26 Aug 2009

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich, Andy Hewett, welcomes the arrival of Climate Camp to Blackheath.

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich, Andy Hewett, welcomes the arrival of Climate Camp to Blackheath. Speaking today after the site was revealed, Andy said

"I am delighted that Blackheath has been chosen as the site of this year's Climate Camp. I hope that the people of Greenwich will show their support for this event and go along to experience the atmosphere. The aims of Climate Camp are to educate, inform and peacefully demonstrate that there are alternatives to the current way of life which are leading us to potentially catastrophic climate change."

With views of Canary Wharf, the site at Blackheath will provide Climate Campers with a constant reminder of the financial system which was the focus of the Camp in Bishopsgate and the events of the G20 protests in April. Andy was unable to get into the camp itself that day, due to Police blockades, but he recounted some of his experiences of the events at the G20 protests.

"I was amongst the many who were 'kettled' for hours by the Police on April 1st, and also the following day at a peaceful vigil outside the Bank of England in memory of Ian Tomlinson who died after being beaten by Police at the demonstration on the previous day. Friends of mine suffered injury at the hands of the police over those two days, many more were detained in police cordons. I hope that the police see sense and desist from using the violent tactics evident at the London Camp in April, that they desist from hassling protestors with unnecessary searches, that they desist from invasive and intimidatory photographing of protestors, and let the Climate Camp flourish with the intended family-friendly atmosphere and communal spirit."

"Some have questioned the choice of Blackheath as a venue for Climate Camp, but it has a rich history of being a centre of protest movements over the centuries. As far back as 1381, Wat Tyler's Peasant Revolt rallied at Blackheath in protests at the third poll tax, and in 1450 it was the rallying point for Jack Cade's Kentish Rebellion. Those events and others resonate through the years to the present day, with the right to protest remaining an essential democratic right. Defending that right is essential as part of protecting our civil liberties and sustaining a healthy democracy, and is another example of why Climate Camp is so important."

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