Anti-Fracking Protesters Cleared By Police
Police have been forcibly clearing protesters from a road outside a potential site for fracking in Balcombe, West Sussex.
Activists are taking part in a six-day Reclaim The Power demonstration after Cuadrilla began carrying out exploratory drilling at the site.
Hundreds of people have staged noisy protests in the face of a police presence of more than 400 officers.
Campaigners have submitted a formal complaint about the "violent" arrest of one protester, claiming he was detained by an officer without any identifying number.
Police said that 29 people had been arrested at Balcombe for public order offences, including Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.
They were held after Sussex Police served a notice under section 14 of the Public Order Act, believing the crowd might cause public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community.
Shouts of "shame on you" and "no violence" erupted from the crowd as police tried to move the protesters back to the main gate of the site.
Demonstrators chanted: "We are peaceful, what are you?"
The No Dash For Gas group said that the "excessive force" used on one man was caught on camera and is demanding the police officer be suspended.
It claims: "He was violently arrested, wrestled to the floor, his head pushed into the ground by an officer's hands and knees, whilst the officer in question was not wearing epaulettes with an ID number."
Sussex Police said it was looking into the video and that the officer's epaulette may have fallen or been pulled off.
Vanessa Vine, founder of Frack Free Sussex and Britain and Ireland Frack Free, said the police presence was disproportionately heavy and added that Reclaim The Power were "not nasty, violent people" but "altruistic people who are challenging what the Government is doing".
Earlier, Sussex Police said on Twitter: "We would like to reiterate that protesters aren't being kettled and are free to leave the site as they wish."
Cuadrilla condemned the "illegal direct actions" against its staff and operations.
Campaigners opposing the controversial process of extracting shale gas blockaded the firm's headquarters while others superglued themselves to the building occupied by a PR firm used by the energy company.
The action at Cuadrilla in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and at PR company Bell Pottinger in central London comes on the first of two days of "mass civil disobedience" which campaigners have pledged to carry out.
In a statement, Cuadrilla said: "Protesters broke into our Lichfield office, harassed our staff and chained themselves to filing cabinets.
"The police are on site dealing with this. We condemn all illegal direct actions against our people and operations."
The firm insisted that the morale of its staff at various sites is "fine", and they and the teams supporting the company are "doing a magnificent job".
"They know that what we are doing is legal, approved and safe, and that shale gas is essential to improve our energy security, heat our homes, and create jobs and growth," the firm said.
"Cuadrilla is rightly held accountable for complying with multiple planning and environmental permits and conditions, which we have met and will continue to meet.
"Clearly we are held to one set of legally enforceable standards while some protesters believe that they can set out and follow their own."
Campaign group No Dash For Gas said six protesters superglued themselves to the glass door of Bell Pottinger at 8am and deployed reinforced arm tubes to stop anyone else getting inside.
Meanwhile, it said 20 protesters shut down the Cuadrilla site in Lichfield by blockading it with their bodies. It said two people inside the building had also hung banners from it saying: "Reclaim the power" and "Power to the people".
A group of around 20 protesters also demonstrated outside the constituency office of Balcombe MP and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
Activists also targeted the home of former Tory minister and George Osborne's father-in-law Lord Howell, who drew criticism recently when he said†fracking should take place in England's "desolate" North.
The group erected an estate agent's sign outside the Peer's house reading 'For Shale - Desolate Properties Ltd'.