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Sussex Police Arrest Balcombe Oil Drill Protesters

26 Jul

from BBC News balcombe

England—Up to 10 arrests were made and the main gate has been cleared at the site near Balcombe, West Sussex.

Cuadrilla has been given permission to drill a 3,000ft (914m) well and 2,500ft (762m) horizontal bore.

Campaigners fear the firm could also carry out hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Cuadrilla said any further activity would need fresh permission.

About 75 police officers were involved in the operation to make arrests on Friday, BBC reporter Mark Sanders said.

The blockade started on Thursday with about 100 protesters at the site.

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Documentary Film Review: ‘Grasp The Nettle’

19 Jun

by Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian

Simon_Cop_arrest_2_460Two years before the Occupy movement sprang forth in New York and London, a motley group of land rights activists occupied a piece of disused land in west London to create an alternative model of moneyless, sustainable living. Little did they know they were about to embark on an extraordinary journey, at once harrowing and inspiring, that would take them into the heart of Westminster.

Dean Puckett‘s new documentary, Grasp the Nettle, follows the bewildering and even amusing exploits of this group over a one year and three month period. The result is a powerful film which raises often unsettling questions – not just about the draconian trajectory of state policy, but about the potential pitfalls of activism.

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Climate Activists Join Anti-Capitalists in Canary Wharf’s Biggest Protest

17 Jun

Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

by Kara Moses / The Guardian

An estimated 200 people occupied Canary Wharf to protest against public spending cuts and lack of action against climate change.

One of London‘s key financial districts saw its biggest ever protest on Friday as an estimated 200 people occupied Canary Wharf to protest against public spending cuts and lack of action against climate change.

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Britain Tries (Again) to Re-Introduce Extinct Bees

4 Jun

by John R. Platt / Scientific American

Short-haired bee. Photo by Nikki Gammans, courtesy RSPB

Short-haired bee. Photo by Nikki Gammans, courtesy RSPB

Long live the queens. A species of bumblebee that went extinct in its native Britain decades ago now has a second chance, as several short-haired bumblebees (Bombus subterraneus) were released June 3 in a restored habitat on the southeastern corner of England. This is the third phase in a multi-step effort to both bring back the species and teach the public about the value of the U.K.’s declining bees, some species of which have decreased by 80 percent or more in recent years.

Short-haired bumblebees, like many other British bee species, started losing habitat after World War II. Massive increases in industrial agriculture during the 1950s and ’60s wiped out 97 percent of England’s wildflowers, which the bees depended on. Increased pesticide use also took a deadly toll. Short-haired bumblebees were last seen in the U.K. in 1988 and were declared extinct in 2000. Most of the U.K.’s other bee species suffered great losses at this time as well. Continue reading