W. Sussex CC v BCPC

Ello my little Chickidee’s,

So, who wants to know what’s been happening at Balcombe? What, all of you?! OK then, I’ll tell ya…

On Monday 9th Sept some bods telling us they were from West Sussex County Council, but who refused to show any ID, arrived on site and after having a good snoop around decided to place so-called ‘eviction notices’ around the camp, telling us we had to be off by the following day or they would begin proceedings against us. And with that half the camp flew into a panic.

Myself and Prajna, being experienced in such matters, knew that the council would have to go through a whole process before they could evict (as has since been borne out by the high court, but we’ll come to that shortly).

Sadly, try as he might to bring some calm, Prajna was talked over by those convinced that we would be evicted the following day (and/or those who simply wanted to spread panic) during the resulting camp meeting. Suffice to say, though, that Tuesday came and went with no eviction. Unfortunately several campers had already packed and left by then.

What did happen on Tuesday 10th, though, was that I was violently assaulted by a cop. You can view the whole sordid saga here -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-wRRMAKU5g, with thanks to Truth Ferret Films for the invaluable footage!

Following this I took Wednesday off but was feeling fit enough to continue with my lawful right to peaceful protest the following day. I decided to take my usual place in the middle of the road to walk down a delivery into the fracking site. I started ahead of the police line and hobbled my way down on me crutches. It wasn’t long before the police caught up with me and decided to arrest me for being on the crutches they put me on, or, as they called it, ‘obstruction of the highway’. Naturally I have granted them no jurisdiction over me, and only complied with their demands knowing that they would use force on me if I refused.

Seven hours or so later and I was released, bailed to return to Crawly Police Station at 1pm on 3rd Oct. Now, funnily enough, October 3rd just happens to be Prajna and my anniversary, so our question to you now is, how do you fancy celebrating with us at Crawley nick on that day? :)

I will be attending the police station as requested, because I know they will use force against me if I don’t, however I will make it just as clear, as I always do, that they have no authority or jurisdiction over me, and that I am there under duress.

In the meantime Prajna and I are on the hunt for a tattooist to fix our wedding tats… one that will come to the station with us and ink us there. (You may or may not know that just three weeks after getting our wedding tats last year I changed my name from kazz to kali, and this needs to be changed on our tats.) We’ve intended for a long time now that we’d have them changed on our anniversary and see no reason what-so-ever to change that just because the lawless and corrupt State wants our company on that day.

So come to Crawley Police Station on 3rd Oct and help us celebrate two years of harmony and love.

But before I get carried away with all the hearts ‘n’ flowers stuff, I still have to tell you all about the camp’s recent action in the Royal Courts of Justice…

Having been arrested on the Thursday, myself and Prajna were enjoying a little R&R at a local arrestee support safe house. I’d spent most of Friday in bed feeling pretty ill after 3 days of pain-killers and was in a fair bit of pain. I came downstairs late in the afternoon to discover that the Council had issued notices of their intended ‘expedited eviction’ of the camp to be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice the following Monday morning, giving less than 24 hours (working days) notice. So arrestee support, Prajna, myself and a couple of other arrestees who were staying at the safe house along with camp supporters, got to work straight away calling legal eagles to find a way forward… and in around 2 hours we had ourselves a pro-bono barrister… All we needed was a named person for her to represent on the day.

We came back to camp on the Saturday only to discover that after 8 hours of ‘meetings’ (or should I call them ‘brow-beatings’??) the camp had reached a ‘consensus’ to clear off the site and to turn up at the court on Monday only to tell the judge we’d been wasting her time, the councils time, and even our own time… OK, I’m using a little creative licence there, they just wanted to say there was no camp to evict, but it amounts to the same thing.

Now, by this time Prajna had had a chance to take a preliminary look at the notice the camp had been served and had already noted that they had done no welfare checks and had failed to consider our human rights, so we knew that their paper-work was flawed. So, after some considerable discussion, during which we asserted that there was NO consensus (actually every single soul I spoke to told me they were staying) it was decided that some would be staying here to hold the ground whilst others went off to avail themselves of the facilities being offered by a local farmer who’d offered a fully equipped camp site for our use until the end of October.

Next we got together all those planning to challenge the Councils actions in the High Court and began to thrash out our arguments and questions to put to our legal reps. And we found a very brave lady who was willing to put her name forward to be represented by ‘our’ barrister, knowing that if things didn’t go our way she’d be liable for the other sides costs. But as she said herself, when you have nothing you have nothing to loose.

And so off we trundled back to the safe house to prepare our case and to send instructions to our barrister. Poor Prajna spent almost all of Sunday reading through the councils notice, countering their arguments and identifying their mistakes. Eventually though, we had all we needed to send to the barrister… And then our minds turned to transport! And before you know it, arrestee support had organised a mini-bus for us… all we had to do was go to Brighton and collecting… oh, and take it back the next day.

And so we returned to camp. Prajna, being the designated driver then had to head off to Brighton along with a couple of others, to pick up the minibus, but eventually, some time after midnight, he got to have a smoke and unwind.

We were up at 6am the following morning and off to London and the Royal Courts of Justice by 7.30… I’ll spare you the details of traffic and full-up car-parks… Suffice to say we arrived just in time to catch our breath and relax as the 10.30 start came and went.

Dozens of us ushered into the courtroom at around 11am and took seats at the back and along the side. And it wasn’t too long before we got our first big laugh of the day. That came when the Councils Barrister stated that he had not had enough time to prepare for the hearing. Oh, how we laughed! And when the Judge told him she would give him ’10 minutes to get his tackle in order’ we knew we were on a winner.

When the court reconvened ‘our’ barrister (who was the best prepared of them all) was careful to point out that the council had conducted no Human Rights Assessments (and this before a judge who’d made a career in HR law) and no Welfare Checks. Very soon the conversation turned to adjournment and it was decided that the case would be adjourned without a return date; the council could bring their action again any time before the 8th October, but that they would need to have done a complete Human Rights Assessment along with welfare checks for all residents. And if they do not bring the case back to the court they will incur costs (including for the pro-bono barristers, who’s costs will go to the pro-bono fund – thanks again to ‘our’ barrister) for Mondays hearing.

So, a VERY long drive out of London followed by a trip to Brighton and back to return the minibus and at last our work was done and we could relax and celebrate.

And now, here I sit, several days later, in the tech tent at the Balcombe Community Protection Camp, updating the blog. We’ll hold the land here until Cuadrilla move on, and no injunction means we hold the right to return when the actual fracking begins… if of course we haven’t managed to stop fracking across the country before then!

Next stop may well be Manchester (woohooo!), only time will tell.

I will, when I get enough internet time, write a blog about fracking, what it entails and what it’s long and short term results may be.

In the meantime I send love and warm hugs from myself and my beautiful orange Prajna and from all at the Balcombe Community Protection Camp.

Kali. xxxxx

P.S. Please, if you haven’t already, do a little research into the Tavistock Institute and into ‘the delphi technique’ and you will soon discover the importance of ‘consensus’ to those who employ social engineering techniques to guide and shape our activities. You can do worse than research Co-Intel-Pro during the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s also… then you may gain some insight into how various movements are infiltrated in order to be brought down from within. Very appropriate for the times we live in…

Blogging from Balcombe

Dear friends and family,
At long last we have a chance to update the blog… and a lot of updating there is to do! So much has happened since the last entry here, so please bare with me as I rattle through it all.

This particular blog is coming to you from sunny Balcombe, where it is currently raining and where we are presently camped, doing all we can to stop the fracking and poisoning of our water here and across this beautiful island.

But before I tell you all about what’s happening here I have to backtrack to our time in Appleby and the death of my father…

I have to say, that being there for my dad’s death was an immense honour though, naturally it was a very stressful time. We returned to Appleby having spent a week Ilckley, getting the tow-bar on the car re-enforced. I think I told you that my dad had been taken straight back to hospital in Carlisle having spent only a couple of days at home. He was still there when we got back to Appleby and it quickly became obvious that he wouldn’t be returning home again. After a few days (maybe a week?) he was transferred to the community hospital in Penrith and I have to say the staff at Penrith could not have been more caring and supportive, not only of my dad but of the whole family and friends, who visited to say their final farewells.

For most of the time dad was out of it on tranquillisers and painkillers, though one morning, after having been asleep for at least 36 hours, he suddenly woke up, asked to get out of bed, drank tea, ate sweets and chatted about what was happening to him (he was slightly confused by all the medication). After a few hours he told how depressed he was and said he just wanted to fall asleep and not wake up and shortly after that he was back to sedated unconsciousness.

A couple of nights later he died peacefully in his sleep, with Marge, myself and Prajna at his side, easing him through the transition. It was one of the most grounding experiences of my life so far! I was honoured and grateful to be there
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And I was very glad to be there to support Marge too. She’d had months of running up and down to hospital by then, helplessly watching as her husband grew frail and weak. She was so strong throughout the whole ordeal, and by the end just needed to let it all out.

The universe seemed to have the timing of everything under control: one week after my dad passed on, and one day before my eldest niece was due to return to Australia (she had to go back to work a week before the rest of her clan) we had the funeral. Had it been one day later several people who came to the funeral wouldn’t have been able to get there! That’s just one instance out of many demonstrating immaculate timing on the part of the universe, many others escape me just now (sorry!). Oh, wait! I remember one… My sister was desperate to get home from Oz to see our dad before he died, but just didn’t have the funds to get here. But the universe stepped in to help and just in the nick of time the house she’d been trying to sell in Liverpool sold, meaning that the whole family could come for a full month and everyone who loved him got to see my dad before he went. In addition to these perfectly timed synchronicities there was the timing of our arrival in Appleby that I mentioned in my previous blog post.

The funeral was in Liverpool, so a few days after he died, Prajna and I hitched up our caravan and returned to Hooton, near Chester, where the wonderful Mark welcomed us back with open arms!

The day after the funeral we had a very welcome call from Commonly Known As Dom who asked if we would like to steward at The Green Gathering festival in Chepstow the following week. Naturally we leapt at the chance. So having said farewell to my dad, to my sister, brother-in-law and nieces, we headed off to Wales and the Green Gathering. We had the most amazing time there, met up with friends old and new and recharged our souls. Whilst there we heard about the anti-fracking camp here in Balcombe and decided we needed to get ourselves here as soon as we could.

Before we could get here though, we had a few other things to take care of: First we had to head north to Bishops Castle, near Shewsbury, where we delivered some medicine (cannabis oil) to a friend with cancer. Massive thanks to Dean, who supplied the medicine and much, much love to Rachael and her family!

From there we headed down to Essex to steward at the One Love festival, with a couple of stops along the way.

We stopped first at Hereford to visit some friends at a community we spent some time with a couple of years ago. And here I have to get very, very cross with Guy Taylor, who ‘owns’ the site in question. When we lived with that community, Guy asked if we would stand guard at a demolition site (also owned by him) where we spend our days cleaning up the salvaged bricks for sale, and our nights guarding the site. Once the job was done we returned to the community only to be asked by Guy to go back to the brick site, as he hadn’t yet sold all the bricks. He told us he’d come to the site the following morning with £60 for us, and that he would ‘weight us in properly’ once the bricks were sold. Suffice to say he was not as good as his word, but we lost no sleep over that. Money means very little to myself and Prajna, and we were happy to be of service either way. However, on our visit to the community we were informed by Guy’s son that Guy wanted to charge us for plugging in, despite the FACT that Guy himself does not pay for electricity on that site, claiming that the electric company actually owes him money there. Also we were informed that there would also be charges for ground rent. We gave Guy a call, imagining that he hadn’t realised it was us who’d pitched up there, and as soon as he did he’d have a change of attitude. Oh how deluded we were! Next thing we knew we were being threatened with physical violence (via his bully boys) if we didn’t leave. How very, very cheeky Mr Taylor! Just you wait till I see you next!!!

On a much more cheerful note, from there we headed to Tring where, at long last, I got to introduce Prajna to two of my favourite people on the planet, Chug and Lynda. We spend a very relaxed and enjoyable few days with them and their daughter, and as I’d predicted, love and friendship blossomed as Prajna, Chug and Lynda got to know each other.

Our next stop was at the One love festival where we had an absolute ball, giving out free hugs, getting fully acquainted, falling in love with the Steward HQ crew and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere.

From there it was less than 50 miles to Balcombe in Sussex, and the anti-frack camp. And here we are! There’s a wonderful community growing here; folk from all walks of life sharing a common goal, to stop the fracturing of this beautiful planet, the only one we have to call home, and stop the poisoning of the water on which all lad-dwelling life depends.

We’re a very diverse and creative bunch here and some of the direct action taken by individuals have been amazing! From a local guy who locked himself on top of a wagon exiting the fracking site and tying up police resources for hours; a local lady locking herself onto the main gate, right under the noses of the police; a guy who set up a huge tripod in the middle of the road and climbed on top, once again, tying the police up for hours.

Naturally, the police are never best pleased when these direct actions take place and start getting heavy handed with the campers here.

There have been plenty of arrests since we’ve been here (up to 7 or 8 a day) , all petty and of little consequence except to the mainstream media who use arrest numbers to suggest we’re a bunch of lawless thugs (go figure). But, with experience, people are learning not to accept the ridiculous police bail conditions imposed (don’t cross the road) which are invariably revoked by magistrates and which are nothing more than power trips on the part of the police.

That said, most of the police here are pretty chilled out, particularly the protest liaison officers, who are on the whole very approachable, reasonable and intelligent. Prajna and I are spending many, many hours in conversation with the cops, discussing various pertinent issues surrounding fracking, the nature of policing, governance, legitimacy of this government, fracking licences, what it is to live a real life outside of the bounds of ‘legal fictions’, etc, etc. Two or three of the police are beginning to consider the relevance of their arguments their position and their way of life. Two/three down, 50+ to go! 😉

We’ve been here for almost three weeks now and counting. Although Cuadrilla have stated that they will not be seeking to extend their drilling licence here, we are aware that once Cuadrilla move out it will only be a matter of time before some fracking corporation moves in to pollute the water and fracture the bedrock. We (that is the community here) will not be fooled and will not move on until our work here is done… and then we move on to the next site.

In the meantime we send you all our love and best wishes and hope to see you here in this most beautiful part of the country very soon! Join Us!!

Much love,
Kali and Prajna. xxxx