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Police on PeeWatch at Climate Camp

Neale | 17.08.2007 18:15 | Climate Camp 2007 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Repression | Cambridge | London

A first timer at Climate Camp discovers that eco loos aren't safe from the zoom lens of an overbearing and intimidating police operation

Having arrived at Climate Camp on Tuesday, it's been a real eye-opener with many pleasant surprises, but also some rather disturbing behaviour by the police.

I came to Climate Camp because I was inspired by the mix of eco-living, workshops, and protest.

On the eco-living and workshops front it has been an amazing revelation, discovering something far different from the typical experience of going to some event, such as one of the hundreds of festivals in the UK each year, or the usual sponsored and council organised bonfire night event.

At most of those events, a van arrives and unloads portaloos full of chemicals which everyone hates using and finds 'alien'; and the food supply is mainly greasy meat (or is that meat derivatives) served from an all stainless steel kitchen, in foam trays with plastic forks.

The experience at Climate Camp is very, *very* different. Irrespective of whether you are a camper like me, a local resident coming to support the camp and find out what it's all about, or a patrolling police officer, you cannot fail to miss (especially if you are trained in observation ;), the neighbourhood kitchens, grey water treatment systems, and composting toilets.

My first use of a composting toilet was fine. It really was a non-event, when I consider the difficulty holding in the contents of my stomach at the smell of the chemical toilets at a festival. No really noticable smell other than the same temporary one you get in your own bathroom, and then instead of flushing, you drop a handful of sawdust on your compost contribution.

The mens urinals are slightly different, being a bunch of bales of hay in a chest-high enclosure, looking out over the fields, airplanes and... police with big zoom lenses.

I didn't quite imagine that one of my personal firsts accomplished at the camp would be to have my photo taken while taking a pee by a bobby with a big camera and perhaps some big issues that would have him doing such a job. How amazing is it to do that to members of the general public who are visiting the camp, and of all sorts of levels of personal confidence. While I don't feel intimidated by that action, many people do, and it really does have me asking what sort of police state we have become.

With that thought in mind, I also wonder where my 'colleagues' are. Those people who had gags in their mouths in front of a court for a photo during the BAA injunction hearing. If they want to claim to be fighting for our civil liberties, then they need to do more than just debate in the comfort of council chambers and the Houses of Parliament. They need to get out and fight for what is being lost, day by day, abuse by abuse. They really do need to get here and experience, first hand, what it is like to be the subject of "PeeWatch".

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Display the following 8 comments

  1. Talking crap — Danny
  2. Danny's crap — Itsme
  3. Gags in mouths + local farmers — johnh
  4. shit + temperature x time = safe compost — shit stirrer
  5. Ta — Danny
  6. Cauliflower — Christian
  7. poo — happy camper
  8. heat does the trick — tomas