Archive for the ‘Climate Camp 2008’ Category

Police Presence

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Cops on Site!

The police presence around the site was oppressive. Over 3 million pounds was spent on policing the camp. With officers shipped in from London and as far as Yorkshire. With constant searches, vans of riot police outside the gates, and helicopters over head, it was hard to forget that we had been deemed a “criminal element”. Climate camp is built on non-violent beliefs. Although campers may break the law in order to make their voices heard, it is always done in a non-violent fashion, and with respect for local people and their environment. Our everyday lives at the camp consisted of cooking, learning, building, and having fun, hardly justification for the 3 million spent on watching our every move.

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 The camp has a police liason team. But conversations broke down quickly with both sides refusing to accept the terms offered by the other. At the camp last year at heathrow, police were allowed on site every hour and were shown around the camp. This year Police refused this, demanding greater access to the camp, and because this was found unacceptable, the police therefore had no access at all.

The police used a number of tactics to try to gain control over the camp. One of these was their early morning wake up calls. At 5.30am almost everyday, vans of riot police would begin to arrive at the main gates of the camp, and look like there were going to try to storm the camp, there would be a call out and campers woken up to help the defend the gate. We would appear bleary eyed, in pyjamas and sandals to protect the camp from rows of riot police kitted out with helmets, shields and batons. There was a team of police that used the opportunity to take our pictures, one after the next along the line. And then they would withdraw. It was believed to be a tactic to wear us down, interrupt the running of camp, and get our faces on film.

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The were a number of arrests during the week and on the day of action. Some arrestees were handled violently recieving kicks, punches, and even pepper spray in the eyes on arrest. There were police reports of finding knife stashes in nearby woods, and this was used to justify their treatment of the campers. However, as had been the case last year, the violent criminal element the police so fondly used to justify their presence at the camp, failed to materialize.

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Climate Camp – The week

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Unfortunately due the nature of the camp, there was very little time or energy to write the blog during the week. But here is the summary. This post explores the week, how the camp was set up and the problems and successes of the week. The next post will focus on the day of Action and what we all go up to.

The Week

Climate Camp began with a protest march from Rochester to the power station at Kingsnorth, a journey of 6 miles, through town and countryside. There were about 250 protestors in all, and we finally joined up with the caravan, whose journey had begun in London. The protest took us through villages, where we were recieved with curiosity, and mostly positive comments.

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As we arrived at the camp the police presence was already strong. Almost everyone coming into the camp was being searched, sometimes 2 or three times within the space of 200 metres! These searches were to become more and more thorough as the week went on. Police were confiscating anything that could be seen to possibly be used “to cause criminal damage” they took the obvious stuff such as knives and bicycle locks…but then the fun began with officers confiscating crayons, board games and essential kitchen items.

Finally entering the camp, felt like coming home.

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The camp with Kingsnorth in the background

Living sustainably 

The camp was set up on a uncultivated field. 3 days in there were already marquees, compost loos, a welcoming tent, kitchens and washing facilities set up. As the week went on the camp became a fully functioning community, with food for over 1000, santitation and washing facilities, bicycle powered cinemas, bicycle lending, a bakery, computer facilities, phone charging, grey water systems and much more all in a squatted field.

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Grey water system. Straw bales filter used washing up water before it is drained back into the ground

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The eco-wash area (bucket and water)

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Elly and Sarah on cooking duty for 100 people

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Compost loos. Liquids went on strawbales (urine works as a compost activator, so the straw breaks down quickly) and solids in wheelie bins with a handful of sawdust (no smells I promise). Last years bins and bales were composted by local growers and fed to fruit bushes.

The workshops

During the week there were a huge variety of over 200 workshops on offer, looking at everything from climate science to practical tips such as how to make a rocket stove and how to maintain your bicycle. There were talks from people such as George Monbiot and Arthur Scargill. There were also workshops on Direct Action, how to carry it out safely, calmly and practical tips for making it a success. There was an indepth workshop looking at sailing the high seas! With information about how to stay safe, tides, and what to do if you go into trouble.

The practical ways the camp ran and the range of workshops was an inspiring working demonstration of how we can live more sustainably and in cooperation with others.

  

Climate Caravan

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Climate Caravan

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The climate caravan is a mix of strange bicycles, banners,  and colorful people all slowly making their way from Heathrow (venue for last years climate camp) to Kingsnorth where it will arrive on Sunday having travelled 60 miles. They are stopping off at various venues on the way to let people know about the camp and holding film evenings and talks.

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SLACC member Sonny (shown here) has been there since the beginning.

Yesterday the theme of the day was Climate and Capitalism. And central london became the perfect venue for drawing attention to some corporate climate criminals. There were fleeing penguins and polar bears, and climate refugees fleeing in boats. The procession held up the traffic over london bridge for over and hour, before making its way into into the City of London.

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The caravan headed for the global investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs, where a long speech was made through the bike sound system about the sort of ‘investments’ Goldman Sachs are involved in, and how this relates to Climate Change and its effects on communities and the environment. It was also pointed out that Goldman Sachs had already been targeted before by the Justice For Cleaners campaign, for their low standards of employment conditions for the City’s army of invisible cleaners.

The Caravan then moved to St Paul’s Cathedral where it stopped for a couple of hours for lunch. A photo exhibition was set up, whilst the bike sound system kept playing chill tunes for the participants, as well as for the many tourists that approached it to find out what was all that about.

The Caravan then set off for the meeting point at Liverpool Street station, where it was joined by some more people waiting there. It then moved to the nearby headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, where bags full of pennies where thrown at the main entrances to symbolize the corporation’s investments in Climate Chaos.

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Thanks to Indymedia.org.uk for the write up and Kristian Buus for the photos of the day

Climate Camp Site revealed

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Climate Camp Site Revealed 

Activists take site for the Camp for Climate Action and reveal location

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 100 people entered and secured an uncultivated field at Deansgate Ridge at 3.00pm yesterday, only 1 km from Kingsnorth Power Station. They erected and climbed tripods to prevent police from moving them and have erected a marquee alongside a banner which reads ‘No New Coal’. Although the climate camp activists have been upfront and open about most aspects of their plans, the location of the camp had not been revealed until today in order to prevent E.ON and the police from attempting to stop it from happening. The uncultivated field is on a road that runs between Hoo St Werburgh and High Halstow. The Camp for Climate Action intends to return the field in two weeks in as good, if not better, condition than it was found.

Around 20 sheep were in the field when it was occupied. They have been rounded up and are being taken care of with food and water.

The camp, which is due to officially start on Sunday, 3 August, is expected to attract thousands of people coming from all over the UK. The week long camp hosts hundreds of workshops on sustainable living and the politics of climate change. The camp will culminate on Saturday 9 August in a mass direct action to shut down Kingsnorth power station on protest over E.ON’s plans to build the first new coal-fired power station in the UK for 33 years.

“We want to warmly invite people from the local community to come down and see for themselves what the camp is all about,” said Terry Graves, who has already pitched his tent up in the field.

“E.ON and the government believe that you can have endless fossil-fuelled economic growth in a world of finite resources,” said Christina Greensford, who helped to secure the camp. “People from all over the UK are here to create a democratic, low-carbon society in which our long term future on this planet is prioritised over the short term profit margins of the fossil fuel industry.”

“We have a future to protect, and today, in setting up the climate camp, we’ve drawn a line in the sand at Kingsnorth.” said Hannah Abbots. “We will not allow companies like E.ON drag us over the edge of climate catastrophe.”

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Thanks to Climate Camp website for the words and pics

Banner Making

Monday, July 28th, 2008

We have been busy preparing our banners….

A whole lot of drawing, cutting, spraying and sewing later….

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Watch out for them in the press!

Climate camp – What’s it all about?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

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Welcome to the first post of this the climate camp blog. With four South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) members attending, this blog will be the eyes and ears of climate camp, we hope to let you know what’s going on, the atmosphere in the camp and answer any questions you might have. We will have to borrow the camps laptops, which are run from wind and solar power to write the blog so it maybe sporadic!

What’s it all about?

The Camp for Climate Action  (www.climatecamp.org.uk) is a chance for thousands of people to come together and share ideas and skills in living sustainably, whilst making our voices heard regarding the damaging effects of climate change, and to be more specific drawing attention to the issues, companies, and organisations doing the most damage.   

Last year’s camp was at Heathrow, and looked in particular at plans to build a third runway. During the week there were over 100 workshops looking at a wide range of subjects from climate science to practical workshops in how to live more sustainably. The camp is great example of how we can live more lightly, the electrics were run from renewable energy, we used compost toilets and grey water systems, and when the camp was over the site was left as it had been found. 

The camp culminates in a day of action. Last year the action targeted the offices of BAA and the camp managed to shut it down for over 24 hours.

Where will it be and why? 

Kingsnorth power station in Kent has been chosen as the location of this year’s Camp for Climate Action not only because it emits 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, but also because owners E.ON are
proposing to build, on the same site, the first new coal-fired power station in the UK since 1974. In October John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), will decide if the new power station is to be built, a decision that is likely to pave the way for at least six other coal-fired power stations: Longannet,
Cockenzie, Tilbury, Fiddler’s Ferry, Ferrybridge and Blyth. See:
www.peopleandplanet.org/dl/kingsnorth_briefing_June_08.pdfClimate

Climate change is very real and it is happening now, we have to radically change the way we use and produce energy if we are to have any chance of slowing or stopping the change. Building a new generation of coal fired power station will push us over the limit. Check out the link below for more reasons to say no to coal.

http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/node/4

This years camp will be similar to the last with a week of workshops and demonstrations and a day of action in which demonstrators, via sea, land and air will attempt to shut down the power station. 

This blog will show you what it all looks like as it unfolds….

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Climate Camp 2008

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

This blog will contain a day by day account of this year’s climate camp by SLACC Secretary Kate Sykes.  Catch up with the politics, latest actions, workshops and news here!