Crude Awakening. A mass direct action to stop the flow of oil to London. Three blocs: the Dirty money bloc meeting at Euston, the Building bloc meeting at Waterloo and the Body bloc meeting at Victoria. The final location \ target to be revealed over twitter. This is all that was known before the day of the action.
At 10:00am people on the different blocs started receiving twitter updates and text messages directing them where to go next. After a bit of travelling around London via the tube the target and location were revealed, Coryton oil refinery, the busiest in the UK. News came through that 12 women had locked on to two vehicles on the only road that services the refinery, blockading it and preventing oil tankers from entering or leaving the site. They where soon joined by the Dirty Money bloc who helped reinforce the blockade and the Building bloc who set up a second blockade with bamboo tripods and arm tubes further down the road that not only served as a secondary blockade but also blocked access to another road leading to a second refinery owned by Shell. The police had been completely on the back-foot all this time expecting, like everyone else, for the action to happen in London, they took some of their frustration out on the Body Bloc by delaying the train to Stanford-le-hope. One of the more comfortable police kettles. However one carriage was subjected to a stop and search looking for "items that may be used to cause criminal damage” or as one officer put it Molasses used to poison fish with. The body bloc eventually arrived to reinforce the Tripod blockade. The final addition to the party was a group of stilt walkers. There were now around 500 protesters blockading the refinery which normally sees tankers containing 34,000 litres (7,500 gallons) of oil leave the site every few minuets. The supply of oil to London had been successfully turned off. A large Shell sign was given a bit of a redecoration with police unable to act due to a laundry area provided by The Space Hijackers where activists were able to quickly change appearance. The first blockade packed up and merged with the Tripod blockade at 5:00pm with both packing up soon after. No arrests were made. The only criticism of the action would be that it’s been said that the 12 women who originally locked on did so as an all women group with no men allowed. I don't know if this is true but if it is then for a movement that prides it's self on being inclusive and treating all people equally no matter what class, colour or gender, if it is true then its somewhat annoying that we are introducing such divisions. I hope it's not true. That been said it was an awesome and inspiring action, blockading the UK's busiest oil refinery. We need a lot more actions like this more often. Well done every one involved.
West Midlands Person
This report about crude awakening was published with the author listed as West Midlands Climate Action. This was written without the consent of the rest of the WMCA group and contains views we don't necessarily agree with. Can the West Midlands Climate Action name along with the link to our website be removed from this particular article please?