Shale Protesters Invade Cuadrilla Offices as U.K. Action Spreads
Anti-shale protesters chained themselves to filing cabinets at the head office of U.K. explorer Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. as they widened their campaign against drilling.
Demonstrators broke into Cuadrilla’s head office at Lichfield in central England, the company said in a statement, while another group reportedly superglued themselves to the office block housing the company’s public relations advisers. Arrests were made at Balcombe, the village in Southern England where Cuadrilla has an exploratory well.
“Shale gas is essential to improve our energy security, heat our homes, and create jobs and growth,” Cuadrilla said. “What we are doing is legal, approved, and safe.”
Protests forced Cuadrilla to suspend drilling work at Balcombe last week on the advice of police. Campaigners are concerned that exploring for shale will cause noise pollution, water contamination and increased road traffic.
“This is seen as the frontline fight for the environmental movement,” Andrew Tobert, a protester, said by phone from London. “Acting now will have more of an impact than say protesting when fracking comes to your area in six months time.”
“There’s definitely an escalation” in the protests, said the 29-year old who was arrested more than a week ago for blocking access to Cuadrilla’s site in Balcombe.
A camp organized by the group No Dash for Gas began Aug. 16 and will last until Aug. 21.
“Police are managing and monitoring” the protests, Christian Cubitt, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, told reporters in London. “People have a right to protest but that must be within the law.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at firstname.lastname@example.org