Action updates from Climate Camps around the world…
As Climate Campers across the UK are digging out their D-Locks and working on their fence jumping techniques (careful- it’s electric don’t you know!) the International Group thought it’d be time to update everyone on what’s going on in countries around the world right now.
One of the four aims of the Camp for Climate Action is movement building, and the success of this can be seen in the proliferation of Climate Camps in various guises around the world. For a movement that started in a field outside Drax in 2006, it is pretty awe inspiring and slightly humbling to see that there are more than 18 Camps across the world this year that have either happened or are being planned as we speak.
All of these Camps are loosely based around the four aims of Direct Action, Movement Building, Education and Sustainable Living. From looking at pictures and videos on the web you can also see examples of greywater systems, consensus decision making and massive vegan feasts! It seems that getting people together in a field to discuss, debate and create solutions is a model of protest that people can get on board with…
We start close to home. Before the camp on Blackheath there were regional camps in Wales and Scotland. Both of these focused on local campaigns against opencast coal mines with the Scots starting the ball rolling by shutting down a coal conveyor belt whilst the Welsh enjoyed a spot of police baiting on a climate stroll. Right now there’s also a Co-Mutiny happening in Bristol. Heading across the water; Climate Camp Ireland set up for 9 days in Shannonbridge cumulating in action against 3 peat-fired power stations. A more in-depth write up on these can be found on Indymedia.
Over in Europe the French were revolting in Nantes (snigger!) Check out this great video which shows V3 windmills, straw bale buildings and their invasion of the local Airport. On the Dutch/ Belgium border they weren’t content with just one action- targeting the meat and nuclear industries as well as a day of action against coal. They also handily produced an English video explaining ‘this is what a Climate Camp looks like’ (warning: its 20 minutes long!) Meanwhile the German ‘Cycling for Change’ caravan had a little party on a bridge on their way to the Copenhagen camp. Elsewhere in Europe a camp appeared in Switzerland, and there were rumours of Camps in the Ukraine and Italy at the G8 summit, although I can’t find confirmation that theses ever went ahead.
Down under the Ozzies have definitely stepped up the pace of their Climate Campaigning. After a fantastic Camp in Newcastle last year, there’s not only 3 camps happening in New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia- but they’ve already had 22 arrests trying to switch off Hazelwood power station. There’s some great coverage of this on Indymedia Australia and our own Amelia’s Blog. My favourite part of the Australian NSW website is the ‘Adopt an Activist’ where you can donate to adopt a working group, neighbourhood, affinity group or activist. In return they promise a picture of your activist and the chance to follow them on twitter!
Not to be out done by their neighbours there’s also a Climate Camp in New Zealand timed to coincide with the Copenhagen conference (16-21st December).
Heading over the pond there’s the 3 Rivers Climate Convergence happening as part of the resistance to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately they’ve been denied the opportunity to stay in the local park and so this is running from 10am-10pm each day. (That’s what you get for asking I suppose!) They’ve already experienced police harassment in the run up to this event. Also in the US there’s a Climate Camp style convergence on the West Coast, while in Canada Greenpeace are running Climate Action Camps and dropping banners highlighting the damage done by Tar Sands projects, an issue we are now well aware of after the recent London camp.
Moving out of the developed countries we have unconfirmed reports of Camps in South Korea and India. Rising Tide in Ecuador is currently looking for funds to set up the first South American Climate Camp- looks like a fundraiser may be in order. If anyone has more information on these or any other happenings around the world please do let us know by emailing email@example.com.
So that’s about it- pretty cool is it not? Makes you feel like you’re part of something pretty special. As we head into Copenhagen in December and then off into 2010 who knows what could happen? There’s even the possibility of a camp in Africa…
All of these camps have been inspired by the UK Camp for Climate Action, and everyone who has been part of making this happen (both old and new Campers) should be very proud of what they have achieved. It’s important to celebrate what past successes, as well as finding new and innovative ways to move forward.
And at the risk of promoting some healthy competition- let’s show them how it’s done at Ratcliffe in October!