It seems that the not-so-secret Security Services and Police so-called Intelligence have been listening in at Climate Camp national gatherings and spin-off direct action groups (colour me un-surprised) :-
“Police have carried out what is thought to be the biggest pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners in UK history, arresting 114 people believed to be planning direct action at a coal-fired power station. The arrests – for conspiracy to commit criminal damage and aggravated trespass – come amid growing concern among campaigners about increased police surveillance and groups being infiltrated by informers…”
There is a clear effort in the reporting so far to overstate the risk and the dangerous nature of the alleged “demonstration”. Even so, note the care not to use the “terrorist” word.
The implication is that the grown-ups have stepped in to quieten down a pack of rowdy rebels.
Whatever the true nature of what has been going on in Sneinton Dale, Nottingham, and whatever the “specialist equipment” found on the site turns out to have been, this smacks of a deliberate attempt to shut down the Climate Camp.
Those arrested could be kept busy with their detention processes for months and prevented from planning and taking part in the Summer of Peace (not Rage).
Yet again the Climate Camp has found and roused the wrong audience, through no fault of its own.
The Camp has an excellent relationship with the Media, but this cannot be used to spin a “virtuous circle” now that direct action has been thwarted.
And then there’s the sour note caused by the Police murderous brutality during the events of Fossil Fools Day on 1st April in London.
The narrative currently being generated about “agents provocateurs” and spies will cause mild paranoia to develop, and will be stoked by those who want the Climate Camp to segmentise or crack up.
Don’t give in to tactics of “divide and rule”, people !
This country needs a social movement on Climate Change, and this movement needs to have the cheeky as well as the policy nerds. It needs to have the angry as well as the meek.
This country needs a social movement where there are people who are ready to lose their liberty on behalf of principles. It also needs the people who can only offer support from the sidelines as they must stay unarrestable.
This country needs a social movement on Climate Change that challenges the structures and organisations that are causing Carbon Emissions to rise.
Some of us will make our challenge by direct action. Some of us will set out our challenge in words, speeches, writing, music, art, our lifestyles, our life example.
Some of us will organise amongst the general population, offering education, workshops, conferences, engaging with Local Authorities and national Governments, universities, colleges, unions, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples.
Some of us will use stickers on lamp posts to get our message across.
Some of us will go to the courts to assert our right to protest at the insane Climate Change and Energy policies still being pursued.
But be sure of this : despite all the differences, the Climate Camp will maintain cohesion, and spread its influence through solidarity and common sense.
What next ? If not direct action at power plants (because people get arrested all the time), then do we become a political party ?
Do we set up a Climate Change Open House in each major city for the purposes of education and skill-sharing ?
What shape will the Climate Camp take if it is prevented from taking direct action on banks, roadbuilding, airports, power stations, pipelines, refineries, LNG terminals, corporate offices… ?
Another World is Possible.
Otro Mundo es Posible.
We might not be able to do the things that people in Latin America or Asia do. Our social movement in the United Kingdom may well have a different shape and different activities.
It might look like a large collection of fully diverse and inclusive Transition Towns, regional Permaculture Centres and Land Rights campaigns.
But remember, whatever we end up doing, we are everywhere, in every environmental organisation and think tank, in local and national government, in development organisations, in housing associations…and we’re not about to get taken down by a couple of spies, or a rumour mill generated by an office full of spies.
Long live Solidarity !
Viva Climate Camp !