Reclaim the Power moves to Balcombe to stop fracking

Reclaim the Power will be a protest camp from 16 – 21 August 2013. It will feature two days of workshops, discussions and training, and two days of action.

UPDATE: Reclaim the Power will now take place near Balcombe, West Sussex, where local residents and activists are opposing Cuadrilla’s exploratory drilling. Read more about the last minute move here.

Why we must all Reclaim the Power this summer

It may be on the other side of the world, but it has everything to do with tar sands.

Exploiting the tar sands makes sense only in a future of increased reliance on fossil fuels.

We have seen that extracting tar sands is in line with a six degree global temperature rise. If we continue to rely on fossil fuels it will lead us pretty definitely to catastrophic climate change.

Enter gas, the supposedly ‘clean’ fossil fuel. In December last year, the UK Government announced plans to approve the building of 30 new gas-fired power stations. This ‘dash for gas’ would increase the UK’s reliance on gas, drive up fuel bills and provide more power and profits to the biggest fossil fuel companies. Supposedly, because gas is a less greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuel than coal, it can usefully fill the ‘gap’ before we can transition to renewables. But this gap is an illusion. This foolish policy sits along side other sleights of hand such as increasing our reliance on industrial scale biofuels, which despite falling under the ‘renewable energy’ umbrella are leading to land grabs, food price spikes and increased carbon emissions.

Another future is possible, but it won’t create itself.

It shouldn’t be a choice between coal or gas, between tar sands or biofuels, . The so called “best case scenarios” that governments are now offering us will not stop climate change. But real change is possible. As we showed last week, we could use currently available renewable technologies and produce enough power for everyone in the world to have a comfortable standard of living. Thought that was impossible? Exactly, that’s what they want you to think.

We can’t trust energy companies or politicians.

Companies extracting tar sands, exploring the Arctic, developing fracking technologies and blasting tops off mountains to find coal have remarkable access to politicians, to lobby them for weaker environmental legislation, lower taxes and access to new fossil fuel reserves. Politicians line up to grant their wishes like there’s no tomorrow.

The few well-meaning politicians that do understand the urgency of climate change have little political clout unless they can show that significant areas of civil society that are demanding, and creating, real change.

We can’t sit back and wait, or ask nicely for a better future to come about. We need to take action.

We must work together.

As people across North America fighting tar sands have seen recently, people all over the continent are engaged in one big struggle, not lots of little ones – whether they’re on the pipeline route, at the refining port or at ground zero of tar sands extraction. Similarly, in the UK, climate change will affect people through rising fuel prices, local energy extraction impacts, particularly fracking, and extreme weather patterns. We can’t fall victim to divide and conquer strategies. We can’t afford to be picky about whether we fight the cuts, fracking, fuel poverty, tar sands, aviation, roads or biofuels. And we can’t be narrow in our choice of allies.

Reclaim the Power will continue years of excellent work to join the dots between different battles. Underlying the whole camp is a commitment to make sure that people from different parts of the movement are coming together and talking to each other. There will be an expansive programme of workshops on topics from how to build a successful digital campaign, to addressing privilege in the movement. Those present will range from pensioners resisting fuel poverty in the UK to communities on the front line of fracking exploration.

You don’t have to be in the UK to Reclaim the Power.

The UK is by no means the only place to take action on climate change this summer.’s ‘Global Power Shift’ event in Istanbul has energised youth climate activists around the world, who are going back to their communities to plan more action on climate change. On 24th August Indigenous communities in Alberta have planned to blockade highway 63 leading to the tar sands. Protests continue in the US as the Keystone XL pipeline reaches its final judgement day. Something is bound to be happening near you.

Wherever you live you can still send your message of support to everyone at Reclaim the Power – email [email protected]

So you want to come along?

Updated info: People will be assembling at Balcombe train station (40 mins from London) at 1pm on Friday 16th. The camp location will be announced shortly after and people will move to the camp en masse. Coaches will be organised from many major cities. To receive updated info, sign up here.



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