4 Nov 2006

Climate change march fun, real action: plane stupid action, monday, 6th November

Had a very enjoyable protest today with my partner Sarah and my eldest son, Vincent 12. He was very keen on giving out Green Party leaflets and waving his anti-Bush placard and collected lots of badges from Mumia to Che! See here for a good press report on the protest.

The imaginative costumes were fun, 'autonomous' activists told me they had built a giant arctic hare as an 'arbitery symbol', it changes colour in response to climate, and they are apparently changing far more often.

Ran into friends as diverse as George Marshall, Peter Tatchell, Eddie Adams (joined the CP in the 1950s but really good bloke),Muzammhal from the Islamic environmental network, David Young, Professor Chris Rootes, Noel, Ken, Tim, Romayne and fifty other people in the Green Party.

Excellent GPEW presence care of Tim Summers, Campaigns Coordinator.

Saw a women with a megaphone calling people to take up Green Party placards, I am 99% sure that I argued with the same women when she was selling Socialist Worker on last years protest...could be wrong on this?

Protest like this is great fun and good for networking however direct action and electoral politics are in my view even more important.

Good to see Rising Tide there, Plane Stupid is obviously the campaign at present, if you see Joss Garman buy the man a drink.

I am currently working on a detailed critique of Stern,

Next protests are by Plane Stupid on monday! See here, will try to get to the one in Kensington, so may be see you there!


Monday November 6th 2006

Plane Stupid is calling for a day of action against short haul flights and short haul operators on November 6th, during the UN International Climate Talks in Nairobi. The day of action is two days after the mass event for climate action in London on November 4th, organised by Stop Climate Chaos and the Campaign Against Climate Change.

This is a public call out to anyone who opposes the unsustainable growth in air travel. 45% of all flights in Europe are to destinations of 500km or less – that’s the equivalent of London to the Scottish border. Those are places like Manchester or Paris that are easily reachable by train, bus or ferry – all alternatives which are far less polluting.

This day of action was decided upon during the Plane Stupid workshop at the ‘Camp for Climate Action’ at Drax power station in Yorkshire.

Use your imagination! Take creative direct action against your local short haul operator, travel agent or airport.

There are also several public awareness raising events.

London: Meet 11am Palace Gate Kensington Gardens.
Email london@planestupid.com

Reading: 12pm outside Thomas Cook (121-122 Broad St).
Email reading@planestupid.com

Cambridge: Location TBC.
Email cambridge@planestupid.com

Bring placards, banners and enthusiasm for engaging and communicating with the public.

We have materials available for use on stickers or leaflets:

For more information, ideas or help, contact us via www.planestupid.com or email info@planestupid.com or phone 07722 215769.


Anonymous said...

Yes, an excellent and enjoyable protest. Nice to be able to speak to so many people with different motivations all fighting for the same cause.

I handed out several leaflets to very interested people, several of whom really showed an interest in joining the Green Party and were glad to see some members rather than just reading about us in the papers on online.

Anonymous said...

Hi Derek. Great blog. However, I'm at a loss as to why the Greens in England seem to be so unsuccessful, even despite the unfair voting system. For example, 25 years after Labour was formed it was in government. After 30 years, the Greens in England have 2 MEPs and only 100 councillors, and was beaten in many regions in the 2004 European elections by the BNP. The prospect of a Westminster MP looks unlikely for some time. Has the party no grasp of organisational reality? Is it just full of people who want it to remain an academic talking shop? That's the impression that I get anyway. There seem to be some very bitter internal debates using energy that would be better spent on focusing outwards. Why is it so poor at campaigning? Where do you see the Greens going? Continued irrelevance?

Derek Wall said...

well student medic, forgot to mention running into you today...

anonymous, thanks for your comments, I think lack of pr is key unfortunately, look at the success of Scottish Greens with pr, I don't think internal bickering is a problem it is a big deal in any other party you can think off, SWP/Respect! battles in the Lib dems over Kennedy and the orange book divide, the Conservative grassroots may be a little unhappy with their leader.

Honest the GPEW is a haven of peace, I would be kicked out of the Labour Party or RESPECT asap for example.

I do think though that there are areas where we Green Party people could be more organised but really it would not take much, LSE greens are the largest society on the SU, I think the target to win approach to locals could be rolled out further and politicised a bit.

I certainly think transforming society in a green direction is a very tough call and one that requires a green party, so I would invite you to pitch in if you can.

Having said that from open source to plane stupid direct action there are a lot of important tasks and you have to do what you feel most comfortable with!

I think a relatively small number of activists could really push up the effectiveness of the GPEW.

Anonymous said...

"I certainly think transforming society in a green direction is a very tough call and one that requires a green party, so I would invite you to pitch in if you can."

What worries me about this is that by changing just a couple of words (socialist for green, revolutionary for green) you get a statement that could have been made - no, has been made - by every comic opera bolshevik since 1922.

I've just sent off my GP membership form, but I don't want to be joining just another sect (even if it is nicer than the tradional far left). We must keep reminding ourselves that we are not about being THE Party but about making a vital contribution to what has to become a much wider mass movement of self liberation.

I'm sorry to jump down your throat as it were, but I have spent the last 45 years seeing opportunity after opportunity being thrown away because of the illusion by one group after another that it had exclusive access to the truth and all the struggling masses had to do was join it.

Jim Jepps said...

sorry i didn't see you on the demo derek - although i did spot tim summers and give him a wave...

Derek Wall said...

Hi Sean,

thanks for your comment, the point I was trying to make is what ever the strengths and weaknesses of the Green Party, we need a Green Party not that it has all the answers.

Because transforming society is difficult...there is not going to be a simple answer that is thought up by some Leninist elite.

I remember becoming increasingly frustrated debating with one such 'sect' that far left groups seem to have 'certainity', whereas one of the useful things we can take from Marx is his dictum of 'Doubt everything'.

A bit of doubt and debate is a good thing, although of course at the same time some solid practical action is needed!



Phugebrins said...

Sounds as if it was really good - I wish I'd been able to go.

Anonymous said...

I was there too! Did the bike ride, saw loads of Greens, then went to Blackheath for the fireworks in the evening!

When Keir Starmer was a Marxist.

Canvassing in Brighton back in 2017 to support Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’s re-election efforts, I knocked on a door and came acros...