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Indymedia Reporting of Climate Camp

imc | 25.08.2009 23:55

The Camp for Climate Action at Blackheath in London has been dismantled after a full week of learning, discussion and actions. Looking to the future it was announced that EON's Ratcliffe power station would be the target of the next mass action with campaigners saying they will shut it down on October 17-18th. There was much discussion on the upcoming UN COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, with the camp committing to take part in the Reclaim Power action (one of the many direct actions planned around the summit) which intends to take over and occupy the conference venue for a day.

See IMC London full feature coverage of the Climate Camp: Wed: Swoop + Taking the Site | Thursday | Friday | Sat-Wed

Also see:  CC Website Photos | CC Twitter | CC twitpic Stream | Climate Camp Radio | Climate Camp TV | CC Video Stream | Youtube Site Videos | Flickr Pictures | TV News Reports | Why London? 




Hide the following 35 comments

so excited!

26.08.2009 10:39

can't wait to find out the site!

chief swooperintendent


26.08.2009 16:18

Er.... Why Blackheath? Is there a secret power station there? Is it the clandestine centre of the international banking cartels? Is the lush open space a major contributor to global warming? Do planes take off and land there?

Or is it just a nice public space used by thousands of ordinary people everyday, that you have selfishly sat yourselves down in the middle of, marring their enjoyment, and bringing sound systems and wi-fi and noise and bonfires to a wonderful space that doesn't normally have it?

Just interested what the protest is about and for and can't help feeling it's a bit of a cop-out and utterley utterly pointless.




26.08.2009 17:13

There aren't any bonfires there.

If you don't know what it's about, go and have a look. The heath is huge, the CC is only on a bit of it. Funilly enough, the funfair that's always on the heath at Bank Holiday causes more mess, noise, crime and nuisance than CC will bring.




26.08.2009 18:10

A little more setting out the positive side of climate camp, and a little less"gypsies, traps and thieves", please!


So, is this what the climate camps all about?

26.08.2009 19:41

'' preach a little gospel, sell a couple of bottles of Dr Good''


Climate camp is for direct action training amongst other things...

26.08.2009 19:54

Climate camp is for direct action training amongst other things, the previous camps have been site specific where as this one is a base for other actions that will take place over the week. Come down and learn about the camp and get trained up in one of the many workshops:



27.08.2009 09:00

Blackheath is common land. Why are we putting up barricades preventing ordinary people using their land? That's how capitalism started. No Borders!



27.08.2009 09:10

I agree, the metal fence around the site is a strange contradiction. On the one hand it secures the site for CC and keeps the cops out (as a quick first line of defence). It's also true that it probably keeps local scallies out from ripping stuff off from the site at night. But then it's does send a weird message about openness and participation for all.


good poynt

27.08.2009 10:29

good poynt abowt the fences an access. plus why r people beeen charged 4 entrance 2 walk/camp on wot is common land? the signs floating in the wind criticise qwite ritely the capitalist sistem. so y is climat cammp copyin the money grabbing tekneeks of the captillists?:


afternoon tea sick stunt with Chief Superintendent Pendry

27.08.2009 11:07

Guardian reports: "Just before 7pm the Met's chief superintendent Julia Pendry, silver commander in charge of tactics for the operation, walked on to the site to talk to organisers, sparking a hostile response from a crowd of around a dozen anarchists. Apparently against the wishes of the rest of the camp, they shouted "scum", "kill the pigs" and "you murdered Ian Tomlinson" at Pendry as she left the site with a colleague."

Julia Pendry was in charge of policing the Gaza demo in London on the 3rd January this year, when protesters were baton-charged in Hyde Park Corner underpass. For Climate Camp to invite her in for tea is absolutely sickening, and shows the contempt they hold for other protesters.


Fences again

27.08.2009 11:11

Keep Police out? They aren't interested are they? The camp has put up borders on communal land, far away from anywhere controversial so the police will just let us stay here. It's so boring it's untrue. What are we protesting about? I just heard some twit singing:"Dancing through the city, we dance!" We're nowhere near the city and dance? I feel like crying....


amazing choice of site!!!

27.08.2009 11:34

I'm all in favour of no borders but there's got to be a balance with keeping the police out. anyone else is very welcome to enter the camp, you just have to walk round to the entrance.

overall, I think blackheath is a perfect site - it's got Canary Wharf in view, it's got historical resonance with the peasants revolt and being on common land is brilliant in a year when we're focusing on the privatization of the atmosphere through carbon trading. also we're trying to build a movement for the long term and it's much harder to do that if you spend the week defending yourselves from the police.

there were definitely problems with the police coming on site yesterday and the camp has been discussing that this morning in the neighbourhood meetings before the site-wide spokescouncil. they weren't invited on though, they just walked on and that's part of the issue.

also there's no entrance fee charged it's a suggested donation to cover the costs of the camp.


I think its great

27.08.2009 13:37

Why slag em off, all the nice private school educated trustafarians in one place, at least they will not be on the streets for a few days.

Posh wankers we dont need them and we dont want them so if they are all in a field together comparing morgages and school choices for Quinten and Jemima thats fine with me.

No War But The Class War
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Are the sanctimonious middle class the ignominy of our class?

27.08.2009 13:48

Are the climate campers right, or does coal as an energy source, via clean coal technology, have a future – as some believe? Or more to the point, are human beings, however well intentioned, capable of controlling the Earth’s climate by the measures proposed by Theo, Bertie and Felix?

Here is what Ian Bone has said on Climate Camp 2009:

I really can’t begin to describe how awful Climate Camp is. I’ve tried – god knows I’ve tried. But a total load of sanctimonious middle class bossy boots hanging out in Blackheath is beyond parody. Brew Crew where are you? I’ve since been informed from his own mouth that the TRANQUILLITY SQUAD member is in his second year at CAMBRIDGE and a member of their rowing crew. I kid you not – the rest are even fucking worse. I haven’t had such class antagonistic goose pimples since the Henley Regatta. Fucking Jesus!

But resistence grows?

It very much time to make the ignominy of our class history, 75 people gathered outside Rio Tinto building that is one of the world’s biggest mining and exploration companies, and a nexus of the global coal industry.

Between the 3rd and the 10th of August the first Camp for Climate Action was successfully held in Scotland. Climate Camp Scotland occupied Mainshill wood, the site of a proposed new open cast coal mine. The location was chosen in solidarity with local residents who are outraged at the proposed development, and to support a tree-sit already set up in the area to resist the mine.
Why were they there?

Scottish Coal, the UK’s largest open cast producer, has been given permission to mine 1.7 million tonnes of coal from Mainshill Wood in South Lanarkshire by South Lanarkshire Council, a decision that enraged local residents who for years have campaigned against the mine. There are four other mines in the area, making it one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe, as well as an area with the highest cancer rates in Scotland.

We neither have time for opencast coal mines we took action some years back and trashed a sight at Dolehill in Derbyshire, there are no leaders for the free now we should have all fucked when the damage had been done, instead we decided to go and do a occupation, we was all charged with the theft of a yoghurt and weeks of court cases ensued the ignominy of our class had no solidarity with the working class involved, you never learn a lesson but the hard way, so for some time we continued to live under the delusion these fair weather friends was on our side.

It soon become clear they was nothing but, so why when the G8 Circus come to Sheffield why did we work with the soap dodgers again?, nothing but to the detriment of our self and our own health, some years on we still have a deep psychosis along with other issues, this said we have along the way learned som hard lessons along with making some real friends, so when Felix, Bertie, Robin, Oliver, Jasmin and a Clemmie state they understand your class struggle, lets remind them of people like Thomas Rainsborough

I shall blow up your buildings a little more and be less open with you than I was before. I wish we all truly wanted to change this cesspool we live in. And, sir, to say because a man pleads that every man hath a voice by right of nature, that therefore it destroys by the same argument all property That there’s a property, the Law of God says it; else why hath God made that law, Thou shalt not steal? I am a poor man, therefore I must be oppressed: if I have no interest in the kingdom, I must suffer by all their laws be they right or wrong. Nay thus: a gentleman lives in a country and hath three or four lordships, as some men have (God knows how they got them); and when a Parliament is called he must be a Parliament-man; and it may be he sees some poor men, they live near this man, he can crush them – I have known an invasion to make sure he hath turned the poor men out of doors; and I would fain know whether the potency of rich men do not this, and so keep them under the greatest and your sister too tyranny that was ever thought of in the world. And therefore I think that to that it is fully answered: God hath set down that thing as to propriety with this law of his, Thou shalt not steal. And for my part I am against any such thought, and, as for yourselves, I wish you would not make the world believe that we are NOT for anarchy BECAUSE WE ARE. NOW LET THE WORLD REST IN PEACE AND ANARCHY!

There are some mates who are middle class, as Theos, Felix, Bertie, Robin, Oliver, Jasmin and a Clemmie have taken Blackheath over looking London and I look at the middle class person looking back at me through the mirror, it is simple I do not find all middle class to be the ignominy of our class, but the sanctimonious persons involved with climate camp – I would like to give them more than a bar of fucking soap..

I would like to find common unity with all mankind, but some people are the very ignominy of our class, now the humanity within me states clearly, the earth is being raped by those who are the caretakers, we need only look at Sheffield.

Despite its urban location almost three-quarters of the city is taken up by natural vegetation and waterways.

More than a third of the city is located in the Peak District National Park – no other city has a National Park within its boundary.

In addition you’ll find 150 woodlands and 50 public parks all within Sheffield and it is rumoured that there are 4 mature trees to every person living here!

Over 44 per cent of Sheffield residents live within a five minute walk of a wood and half the city’s population live within 15 minutes of the open countryside. Imagine that!

There is land enough for us to grow and produce our needs at a local level, as an active urban explorer I see all to often the demise of industry, there is something rather fucking romantic about the flora of Mother Earth growing through the cracks in the structures of old steel works, former Lunatic Asylums empty old Crown Courts, no the doubts the cracks in the pavement are the very same ones as in the system.

It is all too easy to take over a common space for one week and then go back to their second year at CAMBRIDGE and still be a member of their rowing crew, these are the very people involved with climate camp, this is nothing but a fucking jolly for a week, back at Cambridge over pims and cucumber sandwiches they will natter of what fun it was.

So if we are one of the Greenest cities in England?, but we also have junction 31, where the local School Children have to time their playground time, where you stand on the only green space in Tinsley and you can hear the quiet hum of the M1 and taste the pollution, just down the road Tinsley Wire another part of Sheffield’s Industry is under demolition. We are told the land has been bought by British land, ( those who own Medowhell, our local hoping centre.

The owners of Medowhell want to build more retail space, office blocks, car showrooms, and of course a few homes, right next the M1, so the Class Anger I feel is not an irrational one it is based upon what I see as a local working class 45 year old, all right if we are talking in terms of world poverty then yes agreed one is middle class, but at least I know and understand the very real issues and concerns of the people around me and for ease ill say working class.

People do need to understand that urban exploration is very much a romantic idealism of how I would desire a future world to be, I love the thought of flora growing from Medowhell, as the malls rattle to the sound of skateboarders, the car parks are substantial vegetable gardens and other green spaces for the local communities, a world where we make the middle class history, a classless society all a utopian dream. Here I might have something in common with the climate campers, but fear not I shall not be in London hugging one of them or even networking with a local copper over a cup of tea, my week shall be filled with self recovery from the psychosis of being involved with them in the past.

Dreaming of the day they set up camp on the empty waste grounds of where Sheffield industry stood, as I was wandering through the now old east end park the other day(built 1991 for the world student games in Sheffield), remembering how I used to play in Carbrook Park and swing to the big forge hammer of the steel works. How I watched as shifts changed and Attercliffe common was full of the common people, coming from and going to work, pondering on the thought of there used to be 400 men working six hours shifts over 24 hours at Tinsley Wire, the 9000 plus men who worked at Stocksbridge Steel works, now 400 waiting for the next order to awaken the quiet beast, as with her future the men who worked there and still wait for work, their future is uncertain as is the future of the steal works, idd like it to be left and go into slow ruin, the flora of Mother Earth takes over.

This in an area where there is permission to build over 1200 new homes, agreed on former brown field locations, but once in the not so desitant past this was the green fields of Sheffield’s yesterdays slowly the former farms was taken over by industry, we need only look at the building of the Castle Markets, to witness the crass mistakes of over urbanisation and the fact our castle is hidden under the vowels of those markets, ive often talked of the ill thought out planning of this city, that lays to waist our industrial heralded, dose no take into any thought the fact we might one of the greenest city’s here in England.

The debate over climate change needs to move on, it needs to look at the demographics of city’s, how those city’s could become more self sugiant and invest more time working with the working class, instead of the politics of subjugation, we need to move to the politics of inclinclusion not blame, anarchism has far more to offer the world than the reform of capitalism, I know what I would like a world with out class, where indeed the earth is a common treasury for all, the sanctimonious of the fucking self righteous middle class, dose fuck all for me and the rest of my class the working class, anyone round London like to donate some soap to these dodgers feel free, I shall watch not with praise, but with interest and hope that one day there history just the same as capitalism.

M M Wallis:

Revolting Peasants

27.08.2009 14:32

The day started off with us trudging down to our old haunt Bank for 12 Noon prompt, despite the usual stereotypes of Anarchist time keeping we were there bang on time, but then the waiting began. Two hours in total. The Police presence was tiny, though they did enjoy ducking behind pillars and spying on us when we met up with some more famous anarchists, though being a WAG means the police are always interested in your activities anyway. We spotted the FIT Copper from television programme Bargain Hunt who took the wisecracks on the chin to be fair. He never should have bought those stones though!

Around 1pm we decided to tie up our banner, only to be told by climate camp prefects that “This is an autonomous zone. Could we not put it up!” at which point we decided to act autonomously and put it up much to the amusement of the journalists. We then went to the pub. Or as one Times journalist described it: “Demonstrating surprisingly efficient organisation, the Whitechapel Anarchists have taken a collective decision to sit out the bingo and go to the pub!” Despite winding up the “Tranquility Team” about the fact we had come straight from the Westham / Millwall game and trying to spread a rumour that it was Hackney Wick there really was nothing else going on. So the pub it was.

A few pints later around 2pm and we are on our way to Cutty Sark Greenwich on the DLR line to Blackheath. The chosen spot for the Climate Camp. And what a historic place – Wat Tyler and The Peasants Revolt! Will the thronging masses be ready to smash the religious and state institutions like their forefathers/mothers did..? Not entirely. The walk up to Blackheath was much amusement for us WAGs as people dared not stray from the pavement and obiedently marched two by two. When we pointed out that maybe we should take the streets and walk in the road we were told “No” by one eager eco-warrior. I mean you wouldn’t want to stop the traffic now would you? Anyways we broke from the crowd and walked in the road. And then the crowd followed. For some this was probably the most revolutionary act they have ever committed.

Arriving on site our top priority was securing the supply lines as a crack team ventured into the leafy village of Blackheath in search of an off license. Back on the camp we set up a large piece of fencing (which we “found”) attaching our WAG Banner and a number of Red/Black Flags, the cherry on top being a booming sound system. For the next few hours all was jovial, with much alcohol consumed, a football kick about and crap dancing amongst an assortment of WAGs, punks, old RTS, Cambridge Anarchists and other nefarious characters who congregated around us.

The first bit of trouble came from a man who was obviously employed by the Camp to help set up tents, the kind of prole who during the Peasants Revolt would have defended Lord and Lady Rupert’s Estate against members of his own family, who with no warning came shouting at us to turn the sound system off. But his major mistake happened when he threatened to “Get my Sledge Hammer and smash it up!” Out of everyone on the camp to try and bully and intimidate he sure picked the wrong crowd. Let’s just say it didn’t take us very long to convince him otherwise.

Then the shit hit the proverbial wind turbine. Superintendent Julie Pendry and some other lackey Copper (Possibly Ian Thomas) were wandering around undisturbed. They were taken into a tent for a cup of tea and a chat with members of the Officer Class while Climate Camp prefects defended the door, initially to keep out press, as they blocked up the entrance so no one could see or hear what was going on. Climate Camp made two tactical errors here. Firstly allowing the Pigs onto the site (Which was fenced off by this point with only one main entrance). And secondly by allowing them asylum in a tent right next to our mob. Oh dear.

And so it began. Heckling. Shouting. And a few choruses of Harry Roberts. People flocked from all corners of the camp to get involved. But the mood was split. Conflict between those opposed to the police presence and those willing to protect and tolerate (And in some cases welcome) the old bill. Climate Camp soft cops warned us that “It’s not best to act like this with media around” which just goes to show that some involved in the Camp have so much faith in the corporate media, police and state that their hopes for real radical environmental change are merely liberal posturing at best. At this point a spray can was used to much artistic effect as “ACAB” was decorated on the tent, though the artist was stopped before he could finish “KILL POLICE”. The sound system was then pushed up against the tent so that the inside occupants could listen to the brilliant Dead Prez rap about the joy of politically motivated drive by shootings.

Finally the two little piggies were rushed out, protected by Camp prefects, but given a run for their money by us lot. Barrages of “SCUM”, “MURDERERS”, “BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS” and “WE HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT IAN TOMLINSON” were hurled at them until they managed to escape out the main gates. With back up now assembled. FIT Watch’s finest did a brilliant job in undermiming their presence and they all finally left as the angry abuse continued letting them know that they were not welcome.

Heated discussions then abounded. We should say that people shouting at the police were not just our group but was a mixed mob of anarchists and sound newly found comrades from the camp who got involved. It was made clear to Climate Camp prefects and others protesting against our actions that we have a right to stand up and be heard when the police, who are oppressive violent functionaries of the State and ruling class, enter a space that is supposed to be liberated and collectively organised for radical purposes of real change from the old order. Obvious to many was the fact that decisions had been made and people were kept in the dark which exposes the hierachical nature behind the non-hierachical rhetoric.

Many at Climate Camp experienced the Polices full force on April 1st, for some of us we experience this on a day to day, but despite some class divides common ground was found and can be built on. For radical change to make a real impact on our lives and environment we must be empowered as individuals, as a combative force willing to level the class system, opposed to all forms of oppression inflicted upon us from the State. For the freedom of all people. For the freedom of the planet and all her creatures. The police can not be reformed. They protect private property and the ruling class. They always have and they always will. They are the enemy.

For the author of this blog it was the DLR back to Shadwell but some WAGs are camping on site. A text message was received: “Loads of support for the action against the cops tonight, be good if WAG came back, judging by the mood, definitely welcome.”

We will be back on Friday discussing live from the camp on Dissident Island Radio at 7pm exactly what went on and some of the controversies around it possibly dispelling rumours.

On a closing note all those involved in the camp have come together out of a respect for each other, the general atmosphere on site was friendly, positive, constructive and highly enjoyable. This can only remain if the police keep well away as expressed in the open letter to the MET.

Whitechapel Anarchist Group
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27.08.2009 15:45

Ian Bone sounds like he's gone completely off his rocker if what is in the above comment are his words. Happyswooper - you sound utterly like the sanctimonious, smug and patronising individual that Climate Camp should try and disassociate itself from.

It would be nice if instead of deriding the more liberal supporters of Climate Camp, the anarchistically-minded (if that's a phrase) amongst us would spend some time in dialogue and try to convince people of the necessity of an anti-corporate AND anti-statist position in environmental politics.


confused by MM Wallis..

27.08.2009 16:36

Forgive that i posted the un checked copy the full copy is here with links to where info was sourced etc..

M M Wallis:

Class War

27.08.2009 22:25

Just visited the Class War website. Maybe they can try making up their minds. They have slogans on there about Class Unity and Class Pride. How exactly do they hope to advance or promote Class Unity when they display such rampant MiddleClassPhobia? The Middle Classes have just as much right to have Class Pride as the Working Classes.


same side

28.08.2009 12:27

All those camping in London - good for you! Do what you can and show how we can live sustainably. Those lobbying locally against school closures, supermarket expansions, developed green sites - keep up the pressure and good luck. Those taking direct action today against coal polluters, airports, road builders, nuke weapons, animal abusers, sweatshop retailers etc - brilliant! Stay safe and sane.
Together we can fight not only the shitty exploiters and abusers but also drown out the undermining voices on this site where we look for support and solidarity.


You couldn't make it up, folks (not even here!)

28.08.2009 12:33

Tamsin's explains for us dullards what it's all about:

'Instead Climate Camp will be a place of education in the heart of a nation that desperately needs educating about climate change. It will be small light of inspiration in a city that needs to be lifted out of unemployment and given something new to do'.

Climate Camp should think about how these kind of statements are perceived by us lower orders and lumpen proles. I don't think you could even make this up as a satire how she tells us from the posh highground how we need something new to do. Actually most of us are bored witless and knackered from long shifts behind tills in Tescos or night-driving products to Waitrose stores etc. Either that or we aren't working and living on 60 a week. We know more about low-cost living and sustainability then any of them.

You gotta laugh at these chinless wonders. It's all such a hoot and a downright self-rightious and moralistic carry-on for them. They really think the are saving the planet with their unenlightened partician mentality. You can note the use of the word 'given' above. Tamsin, this isn't Upstairs-Downstairs!

They still treat us feel like gamekeepers, us uneducated folks! And they wonder why we hate 'em!

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reporting Indymedia reporting

28.08.2009 17:30

The fact that this obviously pastiche poster has to be responded to shows that while pastiche is no substitute for argument, climate camp does have a problem with certain well-to-do protestors using a cause to build a career, whether they are concious that that is what they are doing or not.

I think some people think media-awareness is solely about looking good in the media. If you are really aware of the media you will be aware that they're sole concern is selling units, and if being nice to you or being horrible to sells more units while fitting in with the owner / editors political views. Anyway, here are two extracts from msm reports that fit with this thread and may give pause for thought.

With activists unhappy with sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, which they complain are censorious "corporates", much citizen-generated content at protests is posted on Indymedia, an online forum. A founder of the site, who asked not to be named, said: "The mainstream media has realised the value of reports from people who are participating in an event. It's the power of crowd-sourced information."

Environmentalism isn’t some niche activist interest anymore. The Met Office talks about it. The Conservative Party talks about it. Hell, even George Bush talks about it. They’re picking a fight when they should be having a conversation. It’s infuriating.


Plane Stupid – pragmatic and effective

30.08.2009 08:06

Plane Stupid is not opposed to ALL flying but just excessive flying.

There are occasions when flying is justified – but certainly not when there are public transport alternatives. That is why a lot of its effort has gone into opposing short-haul flights and that is why it is tolerant of some of its leading members taking flights. That is why I got involved – because it was prepared to use direct action as a tactic but in a sensible and pragmatic way.

Over the next few weeks you will see Plane Stupid mounting a new campaign, involving direct action, and led a new employed campaign co-ordinator, against one of the more guilty parties which is actively encouraging the growth of UK-based short-haul aviation and hopefully the Climate Camp will lead to many more recruits.


the class is is real as it affects how people listen to the CC propaganda

30.08.2009 10:02

.. most worker class people in this country are pretty cynical, dislliusioned, pissed of etc etc with politics and politicians and what they see going on in society. they generally feel impotent, having lost both the power the trade unions held up until the 1980s and their power through the Labour Party, which was influenced to a large extent by the unions till the 1980s. they ( and yes of course this is generalising) feel constantly put on, and pissed off by things like the smoking ban, speeding cameras ( in places where speeding is unimportant), changes in demographics they have not voted for, the loss of 'real' life time and well paid jobs and lack of housing etc etc .. the list is as everyone is aware long .. AND many many also feel the same for climate change .. that somehow THEY are guilty, ( along with e.g. being guilty of being racist for not being happy about changes in the UK demographics) for driving cars ( which the middle classes have done for far longer and take as a right) for taking flights for holidays ( ditto which the middle classes take as a right) etc etc

and so when TAMSIN ( or any of the frightfully middle class spokespeople) appear on the media, HOW does it come over?? Yes i accept Climate Camp is clear that Climate Change is an institutional Capitalism issue and does NOT harp on about ordinary people driving cars. BUT i doubt very much whether the Tamsins and all are winning any propaganda battles

so it is easy to mock and criticise. Whats the solution? I am not sure is the answer. The organisation is made up of overwhelmingly m/c and young people, who simply can't change that. I guess firstly they need to become aware of these issues in a way they are not.

Personally i think there is a massive contradiction in CC. There ARE many who understand that real change (which isn't facist or dictatorial) comes from the bottom, but there are also many who whether because they regard Climate Change as so immediate, or whether due to their upper m/c background, still believe they can influence the state and capitalism to change.

For me though the key issue they need to understand is how power works and how progressive ideas can be sidelined and disregarded and how what they do feeds into that. i really do not think they do for now.


don't believe the stereotypes

31.08.2009 18:34

I'm at the camp. Some of the comments above have really made me think about what we're doing, and others are just fucking depressing.

The camp offers an opportunity to the movement: an open, consensus-based space that's created collectively and remains free (or closer to free than anything in the main stream) of corporate branding, profit-making and policing. It also has a knack of encouraging new people into the movement and radicalising them, if not as thoroughly as some might wish. How we use the opportunity that this space represents to say and do things that are actually meaningful is another matter and a challenge for everyone involved- and also for those who aren't involved now but still think that this space can be useful for the movement.

Yes there are those people on site who treat the camp like just another festival. I would say that includes both the middle class student types and the 'brew crew' and is probably equally an issue across the class spectrum on site. If you have an open movement that tries to welcome everyone, then you get freeloaders. But overall here I see most people working really hard to organise this massive collective space or to join in the workshops and educate themselves ready for action. I hope that come the 'swoop' in October the camp will demonstrate its challenge to the state more visibly. The decision to split the camp itself from the mass action this year was taken to conserve energies and do both better- we will see whether it works or not.

I am 90% certain that happyswooper is a police troll. Maybe I'm lucky but I have never met someone
willing to spell out their profound ignorance so clearly, and certainly not at the camp. Don't forget the Met have got a bit cleverer and they're treating this as a PR war this year, hiring a PR firm for the purpose. Treating us as harmless middle-class do-gooders is a police and establishment tactic to divide and weaken the movement. The press have used this for years to write off any form of protest as a consumer choice for rich gap year students. There's the huge risk that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it makes us attractive to the poser/trendies/festival crowd and it feeds the media antics of some other groups, but for me that really isn't where the majority of people in the climate camp movement are coming from. Stereotypes about different classes feed the class system and I wish that radical elements in the movement would help their middle class fellow campers recognise, resist and step out of that particular stereotype, not feed it.

And by the way though some of the people involved in the camp are also involved with plane stupid and climate rush, there are significant differences in terms of the organising structure, what they say and attitude to media. Fortunately the camp is big and open enough not to become any one person's pet project. Please come to Blackheath if you have some suggestions for the way forward- tomorrow is devoted to 'where now?' for the camp. It would be good to hear from former (and maybe future) campers.



31.08.2009 19:47

As a distant, far point, observer to this years camp I'd really like to know exactly what it is your trying to achieve.

Some of the comments made so far do ring true for me, the middle class aspect is a red herring obviously as is the police tactics being used (or not used).

What I want to know is how this years camp fits into the wider picture?

You talk about radicalising a new generation but the previous camps where not about this. The previous camps were about taking direct action. The radicalisation happens in the background throughout the rest of the year, the camp itself has always been about coagulating the gains made through the year and then applying it, directly. Why has this changed?

Some of the comments here are clearly from previous campers who have been to previous camps but this year have not gone, why?

As far as the police are concerned, well its obvious that the planning for this years camp has been quite clever in citing it at BlackHeath. Smack bang in the middle of the Shooters Hill area which is affluent and very middle class. Did the planners of this years camp attempt to place it in the area on the basis that police tactics could be properly exposed to the Middle Class in a highly media-friendly way. Did this backfire?

And the big question has to be why the actions undertaken by the campers have largely fallen flat. Sitting in the foyer of your targets is a very innefectual way to go about things.

The comments previously are clearly about frustration at how this camp has been portrayed, why it has achieved so little and what this means for the future. The camp has not properly communicated its intentions and has failed to place itself in the context of other actions that have taken place this year.

Overall, this years camp has been flat and uninspiring.

I can understand that many campers might want to develop tactics that are less confrontational than in the past but, lets face it, that doesn't work. If you make yourself manageable then you will end up being managed, either by the media or the government.

I do hope you can take something from what you have learned at the camp and I hope you can apply what you have learned in a meaningful way. But you have an uphill struggle. If the world faces some of the challenges you say it does then your are going to have to apply yourself in a very competent and decisive manner. Direct action means DIRECT action.

From a far-point, distant observers POV, the problem you are facing is that you come across as not really believing your own cause. You come across as being more up for the party than up for the fight. Nobody ever changed anything that way.

Good luck to you anyway.


tentative answers to waiting

31.08.2009 23:17

As far as I have understood and remembered from meetings these were the aims of this year's camp:

Our objective over the year was to highlight the 'failed economic system' ie. capitalism as the cause of climate change, rather than choosing a single polluter to target. Personally I'm very unsure that we have made much progress against that aim this week, though we'll see if any of tomorrow's actions make a difference to that.

Another aim or focus was movement building: always one of the four aims of the camp (movement building/ education/ direct action/ sustainable living) but a particular focus this year in the run-up to Copenhagen. I don't think that Blackheath was chosen because it was middle class. One of the reasons for coming to London- other than to be in the economic centre- was to be where the people are rather than out in a field somewhere, including being more accessible to people from different backgrounds. So presumably Blackheath was chosen for other (unknown) reasons.

And another aim was to focus more strongly than in previous camps on training people up for direct action. People seem to have found the workshops really good, including the direct action trainings.

I agree with some of the doubts about how inspiring this year's summer camp has been. Although when you survey the year as a whole, there's the G20 camp (making the capitalism link) this camp (education/outreach/training) and a good challenging mass action in October which starts to look more balanced. I also think there is still great value in creating so publicly and accessibly a space that challenges peoples' assumptions about capitalism and the liberal state. And looking back I'm not sure that we made the wrong decision even if this won't go down as one of the more successful camps. There's a lot to be said for experimenting with approaches other than the usual 'camp next to a target': hopefully it provides an opportunity to assess what really works and stops our tactics from getting too rigid. I'm not sure I would have made a different decision in hindsight. We'll see come the Great Climate Swoop and Copenhagen actions how much the camp has achieved...


Good idea.

01.09.2009 05:46

"And finally, rather than spending all the time and energy setting up a camp and dismantling it, isn't the time right and wouldn't it make more sense, to find somewhere to set up a permanent camp? A permanent climate camp, rather like the environmental equivalent of Brian Haw. There as a constant reminder, a totemic figure on the landscape. Could be just what is needed to move things forward."

That is a very good idea. Greenham Common, Brian Haw and all. The environmental issue is a long-running one and will take time to tackle and deal with. The 'nature' of what is being dealt with here is long-term so yes, a permanent camp is just the ticket. It would stop Climate Camp from falling into a seasonal, social calendar type event. Populated by gap year students, summer campers and the like. It would also serve as a permanet base to gravitate towards, and a springborad for the movement to launch from aswell. Tackling climate change is long-term so it makes perfect sense to set something up for the duration. Something that can stand as a testament to the overall challenge. Something that could become symbolic in its own right.

Many thanks to tentative for that answer too, very encouraging.


Why is Climate Protesting Getting such exposure?

03.09.2009 11:10

Ask yerselves this question, and connect it to : carbon credits : profits : Al Gore : who controls the public discourse.........

Weather variations are the norm for the entire surface of the earth.

The Sun is the single biggest 'effector' or driver of weather variations.

Human usage of fossil fuels account for 3% of carbon based green house gases...

Fossil fuel companies are facing a dwindling source and want to maximise their ability to 'tax' the world, take in wealth, before the collapse..... within the next 30-50 years or so..

This requires political control...

What they don't want is rapid movement away from fossil fuels towards alternatives, not only in motoring, but in ALL processes...... in other words to correct the fundamental mistake of Industrialisation (failing to return materials to the natural nutrient cycles, and turning those materials into toxics that harm others) will not be addressed..

What they don't want is grass roots solutions emerging. solutions that families and individuals could craft.... that gives power away... people could easily work less in industry/services and grow more food, spent more time with children and community, live lives about lives and not about possessions and 'careers'...

What they don't want is their 'authority' challenged. They have the 'scientists' on their side...... and those who agree with their propaganda are of course correct, all others are 'deniers'.

What they don't want is any challenge to their fundamental ideology of domination of nature, including human beings... they seek control over co-operation, dominance over mutual interest.....narcissism over mature behaviour.

The illusion of the possibility of any control of weather patterns that climate camp activists have fallen prey to meets happily with the dominant ideology of STATIC CONTROL....

Climate Camp is an efficient way for the State to control the debates, to corral them within narrow boundaries and to portray those who are active as 'well-meaning' .... and those who challenge that whole perception as 'extremists' which under current UK law can be applied to anyone and turn them into terrorists.........


thanks, worth the read

03.09.2009 19:28

cheers cornelious, well said, nice to hear a bit of grounded clear thinking.



04.09.2009 08:21

Interesting post. So you are saying that you don't think human-caused climate change is a reality, but you do think we should move away from centralised non-renewable energy sources for other reasons?

Your logic seems topsy-turvy - surely for political control they would want to keep people reliant on centrally-produced fossil fuels, not encourage renewable energy and minimising our impact on the planet like the climate change campers do?

Maybe I have misinterpreted what you mean - it sounds on the surface to be a not very well thought through conspiracy theory. Surely the real conspiracy is from the oil and related industries to stop a move away from them, so they can protect their profits?


Dear Whitechapel anarchists

04.09.2009 09:47

Regarding the man "obviously employed by the camp to help set up tents" described as a "prole", I would like to point out that he is in fact a dedicated activist who was working very hard to set up the camp whilst you by your own admission sat around drinking. I was not there so do not know exactly what happened, maybe you had all worked yourselves silly and were having a well earned break, maybe the man overeacted but please do not belittle other activists setting up facilities for the benifit of everyone including yourselves.

Lynn Sawyer

anon conspiracy?

04.09.2009 13:55

hi anon, as you stated the oil companies conspire. To conspire is to manipulate events with others in your favour. History is laden with conspiracy. It happened then, it happens now and will continue for the foreseeable...To me corneilius is not conspiracy theorising but pointing out the obvious. CC is not going to change anything, it isnt radical,far from it. The zappatistas are mentioned by the CC, did they not notice they cover their faces. When the CC have to cover up and remain anon they will then understand 'the struggle', until that time if ever it comes, they will remain no more than a co-opted goverment front peddling the illusion of freedom.


zira: it's this particular conspiracy theory I am sceptical of, not all of them.

05.09.2009 13:31

zira: I'm not saying all conspiracy theories are nonsense, I just can't understand this one.

Am I right in saying that corneilius is a proponent of the theory that climate change isn't being caused by humans?

If so, then the idea that oil companies and those in power are promoting the opposite this theory just doesn't make sense. Surely it's in their best interest to agree with it, so they can keep the price of oil up and not have their customers desert them for other fuels?

I agree that the Climate Camp people are more liberal than radical, but it takes all sorts and I think liberal and radical can worth together for similar single issue goals, even if they disagree on the big picture. Sometimes it helps tactically to not appear too radical so you don't polarise the issue and prevent people with opposing ideas changing their mind and moving to your point of view.

I'm a big fan of radical, but I can see that liberal may have a part to play as well.


anon, try this

05.09.2009 19:56

Imagine, planet of the apes before the apes take over.The humans use,abuse and control the apes, they are 'useful'. They are given human language. As the apes adapt and learn the game, the humans try to keep control.Humans speak to the apes,get them to adhere to conformity, keep them as ignorant as possible whilst giving them their argument ''we need humans, we are nothing without them''. The apes organise, then out of the blue... Boosh, Wam Bam the apes take over.
Think, blackheath caged climate camp. Is the voice of the climate camp the true language of the apes or the echo of the humans?