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People of Sussex Declare Climate Emergency


THE BATTLE FOR BALCOMBE: PEOPLE OF SUSSEX DECLARE CLIMATE EMERGENCY


An emergency vehicle, staffed by four women and two men, is blocking the entrance of Cuadrilla’s fracking site. The group, supported by local residents, are preventing unconventional oil and gas exploration, to reduce emissions and highlight the climate emergency we are all facing.

Two protesters climbed on top of the fire engine to release a banner that reads: “WE <3 BALCOMBE. LOCK THE GATE” before locking their ankles to the fire engine’s ladder.  The remaining four used bicycle locks and arm-tubes to secure themselves in the fire engine’s cab. The brakes to the fire engine were also locked down rendering it immovable. The protest is expected to last beyond the weekend.

On the ground at the Great Gas Gala - Day 6

 

 


30 seconds with our woman on the ground - Abi Mortimer

You're at Balcombe right now, what's the atmosphere like?
Despite the rain people are still here and staying strong, there hasn’t been a truck for a while though so things have calmed down for now and the police are standing back. The community spirit is really palpable and people are helping each other out and sharing food and shelter etc. It’s great to see and be part of it!

How many people are there at the moment?
Thepolice have a big presence at the moment, there seems to be about 100 of them and then about 50 protesters and community members, although its hard to tell as people are in and out of tents. There are about 15 tents, and several big gazebos.

What's been going on, have there been more trucks trying to enter the site today?
Yes, a massive Drill arrived and another truck with a laughable slogan on the side about its commitment to the environment. Both were slowed right down but they now have a huge police squadron who surround the vehicles and try to walk them into the site.

Have there been any more arrests?
No, not yet!

Despite the drizzle, what's made you smile today?
People have been going to great lengths to help each other out and support those who are out on the site, someone stopped to hand out plastic trousers and another lady from a neighbouring village brought muffins for everyone and joined in the protest. The commitment of the community andprotesters that have come and their support to each other is amazing.

Why is it important for more people to come down and join the protest?
This protest has got some great coverage and really got people talking about Balcombe and fracking in general. Through a coordinated action the initial test drill was also held from entering the site for 24 hrs which was an incredible achievement. However the drilling is still going to happen and we need to keep the pressure on and show the UK government that Cuadrilla and the fracking industry is not welcome! The more people the merrier, we need to show the world that this is not a minor issue
and that the protest really does have support from people across the land.

Fracking In Balcombe

 

On 23rd July after months of applications, audits and public opposition Cuadrilla started moving their drilling equipment onto the Balcombe site, with the aim of starting exploratory drilling starting on Saturday 27th July. But the Balcombe residents aren't going to stop fighting.

 

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