April 20, 2009

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  1. Hey,

    This is a slightly edited version of the report I sent to Watford Quaker Meeting soon after Aprik 1. It’s about 450 words long. Hope it’s alright!

    ‘A Fresh Experience’

    I wish I had gone to Climate Camp before. Previous examples of these sustainable camps, set up as a means of environmental protest, such as that of last summer, at Kingsnorth (the intended site of a new coal-power station), received extensive media coverage, and looked immense. My involvement in Warwick’s People and Planet society, and my subsequent friendships with several student Climate Camp veterans, left me genuinely inspired by their stories and photos. I was therefore very excited about the ‘Fossil Fools’ Climate Camp planned in London’s financial heartland on April 1. I think it is fair to say that I have become and activist since arriving at Warwick!

    Our thirty-or-so-strong crew planned thoroughly for the event, spending the day before rehearsing environmental covers of West Side Story, Jungle Book and Leonard Cohen songs, making banners and other props, and cooking enough “nutritious and delicious” vegan food to last us all for two days!

    In order for us to successfully set up camp, we had to ‘swoop’ on the area at precisely 12.30, thus overwhelming the police. Much to our delight, it worked! In great excitement we pitched our tents in the road. True to its sustainable ethos, the camp had compost toilets and a kitchen, but there were also talks and workshops, music and dancing, street theatre and meditation. The peaceful daytime atmosphere did not prevent the police’s desire to destroy the camp, however. There is a lot of online video footage of unprovoked police violence. We sat in a circle an sang ourselves hoarse in an attempt to keep the peace and sustain morale, which was a powerful experience. At midnight, the Warwick contingent agreed to leave the camp as the police had begun forcibly evicting people. Whilst it was tempting to try and hold the camp overnight by passive resistance, this would not have succeeded, considering the force and numeric advantage of the police. The G20 largely neglected the issue of Climate Change, but we shall hold them to their fleeting references: to ‘make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure’.

    Although the main impact of irreversible climate change is a “long-term” one, the natural world and the world’s poorest are already suffering from its effects. I urge everyone to get involved with environmental activism in the months leading up to December’s UN Conference in Copenhagen, which will be absolutely crucial to our success in combating global warming. Climate Camp will be returning to London from August 26-September 2, but perhaps the most important date is December 5, when we will march in London to demand results at Copenhagen. Activism is one of the best means of campaigning, and it is also wicked fun!

    23 Apr 2009, 19:02

  2. Yeaaah! Wicked.

    23 Apr 2009, 20:14

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