Aug 12th, 2013
Fracking: can you chip in?
Exploratory drilling has started in the woodlands and fields of Balcombe, West Sussex. But it’s not just Balcombe that’s in danger of fracking. Soon this risky method of extracting oil and gas underground could be rolled out across the British countryside, unless we act fast.
George Osborne, who’s responsible for pushing fracking through, would like to think that this is all sewn up. It’s not. We’re going to fight fracking and win, but it’s local opposition that will be key – not Westminster politicking. Local councils have the power to give planning permission. And it’s local protest that will create the barrier to companies on the ground. But to be effective, groups need resources, and this includes money.
38 Degrees members across the country have pledged to chip in to back the campaign to stop fracking. Tens of thousands of us are ready to swing into action – so now we need the donations. That money will help unlock crucial local fights and victories. From grants for grassroots campaigns to important training and other tools local campaigners need to fight a coordinated campaign.
Here’s what £50,000 would pay for:
1. £30,000 of local grants – this could fund practical things like hiring a room to have a meeting, printing costs, or portaloos and cooking equipment for local protest sites. 
2. £10,000 worth of training – on how to organise effectively, work together as a team, plan a strategic campaign or speak to the media with confidence.
3. £10,000 towards building online tools – to make it easy to email the right county councillor or to build an effective online campaigning presence.
The 38 Degrees office team have been in touch with local groups who’re already taking action across the country. Here’s what Graham from Ribble Estuary Against Fracking said:
“We’re up against a multi-million pound company and we’ve only got a few quid. These local grants would be really helpful and would go a long way. £1000 could pay for hall hire, leaflets and car stickers to help mobilise our local community.”
38 Degrees members have a long track record of coming together across the country to give the people powered push needed to win local fights. In the last month, we won a 38 Degrees member-funded legal battle against Jeremy Hunt and scuppered his plans to close key services at Lewisham Hospital. We don’t all live in Lewisham, but it’s because people from across the country got involved that we were able to defeat the health secretary’s plans. Now, we can mobilise against fracking in the same way.