The police will clearly be prepared for what is coming to Balcombe this weekend, and of course they say that they are there to facilitate peaceful protest. In reality this means that they are there to keep the protest within the limits of the law. Why? Because protests within the limits of the law are ineffective. That’s why they are allowed. As soon as they start becoming effective, in whatever way, they will become illegal and of course the police will handily be present to step in immediately to crush the resistance by arresting left and right and generally sowing fear.
In cases like this, it’s painfully simple. the people have a choice to keep their actions within the limits of the law and have their say (conveniently ignored by mainstream media) without much further effect, but almost certainly staying safe. Or they have the choice to realise that to be effective means that the law will have to be broken with all the risks that come with it.
The second option is extremely unattractive. And of course it’s meant to be that way. The law is not set up to facilitate the protecting of land, water, air and all that lives on it, but to facilitate the conversion of all that into dead products for profit.
And so we are in a situation where protecting the living world often is a crime, while killing it is legal.
In my mind the protest against fracking is not a single story; it is but one part of the fight against the insanity of how the law works these days. I’m involved in the campaign against salmon farming in west Scotland (www.facebook.com/skyemarineconcern), which is a very similar story if you look at the larger picture: corporations with a chance to make gigantic profits by forever ruining whole biomes. There are countless more examples, and winning one fight will mean nothing: we have to confront and change the whole way this culture is now working, or we will succumb soon enough, along with the rest of life.
This is not a small task. It is the biggest and one of the most dangerous ones of all times. Never has humanity had such a challenge ahead of it.
We have to decide, each for ourselves, if we take up this challenge, and in what way we do it. There are countless ways to do it. The choice is yours.