Fracking activists are taking part in a 'day of action' today spanning Balcombe, London and Lichfield. They have blocaded the Cuadrilla drilling site in Sussex (leading to the arrest of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas), chained themselves to the headquarters of Bell Pottinger (Cuadrilla's PR company) in central London and for good measure, also occupied Bell Pottinger's Lichfield office. Meanwhile about 20 people spent the morning protesting outside the constituency office of Tory MP for Balcombe, Francis Maude.
This follows a busy weekend for the anti-frackers. Balcombe in Sussex was once again the centre of public attention, with Reclaim the Power set up camp there on Friday, adding strength to local and national outcry over fracking in the UK.
The camp runs until tomorrow (Tuesday), and includes workshops on political action and sustainable living. But its focus is empowering ordinary people to take direct action against the corporate energy sector, which is driving fuel poverty and climate change.
Hundreds of visitors converged in Balcombe from community anti-fracking groups across the country: No Fracking in Balcombe Society and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking - two of the groups most in the firing line at the moment- made links with environmental activists from groups like No Dash for Gas and Fuel Poverty Action.
Yesterday, a march of 2,000 people united local and regional people who object to fracking with the “protestors'” camp which has been by the drill site gate for the last three weeks.
Local residents and politicians spoke against oil and gas exploration in their area, and crucially condemned fracking anywhere in the UK. Several hundred people peacefully defied police lines to put a human ring around the drill site.
To be continued....