Green MP Caroline Lucas has just been arrested at the anti-fracking demonstration in Balcombe. The party's former leader was one of the final protesters left after police broke up the sit-in against energy firm Cuadrilla earlier today. Lucas, who was accompanied by her son, looked "visibly shaken" according to eyewitnesses.
Earlier today, police served a Public Order Act notice, stating that the crowd might cause serious damage to property or disrupt the life of the community. As she was removed, Lucas told reporters: "I have tried to use the democratic processes, I have tried to raise the issue through those democratic channels but the government isn't listening."
In a statement, 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 and 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.