Camp for Climate Action

Yes Yes Yes

Environmental activists find themselves answering the same questions again and again, and one of these most frequently asked questions is “You’re saying no to coal power fire stations, no to airport expansion, and no to nuclear, but what do you want?

I often find it hard to put into words what it is that I do want, especially when the things that we are fighting against appear more immediate. However last weekend’s Camp for Climate Action outside RBS headquarters in Edinburgh reminded me what I would like to see in the future.

Sustainability. Relying on sources that won’t dry up or run out. When I see a wind farm from a train window I feel like I’m looking at the future, and it’s safe and clean and far from the eyesore it’s made out to be.

Community. Climate camp has a strong sense of interdependence and a genuine sense of community. People look out for and support each other, which we saw at Edinburgh when protestors stuck together in stressful situations and made quick decisions as a collective.

Empowerment and self reliance. So many people are disempowered, and feel like they are unable to do something unless they have trained in a particular area. Climate camp is a space where people learn by doing, and within hours you will find yourself putting up a giant marquee or cooking for a hundred people.

I say yes to compost toilets, yes to recycling, yes to grey water systems, yes to reusing everything and anything you can, yes to educating yourself, yes to including everyone, yes to mucking in, yes to vegan food, freegan food and local organic produce.

Yes to consensus decision making, to being cooperative, to taking the initiative and not waiting for someone to give you permission to do what needs doing.

Yes to helping out your neighbour, and yes to helping out someone who lives on the other side of the world to you. Yes to active participation, yes to creativity and yes to fun.

Yes for all of these and for taking action to bring the institutions which threaten this future for my generation and for generations to come to their knees.

Climate Camp takes action against dirty oil sponsors

Last Wednesday night, I was one of 100 people who swooped (swept?) onto the site of this year's Camp for Climate Action. It's a stone throw away from the Royal Bank of Scotland's Headquarters at their Gogarburn site, just outside Edinburgh.

Initially I was doubtful of the over-ambitious plans to camp so close to this year's target but 24 hours later I was proven wrong. By camping on the grounds of the headquarters the camp has become a piece of direct action in itself. Everyday the big bosses who are responsible for the massive climate wrecking plans that RBS have funded can see out of their shiny windows camp life in process.

So far the policing has been very relaxed with them even allowing 150 activists to take a tour round the building on Friday lunchtime. Speeches, music and lots of dancing was the theme of the day however one activist did manage to get through and super glue herself to the front desk.

This is just the beginning as today at least 500 climate campers have vowed to shut the place down. And they deserve it!

We, the people, own 83% of RBS and they are using our money to fund dirty coal, oil and gas projects all over the world including some of the most dirtiest projects such as the tar sands in Canada.

You can check out updates from the day of action at the Camp for Climate Action's website, and on the Grauniad's livefeed.

Nest of oil giants found in central London - let's drum them out!

We all know that the real cost of cheap flights is paid for by the planet. Aviation fuel is not taxed, and so flying gets a free ride. This means more people fly, increasing demand for high-emission transport and undermining low-carbon alternatives. The combination of cheap flights and gung-ho advertising campaigns creates a mindset that we need to be constantly travelling, which leads, inevitably, to catastrophic climate change and the end of the world.

We're seeing the impact of our oil addiction every day as the Gulf of Mexico disappears under brown gunge. Oil is costing us, and the planet, dearly. It's not about taxing it - we need to get off it all together! Trains and buses can be electric, which can be renewable. Planes can't, hence the need to reduce demand for flying.

Problem is, oil companies rule the roost, making sure that we don't get the change we need to save the future. But BP's scandalous cost-cutting, which led to this latest disaster, means that all that could be changing. The tide is turning against Big Oil, and now is the time to rise up agains the oil giants! Time to gatecrash their party.

The World National Oil Companies Congress at Grange St Pauls Hotel in London 21st – 24th June invites you to: “debate and decide the future of the oil business . . . Don’t forget to pack your tuxedos and gowns. Fine wine, exquisite food and the company of some of the greatest minds in the energy business guarantee you fun and networking at the highest level.

Delegates will be arriving on Monday evening, 21 June at the Hotel at 10 Goodliman Street EC4. They "kick off with welcome drinks on a spectacular roof terrace overlooking St. Pauls Cathedral." Plane Stupid is joining the Camp for Climate Action and the UK Tar Sands Network to ruin their evening.

Gather at 6 pm at BP-sponsored Tate Modern, near the bridge across the Thames. Bring your own percussion, banners, slogans and energy.

Join the People’s Court at 7 pm outside the conference venue, where, in co-ordination with ADIEYIEMANFO Movement of Positive Action Networks who are fighting oil exploitation in Ghana, we will put the oil executives on trial for:

  • wholesale wanton destruction by pollution, leaks, and flaring, of land and sea, fish and fowl, human lives and livelihoods, present and future;
  • waging wars for oil;
  • changing the climate to create an uninhabitable planet; And, as oil runs out,
  • pursuing ever more costly and dangerous deposits from the depths of the ocean or from tar sands, instead of developing clean, sustainable forms of energy.

The Ghanese organisers for this event say:

"Oil drilling is being violently forced upon us in West Afrika with huge blood spilling. Our only defence is grassroots community self-empowerment . ... Let us therefore all rise up to the solidarity beat of our unifying peoples’ power across borders and drum out the plundering criminals! ... Neocolonialist and imperialist States and vampire capitalist transnational corporations must never be trusted with control over dangerous fossil fuels such as Oil."

Bring your own experience, and give and hear testimonies from the oil workers and communities who have for decades resisted the curse of black gold in the Tar Sands region of Canada, in the Niger Delta, in Ghana, Iraq, Colombia, Venezuela . . . and from people at the sharp end of the changing climate.

In a ceremony pre-empting Tuesday’s gala dinner and awards ceremony, companies will fight it out for the prestigious Dead Fish Award. BP? Shell? Chevron? Who will walk away with the prize?

Come help reward your favourite oil giant. Meeting at Tate Modern, 6pm, then off to Grange St Pauls Hotel, Goodliman St, London EC4

Best offence is a good de-fence

More awesomeness from Ratcliffe-on-Soar: the police have released some helicopter footage showing people getting through the fences.

You'll love the bit, a few minutes in, where they complain of being "overrun at gate 3". Too bloody right: great job everyone.

Fences breached at Ratcliffe-on-Soar

As night draws in, the battle for Ratcliffe-on-Soar (and, indirectly, our future) continues. With police now promising (threatening?) to use new tactics on anyone who refuses to go home and cower in fear behind the sofa, swarms of concerned citizens are taking the power back all around the site.

Fences are down in multiple locations, through a combination of ingenuity, grapling hooks and ninja cyclists. 30 swoopers broke through and blockaded the train tracks by which coal arrives at the power station. We're hearing reports that 10 others were nicked hours before the protest even started by over-zealous cops. Not so keen to help the guy who collapsed with a suspected heart attack though were you officers?

There's up-to-the-minute coverage on the Climate Camp's twitter feed.

Police harassment begins early for Great Climate Swoopers

Climate activists have been harassed, threatened and detained by police, just days before a mass action to take over a coal-fired power station near Nottingham.

On Wednesday at 8.10pm, an activist from Leeds was walking back from a Climate Camp meeting, when an unmarked car stopped and the drivers asked his name. When he gave it, the drivers identified themselves as police officers, and arrested him on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

After being questioned by Nottinghamshire police and having his notebooks rifled through at the police station, the Climate Camper has now been bailed to return at 1pm on Saturday - the exact time of the Swoop on Ratcliffe coal-fired power station.

Over the past two days, UK border police have also used anti-terrorism legislation to detain 4 activists who were traveling to Copenhagen to attend a meeting of the international network Climate Justice Action. The network is discussing protests due to take place during the United Nations climate talks in December.

Yesterday Nottinghamshire police also rang up the info phone of action group Plane Stupid, to tell them not to go to Ratcliffe "because if they did, they would be arrested." Tracy Singh from Plane Stupid said "the police are acting like hoodlums. We are absolutely disgusted."

Richard Bernard from the Climate Camp: "They're threatening and arresting people for just thinking and talking about taking meaningful action. It's very obvious to all of us that the police are only interested in protecting companies like E.ON which are causing climate change."

"This is clear intimidation - they're just trying to scare us. But what's really scary is climate change, and that's why we're going to take control of Ratcliffe on Saturday."

The Great Climate Swoop will be awesome and takes place at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station tomorrow at 1pm. There are loads of resources on the Camp for Climate Action website, including maps and instructions on where to go, which bloc to join, and how to sign up for text alerts.

E:ON gets youtube swooped

Imagine - and I know this will be a stretch for at least 50% of you - that you're working for E.ON's public relations people. You know that Britain doesn't want to turn every hilltop into an open cast coal mine, nor does it want new coal-fired power stations on every doorstep. What to do?

Always quick to take up this nu-media malarkey, E.on turned to a website called youtube, where people post videos of stuff, and started a 'conversation'. The uninitiated reader might imagine this would be a two-way thing, but not on planet E.ON; they basically wanted a one-way diatribe where their stooges could tell us all why coal was wicked ace and we'd all be queuing up for our very own Kingsnorth.

Except that the enterprising ladies and lads at the Camp for Climate Action found out about it and submitted their own films. After much wrangling (and E.ON pretending that 'technical issues' prevented them hosting any new films) the power-hungry power company gave in.

Which is why you can now see Plane Stupid's very own Dan Glass explaining why coal is bad news on E.ON's own youtube stream. I belive that's what's known as an own goal. Socially inept PR team 0, nu-media savvy environmentalists 1.

Everything you wanted to know about the Great Climate Swoop

There are less than three weeks to go until our day of action! Just imagine… it’s the morning of Saturday 17th October. You receive a message telling you to move into position at the south side of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. The helicopter blades cut through the noise of the cars zipping up and down the M1. Your mission is clear and you’re ready to swoop.

Presented by the Camp for Climate Action, Plane Stupid, Rising Tide and Climate Rush, the swoop will see thousands of concerned individuals converging and taking over E.ON’s biggest coal fired power station.

Read the information below carefully, as it contains important planning details that aim to make the swoop the huge success it needs to be. People are being urged to arrive the night before (Friday 16th) if at all possible, where there will be an info stall at Nottingham station (6pm-9pm) directing people to a pre-action meet up point, followed by places to crash.

Bloc party

We can now announce the four blocs! Whether you want to highlight a solution or expose a problem, sign up to receive text alerts and details of your mission on the day.

Take back the power
Mission: Get to the control room and take back the power!

While the workers receive pitiful pay rises, the bosses of plants like Ratcliffe are raking in record profits. It’s time to kick start a just transition to a clean energy world by building the real solutions to climate change.

Let’s demonstrate that we can’t rely on Governments or corporations or anyone else to sort out the mess we’re in; it’s up to us to be the change we need. Join the take back the power bloc and aim for the control room to hit that big red ‘off’ switch.

Footsteps to the future
Mission: Get to the main gate and create your vision of a better future!

A bloc for the young, old and all in between to create a vision for a future beyond fossil fuels. Efficient and renewable, this bloc will be a space to show the solutions. From bike powered sound systems to solar showers, come, conceive and create.

This Bloc will be meeting at 10am on Saturday 17th at Nottingham train station to travel en masse to the power station. (However, fear not, if you are up for one of the other Blocs there will be just as clear ways to get involved on the day distributed via the text messaging system).

False solutions
Mission: Get to the coal pile and expose the false solutions!

Coal is not the answer! The only real solution to climate change is to stop burning the fossil fuels that are causing it! Let’s expose the greenwash and technofixes. Come armed with green paint! Or how about a net to capture and store some coal?! Whatever your tools and methods, decommission that coal!

Capitalism is crisis
Mission: Get anywhere in or around the power station and choose your own adventure! This is the decentralised option.

Through the fences; up the chimney; in the water. You’ve got your own ideas about making this a spectacular action. Do what you can and how you want. The economic and climate crises are linked. Capitalism is a root cause of climate change and cannot be the solution!

Every journey starts with one step, grasshopper

You have two options for how to begin your mission:

Looking for people to swoop with?

Make your way to Nottingham station between 6 and 11pm on Friday 16th October. There’ll be someone there to meet you, introduce you to fellow swoopers and direct you to accommodation if you need it. But please email if you will need a place to sleep. Make sure you’re ready to go at 10am on Saturday.

In an affinity group already?

That’s great! Make sure you’re in the Nottingham area at 10am on Saturday 17th October. If you need or want to get there the night before let us know if you’ll need a place to stay, but the more you can sort out for yourself the better!


Whether you’ve arrived the night before or on in the morning, you’ll receive a text message with details of the next part of your mission.

Then be prepared to swoop on the power station at 1pm!

Great Climate Swoop: trash, trash, trash all the fences

There's an old anarchist camp fire song, the chorus of which goes something along the lines of: Trash, trash, trash all the nations, we are the anarchist generation, we blockade military bases, we transform Fascist nations. Bolt croppers and evolution, we're gonna have a revolution. We're gonna move in a new direction, we're gonna start an insurrection.

Now I'm not going to pretend that the Great Climate Swoop is going to lead to the overthrow of the Government and the establishment of a new, horizontal system of mutual aid, but it will (a) be fun and (b) involve some fences. Fences which may not spend too much time standing, as the video above demonstrates.

So don't be put off by the naughty police and their naughtier mates at E:on. Come to Ratcliffe-on-Soar on the 17th and 18th of October... and if you happen to bring some bolt croppers, all the better!

Camp for Climate Action responds to police

Oh this is very sweet: the cops wrote to the Camp for Climate Action, asking them nicely to tell them where the party will be happening. And the Camp wrote back, via t'internet.

It's a great video, but all the better because it's so very, very true. I've been at all the Camps so far, and the only problems we ever had were caused by over-zealous cops out to bash some hippies and look cool in front of their mates. Seeing how they've acted at Climate Camp makes me wonder whether the entire police force is made up of thirteen year old boys out on the pull - all bravado and swagger with no brains behind it.

This is in no way inspired by a bunch of my friends getting arrested for 'police obstruction' only to have the case thrown out of court once it became clear that the cops had made the whole thing up... oh well, there'll be some hefty wrongful arrest claims in the next few months, I'll bet.

Anyway, if you're around on Wednesday, come take part in the very exciting Camp for Climate Action Swoop! Basically pick a colour, meet somewhere in London for 12pm, then scamper through the streets, parks and underground network following a series of text messages. We think the cops have agreed to play, so if they catch you, you're out!