11 Aug 2008

Carry on camping

Climate Camp: everywhere, all year round

Climate Camp worked by flagging up the locura of building a new generation of coal fired power stations. I marched to the power station on saturday.

The police told us if we didn't move on at 1.30 we would be charged by horses, have dogs set on us and batoned...fuck we must have been doing something right.

Some people even got over the fence. The policing as we all know was hugely excessive...found a great bit of analysis here.

The truth of social movement using direct action is a simple one. Powerful vested interests construct a managed democracy. Conventional politics as some one told me Chomsky said is usually the 'periodic ratification of elite decision'.

More accumulation of wealth and power for the few.

Direct action is a way of exerting counter power, from the suffragettes, revolts against land enclosure and all the rest, counter power is necessary.

Climate camp did this.

It also provided an inspiring example of real green ideas in action, the energy was renewable on site and powered a tv station by solar. The camp organised consensually, an example of real participation, almost unknown in our bureaucratic society.

The camp was fun and really showed that something else was possible.

Thanks by the way to the 50 of you who showed up to my 'anti-capitalist and green economics' workshop for you passionate intelligence...the quality of the debate was very very high from what I saw.

I wish more people could have seen it, I was only there for a few hours on wednesday, saturday and sunday (never get a train via Paddock Wood to Strood on a sunday...it is a very long rail).

It really built capacity, people involved loved it and will be back for more, lets face it a lot of political activity especially party politics is capacity diminishing. People trust political leaders, eventually get betrayed and lose much of their capacity for getting politically involved.

I think people should keep up the involvement, it was a bit of utopian space that can be stretched over wider surfaces.

Earth First! gathering at the end of August, looks like a way of camping, being self-managed, going to lots of workshops and learning, etc, etc. http://www.earthfirstgathering.org.uk/2008/front.html

Earth First! Summer Gathering
27 Aug - 1 Sept 2008, Norfolk

5 days of workshops, skill sharing and planning action, plus low- impact living without leaders.

Meet and share skills with others who care. Plan actions and campaigns. Have fun. We've got over 80 workshops, planning, strategy and 'Where Next' sessions planned, get in touch if you want to offer a workshop!

* Share and learn skills for kick-ass direct action
* Network your campaign against ecological destruction: open-cast mining, genetic engineering, agrofuels, dam-building, hunt-sabbing, climate actions, pipeline resistance, anti-nuclear campaigning, road stopping, anti-whaling, town centre gentrification, squatting, rainforest protection and much much more.
* Think and learn about eco-centric ethics and alternatives to the corporate world of greed and exploitation.
* Find strategies on how to bring about radical change.
* Practical skills for ecological restoration and sustainable living including field trips and hands-on work

We are a diverse community with a wide range of approaches to our action, so there should be plenty to interest and inspire everyone whether you have been active for years or are completely new to it all.

Yes I am in the Green Party and work with governments on occassions, in the great debate with John Holloway I am a believer in taking state power and being aware of state structures. I am not an anarchist.

Yet lets face it the anarchistic diy direct action movement in Britain is/has been hugely exciting, dynamic and 'professional'.

Professional in the sense of being well organised rather than 'professional' as in being in it for the money.

So do take a look at Earth First! if you have not already done so....we need far more local groups to build this kind of activism.

Glad to see so many Green Party at the camp, wandered around with John Hunt in particular on saturday, but we should be really working to get more bodies along and do more work to promote the camp, Earth First!, the social movements...

Like wise very nice to see Alan Thornett, Roy Wilkes, John Singa and all of my other good amigos on the left.

Had some great discussions with people as well...any way people get ready, where are we camping next year....here the camp could be permanent at Kingsnorth

pasting this in from the camp ttp://www.climatecamp.org.uk/home:

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of huge institutions such as energy corporations and governments. But the Climate Camp has shown that we don’t have to feel that way. This weekend, we proved our power.

Today, we learned that - despite E.ON’s bluster that the power station had been running normally all weekend – we most definitely succeeded in disrupting its operations. We learned this from a most unlikely source: the police.

On Saturday, four bold rebel rafters got very close to the power station water intake pipe before being boarded and captured. They were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass and, according to their charge sheets, “they did an act, namely disrupting the running of the power station by causing the water inlet cooling system to be shut down.” That doesn’t sound like E.ON’s claim of “business as usual” to us!

Despite the fact that we had publicly announced what we were going to do months in advance; despite E.ON spending millions on extra security, and the Government spending millions on policing; despite the extra fences, the smear campaigns, the scare stories, and the most repressive and
heavy-handed policing of peaceful protest for many years; despite all of this, we got over the fences, disrupted the power station, and massively embarrassed an international energy giant. We outsmarted 26 police forces to run the biggest climate camp ever. We covered the river in boats,
filled the streets with people, covered the power station gates with banners and hit at least eight other targets with autonomous actions. We flooded the national, local and independent media with our stories and messages. E.ON and the Government threw everything they could at us, and
they still couldn’t hold us back.

We’re just ordinary people with a cause. And we proved our power – not just to the outside world, but to ourselves. Now we know what we can do, and our movement is stronger than ever. If the Government gives Kingsnorth the go-ahead, we will be back to stop it.

Why not join us? The Camp for Climate Action is an open and welcoming network.

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