We are striving to create a beautiful space that will be empowering to all who want to seek solutions and take action on the social, economic, and climate crises. All should feel able to participate regardless of age, disability, or previous activist experience.
- Scroll further down the page for more information about the camp.
- Take a look at the full programme of events for a breakdown of what’s happening over the weekend.
- If you’ve still got questions, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section.
- Or you can also follow the latest developments on Facebook and Twitter.
For legal advice please call Green Black Cross on 07946 541511
Many individuals are currently hard at work to ensure that on Friday 16th August, a field in West Sussex will be transformed into safe and accessible temporary community where all can meet likeminded people, discuss the issues, and prepare for action. Once there, it will be up to everyone who attends to get stuck in and help sustain the camp; you don’t need to bring any skills, just bring your energy and enthusiasm!
At the camp daily morning meetings will be held where important information will be shared and any necessary decisions taken. All camp meetings will run through an open, inclusive, and participatory process known as consensus decision making; this seeks to ensure all voices our heard and everyone is happy with the outcomes.
A range of resources for participants to both make use of and contribute towards will be available:
- The Welcome Tent: providing you with a smile, camp booklet, and the knowledge of where to go. The welcome tent will also be the go-to point for any queries that may pop up.
- Kitchens: preparing delicious and energising vegan meals throughout the camp’s duration. You don’t need to bring your own food; just come ready to chop some vegetables and wash up!
- The Kids’ Space: activities and adventures to ensure our youngest participants are able to make the most of their time at the camp (and so are their parents or carers).
- Legal Support: on hand to offer legal advice prior to the action, arrest support during the action, and also to ensure all police activity is comprehensively monitored.
- Wellbeing: providing a space to go for all who feel they require some time-out from the sometimes hectic nature of an action camp.
- Tranquillity: dealing with any conflicts that may arise across the site and supporting everyone in sticking to the safer spaces policy.
- Medics: providing first aid if required.
The camp aims to be accessible to all, but if you have any particular questions relating to accessibility then please do contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Things to bring: tent, sleeping bag, warm clothes, toothbrush/paste, loo roll, sunblock, waterproofs, a torch, and a desire to change the world.
Things not to bring: food (no need), dogs (except from support dogs which are more than welcome), knives (unwise), alcohol and the belief that nothing can change.
Accessibility and your needs: We aim to make the camp fully accessible. If you use a battery-powered wheelchair or mobility scooter, send us a quick email to tell us what Amp Hour rating it is and how many times a day you will want to charge it. We are constructing some bed bases out of straw bales and wooden frames, so if you would really appreciate a raised sleeping space, let us know.
One of the most exciting things about Reclaim the Power is the diverse range of groups and individuals we know to be coming. This provides a fantastic opportunity for the sharing of experience to enable us to join to dots between social, environmental, and economic injustice. Our popular education programme will take place on Saturday 17th August. It will see an extensive range of workshops leading into a whole-camp evening gathering to synthesise the day’s learning. The workshops will cover a full range of interrelated subjects; Extreme Energy, The Cuts, Privilege, and Just Transition are just a small sample from our programme.
We already know groups such as UK Uncut, Platform, the UK Tar Sands Network, Disabled People Against the Cuts, Occupy, Greater London Pensioners Association, Public and Commercial Services Union and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association Union will be contributing to this day; more groups will be announced in the coming weeks via our Twitter and Facebook page.
In addition to issue-based workshops, there will also be a range of practical workshops. These will include consensus decision making, digital campaigning, media messaging, building a protest camp, and direct action.
Of course, it’s not all super serious; the evenings (except the night before the action) will see broad range of music, comedy, and opportunities to let your hair down and dance! Acts will be announced in the coming weeks.
NOTE: The full programme of events is now complete and you can view it on our site here.
Sunday 18th August will see the Camp prepare for mass action on the Monday; a full range of legal and practical support will be on hand to help people make decisions, find buddies, and train for whichever role they decide to take.
There will be a part to play for everyone, whether you wish to take direct action or take on one of many supporting responsibilities.
At present, action preparations are still taking shape. However, it promises to challenge the dangerous new dash for gas and the wider culture of corporate power.
Getting to the camp
Balcombe is located 35mi south of Central London. It is a 40 minute train ride from London Bridge Station
We will endeavour to provide a free bus to and from the camp throughout the 16th-21st August between London and Brighton. Look for updates on Facebook and Twitter for detailed info.
What about parking?
For obvious reasons, we encourage anyone planning to come to Reclaim the Power not to drive but to take the train to Balcombe station. We will be arranging a shuttle bus service from London and Brighton to limit vehicle use. There will be several larger vehicles needed to deliver and collect infrastructure (tents, food and whatnot) they may cause a bit of disruption on the first and last days of the camp but we’ll do our best to keep it to a minimum out of respect to locals and the environment.
Are there toilets and what happens to the human waste?
We will use lovely compost toilets, separate ones for poos and wees. The waste produced will be taken to farms where it can be used for manure after the camp.
Is this just an excuse of a big piss up?
No. The people who have organised and will be attending Reclaim the Power care passionately about taking action on the social, economic, and climate crises. Our reason for coming is to stand in solidarity with the community of Balcombe and the surrounding area and stop the fracking of our countryside. Out of respect to the community, we will therefore actively discourage alcohol on site.
How do you manage bad behaviour on site?
We have a Safer Spaces policy which outlines how we expect everyone on site to behave, this will be displayed all over the site and it is our collective responsibility to ensure it is respected. We also have a Tranquility Team who take on the role of maintaining, you guessed it, tranquility and diffusing disruptive incidents.
Is this really the kind of thing families can go along to?
Yes indeed. We will have a Kids Space where kids can get involved in games and creative activities, we will cater for kids with early dinner times and snacks during the day. It’s their future after all.
I live locally, what do I do if I want to register a complaint or concern?
We are committed to working with local residents and having open channels of communication. There will be a public meeting before the camp arrives (Friday 9th Aug) where residents can voice questions and concerns (which we will listen and respond to!). We are constantly liaising with activists at the existing blockade and camp. During the camp, there will be a Welcome Phone Number which can contacted at any time to raise concerns, questions or provide feedback / feed-in to actions and decisions (contact details can be found at the website and at Welcome Tent on site).
Is its going to be really noisy?
There will be programme of live entertainment which everyone is invited to come along and enjoy including bands, DJs and poetry. However we are aware the locals and campers need their sleep so we plan to powered down at the following times:
- 11pm on Friday 16th August
- 12pm on Saturday 17th August
- 9pm on Sunday 18th August
- 9pm on Monday 19th August
- 1am on Tuesday 20th August
There will be no amplified music on Wednesday 21st August.
Will the camp leave a hideous mess behind it?
Fear not, we will spend all day on Wednesday 21st August cleaning up after ourselves – packing up, litter sweeps, the works. Waste will be taken away to be recycled or composted. And we will generally try to restore the field to its pre-camp state.
I’m not sure of all this, can I wander down and take a look at what you’re up to?
Yes! We’re not scary or smelly really. In fact, we are striving to create a beautiful space that will be empowering to all who want to seek solutions the social, economic, and climate crises. All should feel able to participate regardless of age, disability, or previous activist experience. If you want to get involved or if your just intrigued we’d love to have you pay us a visit. Call in at the Welcome Tent when you arrive and we will make sure you get a warm welcome.
What can I actually do while I’m there?
The first port of call is the Welcome Tent where you can pick up a Camp Handbook listing all the amazing workshops, talks and entertainment we have lined up. You can sample some of this fun-packed programme, take a site tour or wander around under your own steam. The beauty of the camp is that you can turn up and get as involved as you like, you may what to help keep everyone healthy and happy by cooking a meal (or washing up!), take part in an action to disrupt Cuadrilla, or simply chat to the people you meet. NOTE: You can now see the full weekend programme here.
How many people are you expecting?
On previous action camps that have focused on climate, there have been anything between a few hundred to several thousands of people present and taking action. Due to Balcombe’s proximity to London, we expect that we could have thousands of people pass through the camp on day visits. We anticipate about 500 people actually camping over the weekend.
What kind of action are you planning?
We will be embracing a diversity of tactics and particularly those already used by Balcombe residents to oppose fracking. The action we had planned for West Burton was accessible and child-friendly. We hope for the same in Balcombe. There are also likely to be autonomous group of people taking action under their own steam. We will be supporting those who have never taken direct action or engaged in civil disobedience to do so. Whatever we do, we will have health and safety, and dignity and respect at the heart of what we do.
Are you planning to break the law?
We cannot reveal any plans but let’s remember who is breaking the law here. If the Government continue to support a dash for gas and fossil fuel extraction in the UK then we will be breaking our own Climate Change Act of 2008 as well as international treaties on reducing carbon emissions. The Government’s own advisors – the Committee on Climate Change – have said we might as well tear up climate change legislation if we embark on the dash for gas. Also, let’s remember that Cuadrilla have no social license to operate in Balcombe or any of the communities they are hell bent on fracking. Over 90% of the community in Balcombe want them out. 45 local community groups have sprung up around the country in resistance to fracking. The public rejects fracking. Fracking and fossil fuels are deeply unpopular. They’re unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary.