On the ground at the Great Gas Gala - Day 6




30 seconds with our woman on the ground - Abi Mortimer

You're at Balcombe right now, what's the atmosphere like?
Despite the rain people are still here and staying strong, there hasn’t been a truck for a while though so things have calmed down for now and the police are standing back. The community spirit is really palpable and people are helping each other out and sharing food and shelter etc. It’s great to see and be part of it!

How many people are there at the moment?
Thepolice have a big presence at the moment, there seems to be about 100 of them and then about 50 protesters and community members, although its hard to tell as people are in and out of tents. There are about 15 tents, and several big gazebos.

What's been going on, have there been more trucks trying to enter the site today?
Yes, a massive Drill arrived and another truck with a laughable slogan on the side about its commitment to the environment. Both were slowed right down but they now have a huge police squadron who surround the vehicles and try to walk them into the site.

Have there been any more arrests?
No, not yet!

Despite the drizzle, what's made you smile today?
People have been going to great lengths to help each other out and support those who are out on the site, someone stopped to hand out plastic trousers and another lady from a neighbouring village brought muffins for everyone and joined in the protest. The commitment of the community andprotesters that have come and their support to each other is amazing.

Why is it important for more people to come down and join the protest?
This protest has got some great coverage and really got people talking about Balcombe and fracking in general. Through a coordinated action the initial test drill was also held from entering the site for 24 hrs which was an incredible achievement. However the drilling is still going to happen and we need to keep the pressure on and show the UK government that Cuadrilla and the fracking industry is not welcome! The more people the merrier, we need to show the world that this is not a minor issue
and that the protest really does have support from people across the land.