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Police "strategy" and climate camp autonomy!

Harry | 07.08.2008 08:48 | Climate Camp 2008 | Analysis | Repression

I have been impressed and inspired by campers resistance to the repeated police encursion attempts. The police are shooting themselves in the foot!

One of the main reasons why the climate camp is an exciting and inspiring place to be is the fact that it is a self-managed space. It works well, under difficult circumstances (eg. police harrassment!) due to the voluntary co-operation of a diverse bunch of people. The organisation of the camp is, generally, very good. And this self-management, this autonomy, is intoxicating. This is why people are willing to work long hours cleaning toilets, chopping veg (not at the same time!!), organising workshops, etc - because they are contributing to a very unusual feeling of collective strength and autonomy.

And this is also why people are so up for defending gates against police incursions. The police hate the idea that people can quite happily self-manage without them and everything they stand for. The police hate not being able to strut around "keeping the peace" (no ironic comment needed!) and being in charge. The police require to be in control, otherwise their whole role is negated, for all to see. I think that this is the underlying reason they are so keen to "patrol the site", and it is why they throw their weight around like petulant teenagers wherever possible (eg. obsessive searches, ludicrous confiscations, arbitary stops of vehicles, removing legally locked bikes, etc.). It gives them some measure of control, and they *need* that.

The irony of their repeated heavy attempts to enter the camp is that they are radicalising a new generation of activists, who are young, and often totally new to "protesting". The camp is now *much* more defiant and militant than it was at the start, because people have experienced for themselves the repression of the political police, and experienced the heady joy of resisting it (assertively but peacefully). Whatever else happens at the camp, and even if the police do force their way on eventually, a more clued-up and up-for-it movement will result. This is exactly what a radical movement against climate change needs to be.

Well done to everyone at the camp. See you there - come at the weekend if you can!



Protesters not rising to police provocation

07.08.2008 09:06

I was at climate camp earlier in the week, and was very impressed with the protesters not rising to police provocation. The result was the police looked stupid on telly that day beating peaceful protesters. This is how we should always resist police harrassment: don't rise to it; don't play them at their game; stay peaceful and get the public on our side.