting.

Fracking objector

FAKE – Someone posing as Rachel Thompson from Frack Free Greater Manchester

‘@ Fracking objector’

09.01.2014 12:57
Perhaps before writing the post here you could have consided the effect on the campaign of the negative publicity that will result. The individual considered is no longer with the group so nothing is served giving the media a stck to beat us with.


FAKE – Someone posing as Rachel Thompson from Frack Free Greater Manchester


10.01.2014 11:13
My comments are no longer relevant as the individual has left.

Please stop talking about this, it does not serve the needs of the protest


REAL – Genuinely from Frack Free Greater Manchester

‘There was no flare fired’

10.01.2014 18:37
Hi all,

The person posting under the name Rachel is a troll and is not the Rachel Thompson mentioned in the article. Unfortunately, anybody can post under any name on here. No flare has ever been fired from Barton Moss Protection Camp and we are now in discussions with lawyers over the actions of Greater Manchester Police.

Frack Free Greater Manchester

Frack Free Gtr Manchester
mail e-mail:

REAL – Genuinely from Frack Free Greater Manchester

‘Shouldn’t be news to you if you are on camp’

11.01.2014 13:09
If you were actually on camp this wouldn’t be news to you, what would have been news would be that there was a flare, considering it did not happen. Feel free to ask anybody else on camp about the legal action as we have a pretty good team of lawyers working on it.

Frack Free Gtr Manchester
mail e-mail:

FAKE – Someone posing as Rachel Thompson from Frack Free Greater Manchester

‘Rachel Thompson – A statement from Frack Free Gtr Manchester’

14.01.2014 08:29
Rachel Thompson has been doing inspiring and dedicated work as the press liasion person for for the Frack Free Manchester campaign but following a period of intense stress has decided following a meeting yesterday evening to step down from the role.

We wish her and partner the very best of luck for the future as they have decided to take a step back from the campaign and spend some time at a Vegan contemplative retreat in France to re-energise.

A new press liasion person will be announced very shortly.

Thank you

Frack Free Greater Manchester.

Frack Free Gtr Manchester
mail e-mail:

FAKE – Someone posing as a spokesperson for Frack Free Somerset (verified by FFS)

‘Good luck’

14.01.2014 10:51
We all appreciate the excellent work that Rachel has been doing and people need to understand the strain that comes with PR work. It’s easy to be critical because she made a mistake and lied but that can sometimes seem the right tactic when dealing with scumbag journos, after all politicians and big business do it all the time !

Some time recharging the batteries is just what is needed and I understand they are going to the Les Passeroses retreat in South West France which I can reccomend for calm rest.

Frack Free Somerset
– Homepage:


So there we have it…

Greater Manchester Police – YOU ARE A BUNCH OF MUPPETS. Admittedly, this is some pretty dedicated trolling, but grounds for making accusations via the press?!?! We know your job of protecting IGas’ right to make a fortune whilst destroying our communities is a tough one, but try harder next time you attempt to discredit those protecting the North West.


1 comment

1 ping

    • Brigitte Lechner on January 14, 2014 at 16:15
    • Reply

    Thank you for this explanation. I don’t know the ins and outs of the flare saga, nor that people got some flak (in and manner of speaking). If I understand the situation correctly, the police is basing their camp invasion on the veracity of the flare claim. So no flare means police action was harassment?

  1. […] a dubious  comment left on the Indymedia news website. A response to their wild claims can be read here. Looks like they have thier best detectives on the case for this […]

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