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Balcombe one, Balcombe all

Sussex village fights off the fracking invader

Lorries and locals came head-to-head in the Sussex village of Balcombe this morning, as fracking company Caudrilla began to move equipment on site. It came less than 24 hours after Cuadrilla recieved its licence from the environment agency to drill in the area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Pre-warned locals and campaigners mobilised just as quickly, under the banner of the Great Gas Gala. By 7 a.m, despite the presence of G4S security, members of the fifty-strong demo had blocked the entrance.

The first lorry to try and enter site had its brake cables cut. Although the vehicle was quickly repaired, more folk began arriving and gazebos were set up on the verge. It wasn't until an hour later that the police arrived and over the course of the morning the situation developed into a very English stand-off.

At midday the police began warning the crowd that if they didn't allow the lorry onto site then they faced arrest.

In the end however it was the men with the HGV who wilted in the afternoon heat and raucous celebration greeted the departure of the lorry as the crowd, now grown to around 200, realised their victory.

Of course defeating evil is rarely that simple and Cuadrilla will no doubt try again tomorrow -

More people are needed now – the site is less than a mile's walk from Balcombe train station.

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Stories about similar subjects...

Marches, blockades, arrested MPs and one helluva lot of cops...The campaign against the Balcombe fracketeers stepped up this weekend with the arrival of Reclaim the Power.

Day 23 of the Balcombe Blockade and Day 1 of the Reclaim the Power camp.

Sussex Police's Operation Mansell is going almost as badly for them as the Tories' failing efforts to sell shale gas to the UK.

The camp's on the increase and the direct action hasn't stopped.

Rally against roadbuilding - Enjoying the countryside in the name of stopping roads.

Just when we were all getting to grips with fracking, another mind-blowingly stupid and dangerous form of extreme energy extraction gains momentum.

Twenty one climate activists escape jail at sentencing after shuttng down coal fired power station for seven days

Residents of Balcombe, West Sussex, warn the frackers they're ready for direct action to prevent the first exploratory well from being drilled just south of their village

Twitter: @SchNEWS