Reclaim the Power! Part 1

 
 
On the 16th-20th of August, just outside the small Sussex Village of Balcombe, an amazing event hosted by No Dash for Gas brought together caring, passionate and altruistic people from the local area and all over the country in order to help protect Balcombe from fracking! Campaign against Climate Change was proud to be at the camp and play a part in a great weekend of activism and empowerment.
 
100s of people came to Balcombe as part of the Reclaim the Power camp; a camp long in the planning but recently having moved down to Sussex from Nottinghamshire to support the Balcombe residents and the well established protector site against Cuadrilla and their fracking plans.
 
The weekend’s activities, whilst sometimes focused on fracking and extreme energy, also looked at a miriad of other topics. There were great discussions and talks held by  groups as varied as UK Uncut, Platform, the UK Tar Sands Network,  Disabled People Against the Cuts, Occupy, Greater London Pensioners Association and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association Union.  This was a fantastic opportunity for all participants to share experiences and to help join the dots between social, environmental, and economic injustice.
 
Reclaim the Power also had some great artists and musicians perform in the evenings which had everyone singing and joining in.  The Saturday night in particular held a huge cèilidh which almost raised the roof off the marquee with dancing and cheering!
 
On the Sunday, Reclaim the Power took part in the Solidarity March for a Frack Free Future. With over 2000 people making their voices heard and anti-fracking groups from all over the UK and Ireland travelling to Balcombe in order to make Cuadrilla and the Government listen and understand that a dash for gas in this country is not the solution to anyones problems! 
 
The atmosphere of the whole camp was amazing with people of all ages talking together, meeting old friends and making new ones. Although the camp is now over, the networks it helped to forge and the sense of solidarity against fracking and unconventional energy that were created during the weekend will live on.
 
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*This is a two part post about the Reclaim the Power camp. The second part will feature a first hand account of the actions that took place on the Monday and Tuesday and the reasoning behind them.