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Trip to Balcombe Tuesday 10th September: three B+H FoE members went. Previous day (Mon) camp was served an eviction order to leave by 9am Tues 10th or possession of land proceedings will be instituted. Sussex Police announced that from 9am Tues 10th they would issue a Section 14 requiring protesters to use the designated protest area or risk arrest.

We arrived at around 11am. Camp still in place, heavy police presence, no evidence of designated protest area. One lorry pushed through by police lines and two protesters injured – one needing ambulance to hospital. A few campers leaving.

Monica was contacted by two people from Heathfield who wanted to find out about maybe setting up a FoE group in Heathfield. Details passed to Tim Gee.

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Below is a report from one of the BHFOE members visiting the Balcombe site:
 
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Four of us went by train and walked from station with some supplies for the protestors camp. The roadworks have now gone and the road B2036 Balcombe to Cuckfield is now open to traffic. Many locals honking support and delivering supplies.
 
There was a big police presence – officers, vans, photographers. Knee deep in media – no doubt the celebs were the lure! Every lorry that came to the gate from the N was escorted by police motorbikes and a van to in sight of the gate, then the officers surrounded the van and formed a loose “kettleing” of protestors on the line between the road and the verges. Each time a small number of protestors with placards walked very slowly in front of the lorry being edged to the gate and then past the gate by police. Lots of photos from everyone and no arrests and no heavy handling. Apparently on previous days there were arrests.
 
We met up with Tim from FoE HO. The motion at FoE Base Camp for fracking to be the number one campaign received the most votes. He said HO is now sorting out actions and research and legal stuff.
Tim then held an one hour training session in one of the large tents – with the camp’s Legal Observer who had asked for help as there had been times when she had been the only one. Attending the training were eight people – two of us from B+H FoE, one Croydon FoE member, two people from somewhere in the Mendips who were visiting for the day for info as there is a granted license in their area, two others, and a friend of the camps’s legal observer.

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Lock the Gate!

Lock the gate

Three spirited protestors sport their knitted ‘Lock the Gate’ hats

We (BHFOEarth) met these three strong women at the Balcombe Rigwatch on Tuesday 23rd July. They are campaigning against Cuadrilla’s drilling there, hoping to stop the action and the possibility of hydraulic fracturing.
This is a very poignant picture as they seem so positive in the face of adversity, wearing their home knit ‘Lock The Gate’ hats….right next to the FIREARMS IN USE notice….
You can contact and support the No Fracking in Balcombe Society at NoFiBS@btinternet.com

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Members of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth have been joining the protestors at the Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe. Below are some photos taken by one of the members last Friday. Overall the demonstration was friendly and peaceful, but there was a strong police presence and a number of protestors were removed and arrested. If you’d like to get involved visit www.greatgasgala.org.uk for the latest updates on the protest and how you can help out and join the protest.

Protesters in Balcombe halt shale gas operation – video

balcombe friday 3

Frack off supporters and police mill around as Cuadrilla lorries try to pass

balcombe Friday 1

Police vans gather at the demonstration site

friends of the earth

BHFOE & friends

balcombe friday heart

love for the earth: a heart on the road created by one of the protestors

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bhfoe block cuadrilla
On Tuesday 23th July members of Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth supported the Rig Watch group at the gate to the Cuadrilla Test Drilling site on the B2036 about 1 mile south of Balcombe. Rig equipment started to arrive early on that day. More is expected over the next few days. It is understood that Cuadrilla is hoping to start drilling on Sat 27th.
Protesters are planning to be at the gate and the surrounding area from Thurs 25th morning onwards and into Friday.
They need all the help we can give them to publicise this and to plan another trip to the gate.
rig watch
drilling site gate
BHFoE Group establish their early presence and support at Balcombe!

BHFoE Group establish their early presence and support at Balcombe!

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