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.
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.
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.
The camp with Kingsnorth in the background
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.
Grey water system. Straw bales filter used washing up water before it is drained back into the ground
The eco-wash area (bucket and water)
Elly and Sarah on cooking duty for 100 people
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.
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.