The UK’s only Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, was among dozens of anti-fracking protesters arrested today as a “day of action” saw thousands of people take part in demonstrations at sites across the country.
Hundreds of activists blockaded the Balcombe oil drilling site in Sussex owned by Cuadrilla, as well as its Lichfield headquarters and the offices of its PR firm.
Demonstrators hung banners at the country home of the Conservative Lord Howells, who stirred controversy by suggesting the “desolate” north should be fracked and attempted to put up a small wind turbine at the home of Tory MP Francis Maude, whose constituency includes Balcombe.
Protesters at Balcombe blocked part of the site road but were driven back by police. Lucas, who is the The MP for Brighton Pavilion, said she joined the protest to make up for the “democratic deficit” that was allowing corporate oil and gas interests to trump the concerns of ordinary people.
“Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come,” she said today.
“People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us. Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent.”