It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,
say fracking protesters at camp

Protesters have said they are determined to continue their protest against fracking despite the camp becoming much quieter.

A heavy police presence remained outside the Cuadrilla site in London Road, Balcombe, despite there being nowhere near the same number of protesters as yesterday.

Officers lined up in front of the entrance of the site ahead of the second day of direct action by anti-fracking protesters but the camp remained calm and relaxed as the opponents held meetings and chatted to one another.

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Two lorries have already entered the West Sussex site, with demonstrators marching in front, linking arms as the vehicles made their way down the road.

Protester George Barda, 37, said he had seen two people taken away by police so far. But the protest has so far been peaceful with many demonstrators chatting to police officers.

Campaigners No Dash For Gas said that, although groups of people may protest outside the site, they had no plans for a second day of action.

Ewa Jasiewicz said: “It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

Natalie Hynde, daughter of Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, and her partner Simon Medhurst were among the protesters.

The pair appeared, with 12 others, at Crawley Magistrates’ Court last week charged under Section 241 of the Trade Union Labour Relations Act for attempting to stop drivers and other workers from accessing the site last month.

Sussex Police tried to stop the protesters from returning to London Road by asking for a bail condition banning them from the parish of Balcombe but magistrates released them all on unconditional bail, allowing them to return to the camp.

Campaigner Grace Blindell, 92, said she had come to show her support.

She said: “It’s something we all feel very strongly about.

“There are so many people against it so why is the Government going ahead?

“I feel passionately that we are going the wrong way.”

Comment: Page 12; Zealots who fight fracking: Page 13.