Our cleaning spree against the government’s dirty investments
At 11am today we converged on the Treasury in our cleaning overalls, feather dusters and scrubbing brushes – to clean up the Treasury’s act over their climate change-inducing investments. On this “anti-bank” holiday we dropped a banner highlighting that ‘Climate Change doesn’t take holidays’ – most of the bankers and officials may have had the day off but we were there to press home that time is running out in the fight against climate change.
The government is ignoring its commitments made under the Climate Act by throwing billions in public money at high street banks such as RBS – but doing absolutely nothing to challenge the banks’ investment in environmentally and socially destructive projects such as the tar sands project in Canada. Our affinity group thought it was time to do something to highlight the government’s continued inaction on climate change. These investments must stop. Our society must change to become more sustainable- but instead we are witnessing business interests result in madness such as the closure of the Isle of Wight wind turbine blade factory, which the government did nothing to prevent.
After swooping on the Treasury from St James’ Park we moved onto targets in Whitehall. However, it turns out you can look at the ducks all you like in St. James’ Park, but forget freedom of speech. Demonstrations and banners are banned (at least according to the police officers on site). The Inland Revenue buildings, the gates of Downing Street and the Department of Energy & Climate Change were all treated to a visit from our cleaners – but we know that unfortunately there’s still a lot of dirt to be washed away in the area.
No arrests were made, indeed one police officer even found the time to discuss our action with a young kid passing by – who after getting one side of the story soon joined in with our spontaneous consensus decision-based meeting on the lawn. It was the first action for many activists in our group; we were delighted that it all managed to come together in such a short time, after four days of training, sustainable living & movement-building at Climate Camp. There’ll be many more to come!