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Climate Camp Trafalgar- Ice Bear action

lovenotlabels | 18.12.2009 01:42 | COP15 Climate Summit 2009 | Climate Chaos | South Coast

As Copenhagen refuses entry to NGO's and delegates from around the world, Climate Camp Trafalgar enter another day of solidarity action. This time, the target..... The London Ice Bear.... He just didn't see it coming.


The team at Climate Camp Trafalgar square saw another day of actions this wednesday. This time targeting a (corporate, aka M&S, sponsored ice sculpture.

The London Ice Bear ( has been attracting the attention of passers by in Trafalgar Square since friday the 11th of December. WWF (who are backing the ice bear) state, on their web page, that "everyone is invited to touch the ice sculpture. Artist Mark Coreth hopes that by touching this sculpture audiences can become sculptors themselves and make a direct connection with the bear and its icy Arctic kingdom, now under threat from man-made climate change."

Here at Climate Camp, we took this statement rather literally. Though, obviously, we felt the need to direct the focus away from the rather sweeping statement of "man made" climate change and give it a shove towards the more fitting statement of corperate funded climate chaos.

At around 4pm on Wednesday the 15th of december, Campaigners took a banner stating "This isn't just climate change, this is RBS funded climate chaos" and a kettle full of hot water (also branded with the RBS symbol) to the ice bear and proceeded to melt the bear with the 'hot water of capitalism'.

Artist and sculptor Mark Coreth was more than please to see his project "interacted" with in this way.

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climate campers left the banners fixed to the bear

18.12.2009 02:32




Hide the following 11 comments

I don't get it

18.12.2009 14:00

How clever is it to vandalise another campaign group's effort and investment for the sake of having a go at RBS? What do RBS have to do with WWF and the ice bear project? This is likely just to give Climate Camp a bad name.

Only me

But for completely the wrong reasons

18.12.2009 14:53

Why? I'm used to climate camp being the biggest joke in "direct action" since FOE's last sit in but what the could this possibly achieve? You cant even argue that it'll turn passers by on to the climate issue's surrounding RBS cause its just confusing - it is only going to mean anything to people who are already aware that RBS have an appalling record on climate issues- the sooner climate camp get out of that fucking square and stop embarrassing the rest of the green movement the better

I think you're right.....

change tactic

18.12.2009 15:31

i have been involved with climate camp in th past and many campaigns and real protest sites faslane, mainshill, titnore etc. But this is a joke, will achieve nothng, and makes us all a laughing stock. Fuk off back to the shires.

oi oi


18.12.2009 16:26

How many people can take 2 weeks out to live on this site? And people wonder why Climate Campers get accused of having no jobs and being trustafarians.


re grumble

18.12.2009 18:08

in my experience most climate camp mob are middle class types with jobs. What I want to know is where this lot are when people are needed at any of the other protest sites up and down the land. Who need people constantly yet, it's not as snazzy as camping in the square is it?? When these other sites are climate related and serve a more important and impending purpose. Like mainshill in Scotland, titnore down on the south coast or rossport in Ireland.


@Ol Ol

18.12.2009 23:21

Truth is, there weren't many Climate camp types in Traf square either. Most of them off in
Copenhagen or working for the system. The people who were there were the same sort who would support camps elsewhere. Theres too many people in CC who havent twigged that if they want to campaign seriously, they have to ditch the day job.
Traf sq numbers were made up by a number of homeless types. Great at keeping the fire going and the tea coming but not clued up enough about the purpose of the camp to do any desperately needed outreach.

Camp follower

Not all

19.12.2009 10:34

"There’s too many people in CC who haven’t twigged that if they want to campaign seriously, they have to ditch the day job"

Hey some of us have twigged it. But it's difficult to move out of the system you have depended on for years. Especially with a family and knowing no one else who is as passionate.


CC have lost the plot

19.12.2009 13:21

A really rubbish action - I suspect it was just a result of boredom. If it was having a pop at M&S' sh1te Plan A it might have made more sense but this is just weak.

I attended Drax, Heathrow and Kingsnorth and these climate camps made a real contribution to raising the profile of the issue and awareness of what needed to be done. At Heathrow in particular it felt like a genuine mass movement was starting with people from all backgrounds and walks of life getting involved. This has fallen away as the usual suspects - middle class naive wanna be 'revolutionaries' - have shouted the loudest or maybe had the most time on their hands to direct the camp's targets, resulting in attacks on any attempt to avert the climate disaster by influencing the market or subverting market forces. This is a huge mistake and probably marks the begining of the end for the camp, especially as a potential mass movement. If you want the mass movement we need to bring about a low carbon society you're not going to achieve it by targetting the carbon exchange - the general public won't get it.

Unfortunately the climate camp is becoming inaffectual, and as the pointless camp in Trafalgar square has shown, just a small bunch of mates seeking cheap thrills and being used as a proxy to show how anti-capitalist and anti-establishment (anti-parent) they are.

Unfortunately we dont have time to tear down capitalism and address the issue in a eco-puritan fashion - and it is irresponsible to try. Any means of reducing emissions quickly must be grabbed with both hands - the clock is ticking.

former climate camper

a contemplative note on your comments

19.12.2009 15:23

I'll just start by pointing out that it is a crying shame that anyone involved in the climate movement is willing to make sweeping generalisations about any one in any place at any time. I don't understand how such judgemental people can possibly have the open mindedness required to understand and act upon the issues involved here.

Also, I wouldn't say that melting part of the Ice Bear (which, as a side not, is the point of the sculpture. It is 'interactive' art) is classed as vandalism. Labels like 'vandalism' are very subjective. A further point to this is that the artist was actually there at the time of the action, was well aware that we were planning something and even interviewed Marina (holding the kettle and, to make a further point, a full time campaigner without a day job) about the action for his documentary.

I also don't feel that spelling everything out in black and white to the general public is a necessary way to campaign. People observing this action were asking us (and probably themselves) 'what does RBS have to do with climate change?'. You don't need to treat people like uninquizitive idiots to get them involved.

While maintaining a presence in trafalgar square, climate campers constantly interacted with curious members of the public about their reasons for being there. The response I witnessed was very positive.

I do have a day job. I work in a bar. Another woman on the camp is a full time (very experienced) campaigner. There were a few people there who also attend university and campaign when they are not learning. The girl holding the banner had just returned from Copenhagen where she had been protesting for the last week and a half.
I would say that saying you have to be a certain type of person, with a certain type of background and doing very specific things with your life at the time, in order to be a 'proper campaigner' is incredibly alienating. It will take all types of people to cure the worlds ills. Including those from all 'classes' (yes, including those from the middle class, which I am not). People who work can spend their money as responsibly as possible, to give an example to others of a different way of living. Those who study can become engineers, for example, to advise us towards the future. Full time campaigners can live on permanent sites like titnore and farslane (both of which I have visited myself) to keep a constance presence felt. And together we can instigate change.

There is no room for judgement and close mindedness is campaigning. Only inclusion and interpretation.


Quick response

20.12.2009 14:29

Just a quick come back......

"I don't understand how such judgemental people can possibly have the open mindedness required to understand and act upon the issues involved here".

"I also don't feel that spelling everything out in black and white to the general public is a necessary way to campaign".

This is precisely what I'm saying the climate camp is guilty of - i.e. anything to do with using market mechanisms to address the issue is bad, e.g. the targetting of the carbon exchange. It's not that it's a complicated issue but that it's an attempt to reduce emissions - that's why the general public wont get it.

former climate camper

Kropotkin Was Right

21.12.2009 18:45

England is a graveyard. I'm no fan of any 'Climate Change' campaigners however in this particular instance i can't find too many faults with the specific action. The hypocrisy of the British (so called) left is that the second we are faced with a broken bank window or a defaced symbol they are all to quick to condemn the actions of the perpetrators as fascist, loony or morally wrong. Then you will all come out with ridiculous statements (former climate camper's being just one of many) whereby you fail to view the obvious contradiction between profit ( i.e capitalism which is based on consumerism) and ecology (i.e the limiting of over production and consumption.) The same companies which ravage the earth and its inhabitants in countries many of you have never heard of are the same companies advertising themselves ad eco-conscious. Yet all the ravaging in the world will not equate to a broken window or a defaced M&S ice bear. Kropotkin was right when proclaiming: 'Better a French prison than this grave' while in exile in England; a country still playing its fair share in the murder of earth, humans, and animals, yet where those who are supposedly fighting that injustice are more concerned with commercial vandalism and the so called fascist threat (as if the parliamentary parties are any less dangerous to the world). We will not hold our breaths over you ability to organize and fight for a substantial change.

My sincere apologies to those few over there who are kicking themselves with the sort of crowd they have to deal with on a daily basis.