On Saturday (Aug 3rd) around 200 residents of Balcombe village marched down to the protest camp with their children in support of the demonstrators. Wishing to challenge the snide remarks being made by the media about “outsiders” opposing the drilling, a village spokesman thanked the campers for their stand against Cuadrilla. He went on SCHOLARSHIPS to inform the crowd that a local poll of residents had shown that 85% opposed fracking with 9% undecided and just 6% in favour.
The villagers are particularly incensed by a letter from the County Council apologising for the disruption caused by the protest, but omitting to mention the anger caused by the presence of the frackers despite intense local opposition. The legality of the drilling is again being questioned as it has now come to light that the planning permission for the rig has been broken. The flare will be considerably bigger than originally agreed causing yet more pollution and distress to the locals.
As there were no deliveries on Saturday and a very small police presence, the event was more like a festival than a protest. A critical mass cycle convoy arrived from Brighton and people soon turned the road into an impromptu disco. More people are wanted for the camp and visitors are always welcome.
Photos by Guy Smallman