Hundreds of climate and anti-cuts activists are planning to ‘swoop’ on
a secret site in the Balcombe area where shale oil and gas company
Cuadrilla is engaged in exploratory drilling.

Swoop participants will meet at Balcombe Train Station at 1pm on
Friday August 16th before moving en-masse to take the site. The five
day action camp taking place there – named Reclaim the Power – will
run from August 16-21 and involve ‘mass, audacious and creative acts
of civil disobedience’. [1]

Cuadrilla has a six week concession in the Sussex village to drill for
shale oil, but 85% of Balcombe residents oppose the drilling. Over 45
local groups opposing fracking have sprung up around the country in
response to requests by Cuadrilla and other companies to drill in
their area. [2] Balcombe is widely regarded as the frontline in the
government’s dash to frack the UK for fossil fuels.

The group spearheading the swoop – No Dash for Gas – shut down EDF’s
West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire last October. 21
activists occupied the site and lived up two chimneys for a week, in
protest over what they describe as climate chaos and escalated fuel
poverty if the government’s ‘dash for gas’ goes ahead. [3] The protest
prevented over 23,000 tons of carbon emissions and resulted in EDF
suing the group for £5million – a suit dropped after just three weeks
due to massive public outcry including a petition signed by 64,000

Now the group is mounting an ambitious action camp with a coalition of
organisations including UKUncut, Disabled People Against the Cuts, the
Greater London Pensioners Association, Campaign Against Climate
Change, and Fuel Poverty Action. The Reclaim the Power camp at
Balcombe will see participants engage in workshops covering extreme
energy, Just Transition and work, resisting government cuts and
solidarity with communities on the front-lines of climate change.

The camp will also include a full day’s ‘direct action training’ where
participants will plan a number of ‘missions’ together before engaging
in 48 hours of action against Cuadrilla.

Sharon James of No Dash for Gas said: ‘Our event is called Reclaim the
Power and that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to reclaim our
energy system out of the hands of corporations that will frack our
countryside, crash our climate targets and send fuel bills through the
roof. We want democratically controlled, renewable energy. Our action
will echo the local community in showing Cuadrilla that fracking is
unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary.’

She went on to say:

‘Fossil fuels are not the answer to our energy gap. Social, economic
and climate justice movements can and will unite to stand with
affected communities to resist this undemocratic activity. We urge
Cuadrilla to stop drilling, get out of Balcombe and drop fracking,

Ken Savage, aged 91, of The Greater London Pensioners Association
said: ‘We lend our full support to and stand solidly with Reclaim the
Power. Many pensioners dread the winter where many of us cannot afford
the heating and are seeing our friends pass away un-necessarily. 7000
people died last year – many of them pensioners – because they
couldn’t afford to keep warm. Many of us see climate change as a real
threat to our grandchildren. We want to see a change in this country’s
energy policy which takes climate change seriously, makes the change
to safe and sustainable power and which serves human need and not
corporate greed. We will be present at the camp and look forward to
taking part in this important event and protest’.






No Dash for Gas Media Team 07447 027112


Twitter: @nodashforgas