This Is Not A Riot

[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH, CLIMATE CAMP SITE HAS BEEN TAKEN. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION FROM process@climatecamp.org.uk, Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 9:59 PM : “Site taken! People needed NOW! At 9.15PM tonight Climate Camp took the site on RBS HQ. Get on site as fast as you can! Defence help urgently needed. Come to RBS Gogarburn Gardens, off Gogar Station Rd. More info later. x” ]

Al Gore has been telling all the young people, and well, all of us, really, to protest, in public, to make a downright law-unabiding nuisance of ourselves :-

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/114717-al-gore-calls-for-us-protests-on-climate-change-inaction

“Gore calls for major protests on government’s climate change inaction…In a post on his personal blog headlined “The Movement We Need”…”

Well, it won’t work to call people out onto the street. Most people are too busy credit-crunching, wage-slaving or favour-scraping to be able to commit to a short-term, potentially self-defeating public display of annoyance, frustration and shrill demands.

And if people do come out to the big protests, it won’t achieve much. News reports can be swept into the trash. Activists can be swept into holding facilities. Politicians can conveniently ignore anything that isn’t violent.

Drop the loud-hailers and home-made placards, I say, and do something more…focussed.

The Climate Camp want to target the Royal Bank of Scotland for financing Coal power plants and Tar Sands oil projects, which are very bad things to be doing, and smacks of huge corporate irresponsibility, considering the bank is largely owned by the British taxpayer, and I say, if you can’t make the camp (and I can’t for reasons which I shall not go into just now), do something about money in other ways instead.

What’s your money doing ? Which oppressive regimes in oil-rich countries is it supporting ? Which Fossil Fuel companies trashing your Environment do your bank support ? Why not switch your money to an ethical financial organisation ? Why don’t we all try to do this at the same time ? “Crowd-banking” could have an impact, you never know until you try.

Let’s pick, say, Monday 23rd August 2010. And let’s all spend our way out of Climageddon together on that day. Transfer your money to an ethical bank, or pledge to do so. Phone your bank and tell them you’re leaving for a sustainable bank.

Other actions possibly useful :-

1. Refuse to buy Fossil Fuels for a day.

2. Refuse to use any hot water for one day (most hot water is produced by burning Fossil Fuels). It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere – come on – a cool shower won’t hurt you.

3. Don’t spend any money on anything that had Petroleum-based plastic or Natural Gas-based chemicals in its production – which would rule out 85% of non-food purchases, I reckon.

4. If you’re working for a company or an organisation who have anything to do with the Energy industry, make a point of asking your boss, or their boss, or the Chief Executive or something what the company/organisation intends to do about moving the whole business to Renewable Energy.

5. One short telephone call could have you moving from burning Coal for your home electricity to a Green Energy account.

This is not a riot – but it is an emergency, and the response should match the scale of the problem.

Our Climate – Not for Sale.

Bloody Oil from Felix Gonzales on Vimeo.

Time To Stop Playing Along

When I was asked to review a chunk of the 2008 Climate Safety report from the Public Interest Research Centre, I was less than positive about the social movement building outlined in the recommendations for “mobilisation” of the public (see below).

Tim Holmes, one of the people involved in the Climate Safety report, has started a new web log critiquing the very same issues :-

http://convenientlies.wordpress.com

http://convenientlies.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/greenwashing-government/

Continue reading Time To Stop Playing Along

Message To You, Rudy

Well, the Metropolitan Police in London have tried a charm offensive to make nice with the Climate Camp before it all kicks off. Or have they ? Many Campers have been suspicious of the softly, softly propaganda, and have put together a little message to give right on back to the Met, and it reads a lot like this :-

Continue reading Message To You, Rudy

One Dead Man

Good Friday. The start of the special Christian weekend when we remember brutal, inhuman torture and a completely unnecessary death.

With the emergence of the social movement around Climate Change and Energy policy, it was to be expected that campaigners and protesters would come up against the ruling systems of the day.
Continue reading One Dead Man

G20 Direct Action : Photographs of Vegetables

I got on the train yesterday evening with a very gentle fellow, who was reading a free newspaper intently.

I noticed he was carrying a camera with quite a large lens, so I said to him, “You can’t believe anything you read in the papers”, trying this gambit to get him to spill about what he was doing.

He gave a non-commital response, and we didn’t strike up.

Continue reading G20 Direct Action : Photographs of Vegetables

G20 Action : Your Options : Amuse or Annoy

The “protest community” have a very stark choice about options for non-violent direct action and other forms of demonstration this week. Either you do something to entertain and amuse people, or you do something to annoy.

At a stretch you might even manage to do both, but for the most part it is an either-or situation. Do you hold a street party in fancy dress, or do you try to blockade something, lock on and shut it down ?

Do you publish a newspaper pulling apart current Economic, Energy and Climate policy ? Or do you set up a tent outside the London Climate Exchange and refuse to leave ?

Continue reading G20 Action : Your Options : Amuse or Annoy

Shake Things Up

Some of us will be arrested. Some of us can’t afford to be arrested. But all of us are committed to some kind of direct action on 1st April, Fossil Fools Day 2009.

We are going to shake things up.

We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our children, our neighbours, the dirt-poor drought-ridden farmers in the Global South. Even the wretched polar bears.

Continue reading Shake Things Up