PRESS RELEASE re the Battle of Balcombe

Our good friend and founder of Frack-Free Wales, Frances Jenkins of Taffs Well, was one of those arrested in Balcombe last Friday. This is the bare truth of a disproportionate response by the Police under the direction of who? We need to know!

Below are some photos that should appal us all, followed by Frances’ own words.

Police state?

Frances being led away:

And this is just disgusting police brutality (who gave the order to use such deliberate forms of torture?):

Take note of their numbers (CW568, CT2 and CT591) and make a complaint to:

Below is Frances’ press release issued today:

BATTLE OF BALCOMBE 29.07.2013I was arrested at Balcombe, West Sussex, UK on Friday with Justin Preece and 14 others. Contrary to popular reports in the press I am NOT a seasoned protester but a respected music teacher at Taffs Well Music Studio. I have recently been awarded an academic scholarship. I am also a philanthropist who just 9 days ago organised an event raising money for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice in Wales. I am also the mother of two children.

I am not, as one crude newspaper claimed a “Rent-A-Mob, Squatters, Ukelele Players and Dale Farm veteran”. I am an ordinary citizen with entirely valid concerns about Cuadrilla Resources Limited’s actions in the UK because of the well-documented problems the citizens of Pennsylvania in the United States have experienced to name just one example. If you dig a little deeper than the mainstream media you will find many peer-reviewed scholarly articles documenting the dangers of methane contamination, the risk of disrupting radioactive substances, the increase of intrusive heavy plant traffic carving up village roads, increased seismic activity in the form of earthquakes…the list goes on and on.

I am proud of what we did. We do not want Fracking/Coal Bed Methane/Underground Coal Gasification in the UK. There are many far bigger countries being idiots with Shale Gas, we cannot cope with these techniques in such a built up area. If we, as the government claims, need a “transitional fuel” because of a looming “energy crisis”, then we should buy it from those already damaged countries, and not industrialize our beautiful historic countryside. Despite what we are told, we are a rich country.

We should invest ALL energy funds into renewables. This Neo-Victorian regime that rules us are acting out of pure greed, the desire to control and sheer short-sighted stupidity. There are also several damning conflicts of interest surrounding the ownership of Cuadrilla Resources Limited and I call on the David Cameron and George Osborne to address these concerns by publishing a full and frank document notifying citizens who owns what parts of Cuadrilla Resources Limited.

I hope that the powers that be will have the sense to drop the charges against the participants in this peaceful protest. I also call for the prosecution of the officers CT2, CW568 and CT591 for assault and I will be complaining to the IPCC about the inappropriate response from Sussex Police.

Finally I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all the messages of support I have received from people from all over the country and beyond, and also wish the residents of Balcombe success in their fight against Cuadrilla Resources Limited and Sussex Police who are enabling this corporation’s actions at the expense of the people they are meant to serve.


7 thoughts on “PRESS RELEASE re the Battle of Balcombe

  1. Igor

    What exactly does “Rent a mob” mean? Many of us devote much of our lives to fighting injustice in many theaters because we care about the issues. We receive no payment for this, unlike the oppressors, who do rather well financially out of their activities.


  2. John

    Good for you for showing your resistance. I’ve only recently seen the Gasland films and I can’t believe it’s starting here. I am horrified to discover that 4 licences have been granted for fracking near where I live.


  3. Anna

    thank you for all you are doing. As a grandmother I feel so strongly about this issue and if I don’t make it to Balcombe to join protesters, fully intend to when they start in our neck of the woods. Blessings


  4. Atlanta Cook Marine Environment Consultancy

    Dear Frances,

    Having been at Balcombe blockade on Thursday, Friday & Sunday I share your concerns over Sussex Police using excessive force against people from all walks of life (how dare they try to label us as a ‘rent a mob’ or ‘actuvists’). I am a professional company founder & director, a company secretary, a consultant, personal assistant, a former director and honorary life member of Surfers Against Sewage, a Marine Conservation Society Sea Champion, a mother, the list goes on!

    The government friendly media will always try to portray any citizen/community resistance to government aims as coming from a few ‘extreme, looney left, anarchist types’ because it hopes it will stop others supporting their resistance. It’s just labelling tactics used to try and divide public opinion, but at the end of the day it is just ‘name calling’ and we all know what people who ‘name call’ are like.

    I will be asking my entire network to make official complaints to Sussex Police about their use of torture on Day 2 (26/7/13) of the Balcombe blockade. I met both men being tortured on Day 1 and have every respect for them and the fact that they were prepared to stand in the way of Caydrilla’s truck in order to defend Balcombe’s water table and Ardingly reservoir that many other Susex villages draw on for their drinking water.

    To carry out any drilling activities so close to our fresh water supply is vandalism and ecocide as far as I and my network of marine consultants are concerned.

    Yours faithfully,
    Atlanta Cook
    07767 341059


  5. Lucy Duquenoy

    OK, so I just clicked on the link to complain to the IPCC and both the word format & pdf links on the website are ‘unavailable’!


  6. Peter Cook

    The police action was, from the photographs I have seen of Knuckling the faces of people was the kind of treatment given to hardened criminals being arrested in a riot. But what would you expect from policemen that are put into action by an ultra right wing government with vested interests in ‘Fracking’. They have two years left before an election and they need to show how strong they are and at the same time make sure the people in the city get their money. Sorry but this is just stealing from the people and not caring what mess is left behind.



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