The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas was arrested today (Monday 19 August) during the anti-fracking protest in Balcombe.
She said: “Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come.
“The evidence is clear that fracking undermines efforts to tackle the climate crisis and poses potential risks to the local environment.
“People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us.
“I’m in the privileged position of being able to put questions to the government directly and arrange debates in Parliament but still ministers have refused to listen.
“Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent.
“When the democratic deficit is so enormous, people are left with very little option but to take peaceful non-violent direct action.”
She was one of about 30 protesters to have been arrested by 5.30pm this afternoon as police cleared a large group of people.
Sussex Police said that the group was in front of an emergency access to the Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe.
Protesters camped along the roadside were joined by hundreds more from a nearby camp which was set up last Thursday (15 August).
Many of them locked arms and blocked the road while others glued themselves together or attached themselves to fences and other items.
Officers had earlier removed a number of bikes that had been locked together and left lying across the road.
The force said that they were a safety hazard for the large group that had gathered there.
Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said: “We had been expecting some form of direct action today and we had officers in place ready to deal with it.
“It has been necessary to close the road but that has been done a number of times in recent days to ensure that safety of all those who are taking part.
“As we have said from the very start of this protest operation, we are more than happy to facilitate peaceful protest but those who are intent on criminal action will be arrested.”
More than 400 officers took part in policing the protests today with support provided by ten other forces.
Those arrested are being booked into custody having been arrested on suspicion of offences that include assault and obstruction of the highway.
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