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Anti-fracking protest arrests in Balcombe up to 25 as two glue themselves together
Two protesters superglued their hands together around the entrance of a controversial drilling site, adding further delays to an energy firm's schedule.
Yesterday started in dramatic fashion as police officers prized two campaigners apart after entangling themselves at the entrance of the site in Balcombe.
Once freed the two protesters Simon 'Sitting Bull' Medhurst and Natalie Hynde were arrested, taking the tally of arrests up to 25 since campaigners first arrived last Thursday.
Yesterday four lorries made it through the gates to the site, each one met with a different protest.
After the first lorry passed through 40 people 'played dead' and lay in the road.
The second lorry, which was flanked by dozens of police officers in a v-shaped formation, was met with children in a line, offering flowers to officers.
The third lorry passed through un-challenged, but Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive rang around the protest camp, as campaigners belted out the karaoke classic.
Daniel Lee, 28, a campaigner who led yesterday's meetings among protesters, said: “The message we were trying to get across there was that the police aren't listening to the facts as relates to this case and obviously aren't protecting us - they don't give a damn about our welfare because of the health and environmental impacts that fracking is well known to cause.”
It is understood drilling was scheduled to start yesterday, but protesters remain defiant in their battle against energy firm Cuadrilla's plans to drill a 3,000ft (914m) well and 2,500ft (762m) horizontal bore at the site, pledging to continue to campaign after drilling starts.
Environmental activist Nick St Clare, 53, said: “The British law has a duty of care that's imposed on every person in the country, including the government, which states it must take reasonable care to avoid acts you can reasonably foresee that will injure or harm your neighbour.
“If you damage or destroy the environment, then you're injuring your neighbour.
“The most serious threat to life and property on this planet, right now, is environmental damage and destruction.”
The police's tactics have come under scrutiny recently with complaints about excessive force being used.
Mr Lee said: “I'm a realist - I think when you protest and when you blockade and you get in the way of what is essentially an instrument of the state then you know they are going to use some force.”
Sussex Police has defended its officers actions - including pushing on pressure points.
Leading officer superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said: "It is recognised nationally as one of the safest options where people suffer a momentary discomfort.
“Officers are specifically trained to use this tactic to move people when necessary and it does not cause any lasting pain or injury.
“This technique is proportionate and uses the minimum force necessary.”
A spokesman for Cuadrilla confirmed drilling at the site was 'imminent', adding the company is working hard to get back on schedule and get work underway.
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