Police are investigating an ‘appalling’ film that compares officers protecting a shale gas site to Nazi SS guards who murdered millions of Jews in the Holocaust.
The video created by environmentalists intercuts footage of anti-fracking protesters confronting police with scenes from the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List.
In one of the most offensive scenes, the filmmakers use a clip in which a young Jewish woman is shot in the head by an SS officer. The woman’s final words are dubbed over with the voice of anti-fracking protester and Green Party Election candidate Tina Rothery, who says: ‘I am acting in the self-defence of my community.’
The video, entitled ‘Tina’s List’, was uploaded to an anti-fracking website at the beginning of April.
It features footage of a protest earlier this year outside a fracking site at Fylde, near Blackpool in Lancashire, in which demonstrators shout ‘shame on you’ at the police.
The video has since been taken down after complaints from members of the public.
Last night, police confirmed they were looking into it, with critics saying the filmmakers should be investigated for hate crimes.
Marie van der Zyl, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: ‘This video beggars belief. The comparisons made to Nazis and the concentration camps belittle the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.
‘No matter the campaign, no matter the issue, the use of Nazi imagery is utterly unacceptable.’
Clive Grunshaw, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘I find this appalling and offensive. Police officers are there doing their job, keeping the people of Lancashire safe. They are caught in the middle between the protesters and the business. I think it is disgraceful they are facing this sort of intimidation and abuse.’ […]
The anti-fracking video shows brutal camp commandant Amon Goeth known as the Butcher of Plaszow and played by Ralph Fiennes, ordering one of his officers to shoot a woman prisoner. A screen grab taken by fracking supporter Lorraine Allanson shows the film was posted on the Facebook page on April 5 by York-based activist and photographer Dave Marris, who commented on the social media site: ‘I made this because I am disgusted with the police tactics being used against the peaceful people trying to protest at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.’
The video was removed from the site after about a week, but not before Ms Allanson had complained to police, saying it should be viewed as a ‘hate crime’.
Mr Marris, speaking at his home near York yesterday, confirmed he had made the video, but added: ‘I can’t see anything offensive on there. It is up to people to draw their own conclusions.’ However, writer and broadcaster Rabbi Jonathan Romain said: ‘Whatever one’s views of fracking it is not genocide – in fact it is a million miles from genocide. Using the Holocaust in this way not only demeans the Holocaust but undermines the case of the protesters.’
Jonathan Sacerdoti, a leading campaigner against anti-Semitism, said: ‘Anyone who needs to go to these absurd lengths to get noticed clearly has no faith in the merits of their own arguments.’
Cuadrilla declined to comment last night, but chief executive Francis Egan recently complained about intimidation and harassment by ‘irresponsible’ activists.