400 attend anti-fracking rally at Balcombe by The Argus, January 20, 2014
More than 400 protesters have attended an anti-fracking rally in Balcombe attended by a key campaigner from France, according to organisers. The gathering, attended by French MEP Jose Bove, was held at the scene of last yeaar’s bitter protests when energy firm Cuadrilla carried out test drilling at the site. He attended a meeting of about 60 grassroots campaigners from across England before he spoke at a public rally. The speeches were followed by a brief occupation of the drilling pad led by Mr Bove. A spokesman for the organisers said that the event had a “very good-spirited, peaceful but determined atmosphere”.
Mr Bove said that because France already had a fracking ban, it was the responsibility of the French to support the UK opposition to the drilling technique.
He said: “This has to be bigger and bigger. A real movement at national level with all different kinds of people to be able to change the decisions at the national level.
“When politicians will be afraid to lose their place in parliament they are going to change the way they think.
“You have to say to all candidates ‘are you for or against fracking?’ “
He continued: “Next we’re not only going to gather here in Balcombe but the next big mobilisation with thousands and thousands of people, we’re not going to do it in the countryside in Sussex but we’re going to do it in Downing Street. “This is a message also for Mr Cameron. Mr Cameron has to stop his support for these companies. This is a social fight but also a fight against all those people who support those companies. “You are right to fight and you have to win this fight not only for you but for the new generation.” German MEP for Alliance ’90/The Greens Rebecca Harms said: “You must be strong and smart. With non-violent direct action you must show what you are concerned about and how strong your concerns are.” [Emphasis added]
French MEP José Bové leads Balcombe anti-fracking rally by The BBC, January 20, 2014
Hundreds of protesters have taken part in an anti-fracking rally in West Sussex led by a key campaigner from France. French Green MEP José Bové addressed the gathering at Balcombe on Sunday. The site was the scene of protests during the summer when energy firm Cuadrilla carried out test drilling for oil at the site. Mr Bové met with campaigners before leading a brief occupation of the drilling pad. Addressing the rally, Mr Bové said that because France already had a fracking ban, it was the responsibility of the French to support the UK opposition to the drilling technique.
He added that there had to be a “real movement at national level with all different kinds of people” and that only when politicians were “afraid to lose their place in parliament [would they] change the way they think”.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said the UK had “world-beating standards for water, for health and safety, for the environment [which meant that] there’s absolutely no reason that we can’t frack safely”. [Emphasis added]
Jose Bove pledges to help Britons resist Total fracking, Green MEP calls for an EU moratorium on shale gas and says he’s prepared to resume battle against the French company by John Vidal, January 20 , 2014, The Guardian
Last week, Total announced it was taking a 40% share in shale gas exploration and drilling in the East Midlands. “We clearly need a moratorium at the European level against fracking. If needed, I will come to be in front of the police in Britain. I fought against Total, I know them. They tried to frack in France but we defeated them. I am happy to resume the battle here,” said the pipe-smoking sheep farmer who has twice been imprisoned following campaigns against GM food and McDonald’s in France.
He accused David Cameron of helping far right parties and extremists across Europe by trying to limit migration. “Cameron is the best agent for the far right in Europe. He is a disgrace. We listen to him saying he wants to limit the rights of Europeans to migrate. It’s like saying Californians should be banned from New York. To say that immigrants are costing more … is totally unacceptable. They come skilled. They pay their taxes. They feed into the economy.” Bove warned that the EC plan for a free trade agreement with the US would only benefit corporations which will be allowed to sue any government which tries to restrict imports. “It is hugely dangerous. It threatens entire economic sectors by opening borders to all imports. It will pit region against region, because of the invitations to tender that will be required in law. The rules say that companies will be able to take governments to court. It opens to legal challenge [bans] against GMOs, shale gas, chemicals, anything. These bilateral agreements are slicing up democracy in favour of corporations.” [Emphasis added]