Posts Tagged ‘G20’

Camp in the City Shuts Down Climate Exchange

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Thousands of people ‘swooped’ into the heart of london on Wednesday 1st April at precisely 12:30pm to shut down the European Climate Exchange and to hold a 24hr ‘climate camp in the city’.  

Among them were a group of four Cumbrians and two Lancastrians who travelled together to support the action and to add their own voice to the growing multitude opposed to the market driven farce of carbon trading.

 Bishopsgate St - a typically busy street in the heart of the financial districtBishopsgateBefore

Bishpsgate – a typical busy street in the heart of London’s financial district.  The Climate Exchange is the second building on the right.


The same scene shortly after 12:30pm after thousands descended to shut down the Climate Exchange.

The Camp was located outside the European Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate, to protest against the G20′s plans to use deeply flawed carbon trading mechanisms to tackle climate change.   Within minutes of 12:30 the whole street was packed with thousands of people; tents popped up in the middle of the street, banners were put up and the street blockaded with bicycles. 

Camp in the City

camp in the city 2

Throughout the day a programme of workshops was conducted on issues such as carbon trading, COP15, the history of social movements and climate change poetry.  Pedal-powered sound systems and live bands provided entertainment, a kitchen provided hundreds of meals and a farmers market gave away organic vegetables. 


The atmoshere was peaceful and happy and we were joined by many office workers who came out of their offices to take part, or simply watched from their office windows.  It was a great feeling to be surrounded by so many like minded people and you couldn’t help but start to feel strongly that together, we can change things.

As evening fell the mood became more festive as live music sprang up all across the street and people started dancing.

It was at this point, around 7pm, that the police decided to get violent and a large group of riot police in balaclavas violently forced their way into the camp.  They were met by peaceful campers who put their hands in the air shouting ‘this is not a riot’ and refusing to move.  In response the police used batons and shields and several campers were injured.  The situation remained tense for approx 30 mins before things began to settle down.  The police had forced their way down half the street before being stopped by people lying on the street in their way.

police incursion 1

Despite the police violence and intimidation the camp atmosphere quickly returned to festivity as a ceilidh was held at the north end of the street.  At the southern end of the street however police aggression continued throught the night as they repeatedly used batons, shields and boots on peaceful protestors.  This was the worst police violence I have ever witnessed, and it now seems standard police practice to meet peaceful direct action protest in this manner.  Shame on them.

evening 1

evening 1

The camp remained festive during the evening though at the southern end of the street things remained tense all night as police used sporadic acts of violence on peaceful protestors.

police violence

Eventually, at around 1am, after hours of extreme action by the police the camp was forcibly dispersed, which was a horrible thing to witness.  Despite the end the whole day was amazing and a fantastic thing to be part of, and most importantly the message from the climate camp remains upbeat:

We were there to expose carbon trading as a financial fraud which has nothing to do with climate change. Our success in turning Bishopsgate into an eco-camp has clearly rattled the authorities, who once again have used unnecessary force against us.

We will not be deterred, however. Climate change is the most urgent issue in the world, and our movement is growing stronger all of the time.

See and get involved!

Climate Camp hits the City of London on April Fools Day, the eve of the G20 leaders’ London Summit. Join us!

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Practicalities | Resources | Why? | Callout Translations  

Climate camp 2009 /// Stopping carbon markets /// Because nature doesn’t do bailouts.

First the city traders speculated with our homes, jobs and money – with disastrous results. Now they are speculating with our climate and the very future of life on earth – and once again our governments are cheering them on.

By creating a brain-bending system of carbon pollution licenses, fossil fuel companies and trading firms have found a way to keep on churning out global warming gases and to reap huge windfall profits at the same time. Meanwhile, the UK government is justifying a third runway at Heathrow and a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth by saying that these new “carbon trading” schemes will magically make all their emissions vanish.

They are handing control of our climate over to the same people and systems that caused the financial collapse. All the workable and fair alternatives aren’t getting a look-in

We need to stop this foolishness.

We’ve camped against the Heathrow runway, we’ve camped against the Kingsnorth coal power station. Now its time to camp against the over-arching problem: absolute faith in unfettered markets and endless economic growth. On April 1st the G20 leaders arrive in London. At a time of climate crisis their response to the market meltdown is emergency loans to car manufacturers, increased spending to encourage consumption, and bailouts for the very people who got us into this mess – just the thing that will make the climate crisis worse.

Don’t let them get away with it: join our camp in the Square Mile! Gather at noon, April 1st, at the European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW. Check the website for more precise details closer to the event. Bring a pop-up tent if you’ve got one, sleeping bag, wind turbine, mobile cinema, action plans and ideas…let’s imagine another world.

Don’t let the financial and fossil fools make the rules!

For updates, details on back-up plans, and more information, visit us at

Email g20 [@] for more information.

In the meantime, we all need to get the word out.

Please post this link, paste this text, and otherwise spread the word!

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