Fracking protesters vow to go on
Anti-fracking protesters will maintain a presence outside an exploratory drilling site following two days of direct action against the energy company carrying out the work.
The "mass civil disobedience" saw police officers arrest more than 30 people at the Cuadrilla site near Balcombe, West Sussex, including Green MP Caroline Lucas. Nine people have been charged and will appear in court next month, four were cautioned and released, while the rest are due to answer bail at the end of August.
The energy company temporarily suspended its operation after taking advice from Sussex Police amid fears of unrest during the six-day Reclaim the Power camp, organised by campaigners No Dash For Gas, which began on Friday.
Although Cuadrilla is not conducting fracking near Balcombe, and would need to apply for permission, protesters fear the energy firm will go on to do so.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves high pressure liquid being pumped deep underground to split shale rock and release oil or gas supplies. Opponents of fracking have highlighted concerns about potential water contamination and environmental damage, as well as small-scale earthquakes.
No Dash For Gas said their campaign against Cuadrilla "was not a sprint" but a "marathon". A statement on their website said they were pledging to continue their resistance to fracking and the wider "dash for gas", in Balcombe and elsewhere around the UK.
Discussions have taken place on how to continue to support the long-term camp at Balcombe and planning future direct action against fossil fuel use and extraction elsewhere in the UK, including at other proposed fracking sites, a spokesman said.
Although the Reclaim the Power camp will pack up and leave the field they have been occupying about a mile away from the drilling site, protesters have said the camp set up by the entrance to the Cuadrilla site will stay until the drilling stops.
Ten people will also appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on Wednesday charged with offences related to anti-fracking protests at the site earlier this month. Tamsin Omond, 28, a market research executive, from London, Ian Freeson, 52, a handyman, from Lewes, East Sussex, Lu Brown, 30, a solicitor, from London, Andrew Tobert, 29, from London, Deborah Grayson, 28, a writer, from Slough, Keyon Bayandor, 25, from Bristol, and Debbie Hodge, 45, from Horley, Surrey, are all charged under Section 241 of the Trade Union Labour Relations Act for attempting to stop drivers and other workers from accessing the site.
Student Kaity Squires, 19, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Zachay Hewitt, 22, from Bexhill, East Sussex, are both charged with assaulting a police officer. Timothy Harris, 28, from Crewkerne, Somerset, is charged with assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer.