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Climate Camp

31/08/2010

The Climate Camp is a place for anyone who wants to take action on climate change; for anyone who’s fed up with empty government rhetoric and corporate spin; for anyone who’s worried that the small steps they’re taking aren’t enough to match the scale of the problem; and for anyone who’s worried about our future and wants to do something about it.

The people putting on the Camp for Climate Action are all volunteers, lots of us learning how to do it as we go along.

Beginnings

We started in August 2006, when 600 people gathered at the UK’s biggest single source of carbon dioxide, Drax coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire for ten days of learning and sustainable living, which culminated in a day of mass action against the power station. Our aim was to kick-start a social movement to tackle climate change.

Next, with over double the numbers organising the Camp, we hit the big time in summer 2007; media hysteria greeted our decision to camp a few hundred metres from Heathrow airport. Over 2,000 people came to the weeklong camp. We chose Heathrow as we wanted to help local residents stop Heathrow’s owner BAA from building a third runway.

Kingsnorth

In 2008, an equally huge camp of activists old and new was set up in Kent, looking onto the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station, which the energy company E.ON is trying to expand, at a time when it is clear that building coal-power is the last thing the planet needs. Despite extraordinary over-policing, we created a space for education and sustainable living, taking action on the final day by land, sea and air.

G20 and beyond

In April last year, Climate Camp hit the City, concentrating on the underlying cause of climate change, airport expansion and coal-fired power stations: our economic system. At the G20 in London on April 1st, the European Climate Exchange (the home of carbon trading in the EU) closed its doors when we set up camp in Bishopsgate.

In August we held three camps: at Mainshill wood in Scotland, the site of a proposed new open-cast coal mine, at Ffos-y-Fran open-cast coal mine in Wales, and on Blackheath Common in London, site of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt. In October, we joined the Great Climate Swoop on E.ON’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station near Nottingham. And in December we travelled to Copenhagen to reclaim power at the UN Climate Conference, and build climate justice with social movements from around the world.

2010

This year we have seen just how unsustainable our political and economic systems are, and at the end of August we’ll be pitching our tents in Edinburgh, targeting RBS, the oil and gas bank.

Every Camp for Climate Action event weaves four key themes: education, direct action, sustainable living, and building a movement to effectively tackle climate change both resisting climate crimes and developing sustainable solutions. Because the future is not what it used to be.

Everybody is welcome, so hopefully see you there!

What Unites Us?

We work together on the basis that:

Climate change is already affecting millions of people around the world through extreme weather events, flooding and other disasters. We need urgent action now to avoid reaching catastrophic tipping-points.

The climate crisis cannot be solved by relying on governments and big businesses with their ‘techno-fixes’ and other market-driven approaches. Their grip on political and economic power lies at the heart of the problem, stifling the development of genuinely sustainable technologies and denying those most severely affected the opportunity to speak up for climate justice.

We must therefore take responsibility for averting climate change, taking individual and collective action against its root causes and to develop our own truly sustainable and socially just solutions. We must act together and in solidarity with all affected communities -workers, farmers, indigenous peoples and many others – in Britain and throughout the world.

Our actions have the following aims:

  • Education: raising our own and wider public understanding of theproblem, its root causes and how it might be solved;
  • Sustainable living: exploring and experiencing in practice some of theways in which a truly sustainable society might function;
  • Direct action: taking part in small and large group action to confront the root causes of climate change;
  • Movement-building: acting in solidarity and forging links with peopleand groups with common or related interests, including workers and the communities or populations most acutely affected by climate change in Britain and throughout the world, to build a movement with the wisdom, diversity and strength to achieve true ecological and social justice.

For more info, see http://climatecamp.org.uk/

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