Yesterday, we went down to Balcombe protest camp, in solidarity with the residents and all those trying to prevent this ecological disaster from happening.
We visited Balcombe on Saturday 3rd August, in support of the Balcombe residents and the anti-fracking protest camp, which has now been there for 11 days.
(you can see more photos from yesterday on our Facebook page).
The police were there in force protecting the entrance to the fracking site. Countless cars beeped as they passed by, in solidarity with all those protesting against the fracking. There were people from 'desolate north' and 'desolate north west' and Kent, all saying 'No' to fracking. First a coachful of protesters from Brighton, then a large group of cyclists, arrived, people brought carloads of bottled water and food etc.
Around noon, over 150 Balcombe residents marched from the village to the camp, singing an adapted (fracking) version of Blake's 'Jerusalem'.
They spoke to the camp to express their grattitude and solidarity with each and every single person fighting against the fracking. The Balcombe campaigners had done their own poll, going from door to door and found that 85% of people they spoke to were against fracking, while only 6% were for, proving tremendous local opposition.
As one of the protesters put it, 'If fracking was OK, why doesn't Lord Howell go and do it in Surrey?' The destruction of nature and our addiction to fossil fuel energy is, however, global, and is not OK anywhere, as one Balcombe resident succintly pointed out.
It is always incredibly inspiring to see just how little effort we need to make to care for each other and the world around us - this isn't something you can learn from the books or the news but have to be willing to experience it. If you can, we urge you to go to the protest camp and show your support.
If you aren't able to get to the protest in person, Donnachadh McCarthy suggests a number of things you can still do:
Boycott all Balcombe Estate products (which include Balcombe Estate wood-mills and Farm Produce Shop).
Contact RH & RW Clutton, commercial letting agents for Balcombe Estate, who have offices in East Grinstead, Guildford and Ledbury, and tell them that their providing services to a carbon criminal is just not on.
Sign the petition to make fracking illegal.
Balcombe today could be anywhere and everywhere tomorrow. And that is simply not an option.
The Great Gas Gala, report from the protest on 26th July
Reelnews: Balcombe villagers turn out in force to support the protest
Let the women speak, video
YouandIFilms, beautiful photographs from the protest camp
Occupy London livestreams from day 11 (and much more footage from the camp on their Bambuser channel)
Indymedia, Sussex village tells Cuadrilla to frack off