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Old Bill Bail Out

Protesters beat the cops and the Balcombe Parish Boundaries.

For continual updates head to FRACK OFF


It's day 21 of resistance to the Cuadrilla Frack-heads in the sleepy village of Balcombe down in deepest Sussex. A large collection of angry locals, seasoned activists and assorted crusties has, for the past three weeks, built up a fully functioning and impressive tent city alongside the B2036 only a stone's throw from the drill site. 

And this could be just the beginning as No Dash for Gas bring their action camp into the fray this weekend.

In what has now become a set piece, daily deliveries are slowed down for the final ten minutes of their journey by a line of police pushing forward protesters. Arrest are generally fewer at this stage although this week the police have begun making some arrests after trawling through video footage taken on other occasions. 

At the start of the campaign the police seemed to be following their common practice of arresting easy/known targets at any opportunity and imposing draconian bail conditions with a 25 sq. mile exclusion zone. They did this with the intention, no doubt, of dropping most of the charges once the initial drilling (due to end in September) had completed. Problem solved Sarge.

But today marked a significant stage in the campaign as about sixteen defendants were up before the magistrates in Crawley. The first eight were attempting to have their bail conditions changed. The defence wanted unconditional bail since all the defendants were of good character and there was no evidence that they would reoffend. A few hours before the hearing,the cops  presented a new, slightly smaller exclusion zone outlined by Balcombe Parish Boundary.

Unusually a scrawny looking and clearly inexperienced Detective Constable was called to give evidence to justify these new conditions. He essentially explained that since 200-1000 more people would be coming down from Climate Camp the defendants would incite them to cause offences. Yeah right. The defence solicitor went on to savage him mercilessly. Eventually, after lunch, the magistrate granted unconditional bail to all the defendants and a few other individuals who were not in court today.

This is a major victory for the campaign and the packed public gallery clapped and cheered as each defendant received their revised bail conditions and left the court room. The police were clearly furious and so immediately made a sly arrest of another person in the court building just for shits and giggles.

Since Sunday many tents already have begun appearing in the field immediately next to the drilling site. The company have had fences and razor wire delivered over the past few days as they begin to substantially build up their defences ready for the large invasion of campers and marchers descending on Balcombe this weekend.

For more on this weekend's fun and games as No Dash for Gas descend on the site head here

Stories about similar subjects...

Anti-fascists are gearing up for the return of the English Defence League to Tower Hamlets in East London on September 7th.

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.

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

Less than 24 hours after fracking company Cuadrilla received a licence from the environment agency to start drilling near the Sussex village of Balcombe they began trying to move equipment onto site.

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

Update 21/07/13 - Bad day for anti-fascism in Brum - but not so great for the EDL either.

EDL Leader Steve Yaxley-Lennon reckons he's gonna take his dog and pony show past the East London mosque.

Twitter: @SchNEWS