The Weekly Round-up
Welcome to the first Weekly Round-up from the Climate Camp blog.
The idea is that once a week we find and share the latest news, events and action reports from across the web that covers issues of interest to UK-based activists. Without further a-do sit back and feast your eyes on all the great stuff below….
The subject of effective planning and organising for successful social change is an important one for grassroots groups. Knowing how and what to do, and doing it right is vital for sustainable movement building. It’s certainly been a topic of discussion at Camp for Climate Action gatherings this year and in the wider climate justice movement post-COP15.
Steve illustrates his point by observing that when we plan campaigns or actions we set out where we are now, what our aims are, then list the activities we’ll use to meet our aims. But, Steve, writes “real life isn’t like that!”
He urges people to try to always keep the bigger picture in focus:
“Sure, we know we can shut down trading in the City or a military base for a day – before they return to business as usual. We know about short-term effects, and those actions are entirely valid. But what about the longer term goals, the trajectories? We know the Iraq invasion went ahead anyway, but what about future military adventures.”
This way of thinking helps open up possible opportunities for further action and fosters a positive mindset.
In fact, putting the above quotation into a practical context, Steve remarks that in training workshops he is struck by the way that events which on the face of it seem negative have been absorbed and turned into positive energy. Key to success in these situations “lay in the movement’s ability to respond well to [negative situations]”.
This is a powerful thought and Steve strongly believes this approach to organizing and planning can help prevent dejection, frustration and burn-out –essential factors to ensure sustainable and successful movements.
But if you prefer action to theory then you could do worse than head over to Woodford where a call out has been made to all “Free Thinkers, Eco-Villagers, Stoners, Ravers, Rewilders, and Anarchists” to get together and create London’s first Freetown.
Meanwhile Bristol and Bath Rising Tide are hosting an evening about train blockading, hold-ups and the Malicious Damages Act.
This event will focus on direct action on the railways and the implications of the Malicious Damages Act – a law from 1861 that has been used consistently against activists on train blockades and which still carry a maximum life sentence.
There’ll be speakers sharing experiences of stopping trains from the recent actions against the Ffos-y-Fran open coal mine and Drax that disrupted coal-fired power stations as well as speakers from train blockade at Sharpness Docks thirty years ago that stopped the transportation and dumping nuclear waste.
It’ll be a great opportunity “to hear personal accounts of the actions, see a film of the Sharpness train hold up and discuss the pros and cons of putting your neck on the line!”
It all kicks-off at 7.30pm (or 6.30pm if you want to join for a cheap dinner) on Sunday 11th July at the Kebele Social Centre, Robertson Road, Easton.
It’s your chance to be a frontline reporter, a presenter, camera person or editor and you don’t need any experience at all!
The workshop is being held on Saturday 24th July 2010 from 10am-6pm at Forest Cafe, 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh EH1 1EY and it’s free/donations.
There’s also a film night on the evening of Friday 23rd July giving you a chance to come and meet everyone and watch some films.
Places are limited, so please fill in the application form here and remember: lack of experience is no barrier!
Commitment to making social change happen through video is much more important!