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News from the Climate Caravan

penguin | 31.07.2008 10:40 | Climate Camp 2008 | Climate Chaos

General news from the caravan and experiences from caravaners

The caravan is on the move! For four days now the collection of bikes, trikes, walkers, penguins,
pirate ship and polar bear have manoeuvred their way from the site of last year's camp into the heart of London. From beautiful city parks to three-laned roundabouts the group has brought bright colours,music and a vibrant, positive change to the surrounding environment. This was most apparent today (Wednesday) as we danced in sunshine through the financial district of London, flyering inquisitive onlookers and setting a different stage for city lunch-time buyers.

The response from passing people as we weave our way through the streets has been astounding. Everywhere we have visited pedestrians and drivers alike have taken a genuine interest in why we are here- and willing to talk about the relevant issues of climate change.

The Putney debates was well attended as groups discussed six proposals to turn the world upside
down. Topics ranged from permaculture to environmental economics, and was heartily begun with a song to remember the diggers of 1649.

Petrol stations have been constantly frequented along the route with guitar melodies to lighten the
mood for those at petrol pumps.

Today, a waddle of penguins stopped traffic on London bridge and made their way towards the
financial and advertising institutions complicit in the use of fossil fuels for short-term economic gain. This was an utterly amazing and inspiring action. The penguins had an open road over the bridge to enter the city as two lanes were used for waddling and the rest of the group calmly dealt with the traffic behind.

Penguins made visits all over London to the advertising companies promoting the likes of Shell (in
solidarity with the Rossport camp), BAA and E-ON. Occupations were made at offices in Holborn and Tottenham Court Road areas where normal operations were disrupted and links to the carbon web expressed.

A trip was also made to the city hall in Stratford where a council meeting was being held concerning the expansion of City Airport. Tents were put up and members of the council given information concerning the impact of airport expansion and runaway climate change.

Tomorrow we leave London for Kent "the garden of England" to hear stories of Oxleas Wood and a step closer towards our destination at Climate Camp. Tonight we sang songs in Hackney City Farm and partied in London Fields with the locals, after hearing the brilliant news that the site has been taken next to the power station. Come and join us on are journey to Kingsnorth and certainly to a fossil-free sustainable future!

Following are the experiences of some of the caravaners so far on the route;

* Learning the stories of London along the route and connecting the Putney debates to another radical point in history has made me feel completely hopeful in achieving the big ideas for change.

* I'm tired but inspired by the beautiful train of bicycles and people with colourful flags and pirate ship. Weeving our way through the city has felt peaceful despite all the traffic. Every day is exciting and i can't wait for the next. A highlight has been dancing in sunshine after navigating to the Synergy centre in Oval.

* Come join us! We have been shimmering our way through the city with the police leaving us aloneand self-managing are route.

* My favourite moment has been walking past a school with the caravan and all the kids looking really interested in what was going on. As we left the teacher seemed to start explaining our prescence

* Going through hectic traffic junctions and working together has been so important in bringing the
group together as a solid block. I've learnt loads about traffic control! and that we're best tightly-knit and not as a fragmented troop.

* I'm really excited and felt tearful with joy earlier. It's empowering walking on the road and feel
amazingly safe. It's really well organized and there's great chances to chat with people and interact. You forget where the cars are and just enjoy the journey.

* I'm chuffed with the openness and feel of the caravan and there's great freedom to get involved.
it's completely multi-faceted- as some people seem to walking as a pilgrimmage, while others for
outreach. It doesn't feel like a traditional march, it's much more engaging with who we're passing
because we can take time to talk to passing motorists and pedestrians.

* I've found it absurd and amazing- i had loads of fun played sardines in leafy, overgrown Richmond graveyard. We've adapted to the new places we've arrived at and interacted well with the locals- from putting on events with them to doing handstands and streetdancing in Oval!

* I'm tired but very positive and elated to be here. It's a non-stop rollercoaster of fun from meeting
new people and seeing new place to learning new skills.

* I feel prepared, inspired and creative, and also part of a tradition in learning about the history of
when people create something to stand up together.

* I feel excited and have gained energy from being part of this amazing group of people. I had
concerns about the safety of the carava but these disappeared on the first day. Everyone is in high spirits, there's good vegan food and wicked creativity.