1. ITV Report

Balcombe campaigners: Why we're fighting fracking

Protesters have camped outside the Balcombe site for weeks Photo: PA Wire

Today is the start of Reclaim the Power, a five day protest camp organised by No Dash For Gas.

Activists from across the United Kingdom and from various campaign groups are coming together not just to make a national stand against unconventional fossil fuel extraction, but to also come together and reclaim our future from the vested interests currently influencing government.

The camp will bring together a coalition of environmental, anti-cuts, fuel poverty and disability activists to find common ground in our struggles.

Whilst on the onset fracking seems to be just an environmental issue, if you dig a bit deeper, you will find that the crux of the argument – the direction of our energy future – actually has implications for everyone.

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood (right) joins fracking protesters in Balcombe Credit: PA

The massive tax breaks given to the shale gas industry by George Osborne – whose father-in-law is an oil and gas lobbyist - are a slap in the face to the millions of Britons now struggling to make ends met under his austerity drive.

How many fewer food banks would have to open if sweetheart deals like this to corporations are stopped?

There has been much talk about fracking lowering fuel bills.

But Cuadrilla’s own PR people – along with many noted financial institutions – admit that this simply isn’t true.

So why is the government intent on supporting an industry that won’t solve fuel poverty?

Cuadrilla has temporarily stopped drilling at Balcombe Credit: PA Wire

Over the weekend, we hope to create a space for activists to support the community in Balcombe who feel bullied by the industry and bullied by the government.

We also aim to create a space where we can work towards creating the energy future that we want – one that is community owned ,democratically run and environmentally sustainable.

We urge anyone who would like to plan for a better future and fight for an alternative to join us.

Tisha Brown writes for ITV News over fracking. Credit: Tisha Brown

Tisha Brown is from campaign group Frack Off. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.

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