Camp for Climate Action 2010 – What’s Hot and What’s Not
Please note: This hot/not list is compiled by an arbitrary, self-selected group of random taste-mongers rather than any sort of official camp representative body. As such, it is intended as a light-hearted, subjective interpretation of what the camp was about. No knicker twisting, please.
• Location, location, location – In their backyard – best campsite yet – within a molassapult’s throw of the RBS HQ. Beautiful location and wonderful narrative of us and them. At one point at the national gathering at Lewes when RBS was decided on as the target, someone googled the HQ location and read out a lush description of the waterways and leafy surroundings. And everyone went ‘wahey!’ Wahey indeed.
• The molassapult – a giant three-person catapult – Great for smearing oil-like substances high up on the walls of corporate bad guys. And very much in keeping with the medieval siege motifs. Although someone from the media team got asked in a radio interview ‘what did we hope to achieve by flinging faeces on the side of the building’s walls?’
• Molasses in general – It has quickly become a de rigeur objet in the tool box of any climate agitator. Used to great effect in the Trojan pig dumped on the doorstop of arctic-defilers, Cairn Energy, and great to see their reach and impact amplified through the medium of fire-extinguishers.
• The Sunday Herald expose of RBS fossil fuel investments – Front page, three full pages inside, some great camp quotes and a thorough piece that was all about the ishoos. Great stuff.
• De-awrestling – Dearresting your mates is always sizzlingly hot. This year there seemed to be an extra dash of wrestling involved. Well done to the Hulk Hogans and Hoganettes out there who made this possible.
• Difficult discussions dealt with in a respectful and politically mature fashion – The plenary to discuss the disruption of the tar sands workshop started off feeling like it could have been an utter disaster of entrenched positions and ill-feeling, but in the end felt like it was resolved with a lot of understanding and respectful communication.
• The rhino and the siege tower –Why we don’t know, but they were hot. This medieval madness sapped a lot of energy on the day of action, but at least it seems to have provided a lot of hysterically-tinged mirth to an awful lot of people. And dealing with a slowly inching forward, rhino-fronted siege tower was obviously something that had not cropped up in any of the police training manuals.
• Rousers – Technically the whipping-up of a crowd from nowhere, using a sound system, coupled with the distribution of anonymising white biohazard suits. Used to great effect on the oh-so-near mass break-in to RBS HQ the day before the mass action day.
• Not a single shout of ‘Cops on Site’. Joyous.
• “Kent police paid for this” stickers – A light-hearted reference to the inspiring, on-going work by the legal team. What is even scorchingly hotter, is all the people who have received cash for illegal stop and searches at Kingsnorth, who are donating the money to cover the legal costs of people with ongoing, action-related court cases.
• Cops in jeans – Creepily respectful, lurking in the woods, all evangelical smileyness with their ‘police liason’ jackets and desire ‘not to invade your personal space’. Totes ick.
• Severin Carell – The Guardian Scotland correspondent who was on a one-man mission to make out that poor RBS had been grossly misrepresented and is actually a bastion of renewables finance. People from the Rainforest Action Network did some number crunching to expose the lies that Sevie uncritically regurgitated.
• Lack of cosey dry spaces on site – On the one or two soggier days, it felt like ‘trench-cheeks’ was setting in. It was good to pare down the site structures a bit, but can we have somewhere warm and cosey to recover?
• Critiques of Climate Camp having ‘gone mainstream’. They clearly never saw the day of action, or the rouser the day before.
• 10.30 pm power curfew on the night after the mass action. Many needed to let off steam. Many did so in the shape of a Guns n’ Roses induced moshpit.
• Police lies about the ‘oil slick’ on the road – At Heathrow it was the supposed plans to make bomb threats, at Kingsnorth it was the ‘discovery’ of the weapons cache in the woods. The mystery oil slick that no one actually seems to have seen, nor have any details about, is the latest attempt to discredit the camp. A pity the media seemed to jump all over it too. People are on it with making the necessary challenges and enquiries about this very fishy business.
• EDL twitter stalkers – Lord knows why the Guardian wants to give them a platform.