Press release
Balcombe fracking protests: Caroline Lucas MP and four others found not guilty

Commenting today (Thursday 17 April 2014) on the trial of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and the four other activists involved in the Balcombe fracking protests last summer being found not guilty, Friends of the Earth South East Campaigner Brenda Pollack said:

“The court has taken the right decision – it should be fracking on trial, not those campaigning to stop it.

“The Government and fracking firms are doing everything they can to try and steamroll communities into accepting this dirty and polluting fossil fuel – but across the country people are peacefully protesting to stop it happening.

“If ever there was an issue where protest is necessary, it is climate change. Fracking is a risk we cannot afford to take – it's bad for the planet, will not lower our energy bills and will leave generations to come in a mess they can’t sort out.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Friends of the Earth has always supported people’s right to take direct action, provided it is nonviolent and that those taking part take responsibility for their actions.
  2. Caroline Lucas MP was charged with wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under section 14 of the Public Order Act. She found not guilty today (Thursday 17 April 2014).
  3. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has been on trial in Brighton for her part in the anti-fracking protests in the village of Balcombe last summer. 126 people were arrested during these protests because they were so frustrated by the Government and local authorities not listening to them about the dangers of fracking. Of the 126 people arrested at Balcombe over the drilling that Cuadrilla carried out, more than half of the cases were dropped.
  4. For more information about the Balcombe fracking protest trials, please see here:http://www.foe.co.uk/blog/balcombe-trials-installations-8
  5. For more information about fracking, please see:www.foe.co.uk/fracking
  6. Friends of the Earth shale gas briefing:https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/shale-gas-not-all-its-fracked-be-18119.pdf

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust