A small band of anti-fracking campaigners who wished to be known as ‘protectors’ have set up camp on land adjacent to Celtique Energie’s proposed drill site.
Many of them have spent time in Balcombe, protesting against Cuadrilla’s drilling activities.
Talking from their camp, where they have permission from the land owner to temporarily reside, one of the group said: “I’m here because the country is on the brink of what could possibly be the most intense environmental catastrophe that we have ever known, and that its sneaked in under the radar of good sense, under the radar of democracy, and people aren’t aware just how dangerous fracking can be, particularly in this country where we are riddled with fault lines.”
Tim, who preferred not to give his surname and age, added: “It is a matter of great urgency that every body stands up and gets active now.
“We’re all activists now and that is how it is – one way or another the country is being industrialised, and it is time for everybody to stand up.”
Fellow ‘protector’ Prajna spoke of one of our ‘existential rights’ - water, saying it is under threat by the process of hydraulic fracturing which uses high pressure water laced with chemicals to stimulate oil and gas reserves trapped in rock beneath the ground.
The 53 year old, who travels with his 46 year partner Kali, spent two months at Balcombe before arriving in Kirdford about two weeks ago.
“If fracking were to take place in Wisborough Green and Kirdford it would be disastrous for this local environment,” said Kali. “But equally it is going to be disastrous for the whole island – poisoned water supplies.
“It is going to affect absolutely every individual and if the water is contaminated than we shall be dependent on corporations who bring it in from elsewhere.”
A 27 year old called Dominic added: “I’ve come here to raise awareness among local people about fracking - it is an attack on the natural ecosystems of the area.”
Kris, sporting an impressive ginger moustache, said he had been brought up in the oil industry and had lived all around the world, but was now totally disillusioned with the sector for many reasons.
But chief amongst these, he said: “There is a very substantial risk of contaminating the water table.”
Asked why those we spoke to were reticent to give their full names, they said it could give the authorities and corporations a hold over them, and raised concerns about the might of the organisations against which they are campaigning.
One of the most colourful characters we spoke to at the Kirdford camp called himself Bro Rainbow. What follows is a direct transcript of the interview with Bro.
How old are you Bro?
Where the heart is.
Is that right here now?
Always, hope so, otherwise get an ambulance.
Why here right now?
Why right here and now, it’s the only place you can be - here and now - they call it the present – it’s a gift, make the most of it.
Why have you come here?
Because it really actually matters. We are one nation, one tribe, living on a very beautiful space-ship – they call it Earth, but I call it Planet Heart which is just a respelling of Earth.
But actually it is not earth, it is two thirds water and so it is planet Heart, and she is spinning 1,800 mph - can you feel it?
The most amazing life support system that I am aware of in the moment, and what’s going on? Just delusion, truly, and madness. And the future generations are going to look back and they will just be incredulous at what has been happening up until this point.
Basically, do we truly need it? This gas, this fracking, this desecration of the Mother, this ruination of our water, our air, our soil – is it needed?
Yes, because we need to change our consciousness and we need to rise above, that’s from my heart to yours, that we all might live true.
And here’s a poem:
Listen’t to the mustn’ts child
Listen to the don’ts
Listen to the wouldn’ts, couldn’ts, shouldn’ts and the won’ts,
Listen very closely,
Then listen close to me,
Anything can happen,
And anything can be,
And in the potential reality that I want to exist in, this is not happening – ok.
They say that an English woman’s home is her castle, I say women because we’re women and man, we’re two sided,
We’re not all right, we’re half right, half left.
That’s the truth of it, otherwise we’d fall over, and hopefully, straight up the middle,
Straight up, fracking is wrong and that is why I am here because I feel it intensely within me, and I am voting with my feet and my whole being, to be here to say please, let’s go in a different direction.
By Theo Cronin | firstname.lastname@example.org | 01403 751 233 | @theocronin | Do you have a story?