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Climate Camp pictures and views

Posted By Sunny On 16th August, 2007 @ 11:59 pm In Environmentalism | Comments Disabled

Tim Ireland (from [1] Bloggerheads) and I met up today to head down to Climate Camp. We expected the place to be teeming with police and media but thankfully by the afternoon most had gotten bored and went off, leaving people at the camp to get on with things.

People were still arriving as we left late in the afternoon, after attending a workshop on student activism. Was surprised at how many of them did not say much about using the internet to organise themselves and make links with other people. And these are bloody students for god’s sakes.

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We turn into the road leading up to the camp and immediately there’s this police van. Later joined by three other vans of bored policemen sitting around.

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A van recording everything at the camp probably. heh.

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Policemen standing around wasting time at the entrance to the Camp

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Tim takes a picture of the cops

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Entrance to the camp

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“Exit the system”

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I liked this poster below

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This annoying helicopter was circling around for ages, like over an hour, without any use. There was nothing going on at the camp apart from workshops and this was how the police were using up their resources.

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Anarchists in an orderly queue for the veggie burgers. I love it.

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There’s a few points I’d like to make about the protest too, to clarify my own position.

1) I’m not in favour of a ban on flying. But I’d like the full market cost of flying to be reflected. I.e.: no subsidisation of fuel, paying for air pollution and more compensation for people in the area who have to deal with noise pollution.

2) I’m vehemently against the Third Runway

3) I’m not anti-capitalist. I believe the government should provide a different set of incentives to encourage investment in alternative (and especially renewable) fuels.

4) To me, the protest is about forcing the government to do more on pro-evironmentally friendly policies (it’s so far all talk and no action), putting pressure on business to change their behaviour (the two most important components) and lastly encouraging individuals to change their lifestyles.

5) The idea that we should not do anything without involving India or China is downright stupid.

Alice Miles wrote a good article in the Times (!) [2] yesterday saying:

Irresponsible, smelly hippies, or ideal family? Eco-terrorists or suburban middle-class voters? Dangerous idealists, or kids of the kind of people who brought Labour to office? You can see why politicians have sat themselves firmly on Heathrow’s perimeter fence: these protesters are not so easy to pigeonhole.

Until, that is, there is violence. As soon as the Heathrow demonstration turns aggressive or seriously disruptive to ordinary travellers, the politicians will be able to climb down off their fences: condemn the violent element, ignore the main argument. It is one of the many reasons to hope that the protest remains peaceful.

For what’s the argument about? It’s about a third runway, a rise in flights from 473,000 to 710,000 a year, it’s about the 31 million tonnes of carbon dioxide that Heathrow flights already pump into the atmosphere each year. I don’t know anybody who thinks that that’s a good idea.

Spot on. I hope to go down there again on Sunday. If anyone else has blog posts about CC, let me know and I’ll link them.


Comments Disabled To "Climate Camp pictures and views"

#1 Comment By Courtney Hamilton On 17th August, 2007 @ 7:37 am

No one should have to apologise to these eco-worriers for jumping on a cheap flight - if anything, I think we should be celebrating our freedom fly.

To be anti-flying these days is to be anti-progressive - we live in an age of far too many planes flying around and not enough runways for them to land - our society need those runways. Opposing the building of every single runway or airport in this country is simply not a viable option.

Regardless of the environmental impact of flying, which if you ask me has been greatly exaggerated by anti-flying protestors, more and more people are still going to fly whether we like it or not - and those people are not stupid as these protestors would like us to believe.

Activists like Plane Stupid like to think the public are just a bunch of simpletons that are somehow being duped into buying cheap flights - but it’s the general public that are fuelling the growth of aviation because they have a natural appetite to take advantage of cheaper air travel, for all sorts of reasons.

The truth is we need more flight provisions, not less.

#2 Comment By Leon On 17th August, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

It is one of the many reasons to hope that the protest remains peaceful.

That sounds like some one with very little experience of policing in this type of situation. I’ve been on enough demos/protests/etc to know just how violence can be provoked; when the police steam in batons raised.

How about taking an honest look at application of blame regarding the issue of violence at protests for a change rather than lazly assuming its always the protesters fault?

#3 Comment By Tim Ireland On 17th August, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

Lovely to see you yesterday, Sunny.

For your enjoyment, the tale of an anarchist society where newcomers are invited to a bring-a-plate buffet… and everybody who turns up with a plate is refused entry.

(Often told as a true story, but probably isn’t.)

#4 Comment By Sunny On 17th August, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

Heh!

#5 Comment By Leon On 18th August, 2007 @ 1:24 am

Police get escorted off the camp:

[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkFD6t56wm4

Bet that was a novel experience for them!

#6 Comment By Rumbold On 18th August, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

Do you thimk that the camp achieved anything Sunny (honestly- not trying to snipe)?

#7 Pingback By Protest and the media « OurKingdom On 21st August, 2007 @ 10:50 am

[…] Sunny has two reports from the  camp - plus pics! - on Pickled Politics, on the  16th and on the […]

#8 Comment By katy On 22nd August, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

(also posted on ‘ourkingdom’)

hi there all,

i was also at the camp and it was very inspiring!
it is yet to be seen whether the media, baa and the government eat humble pie now that the camp has ended and- as was always stated- disruption to holidaymakers was minimal if not zero. i doubt it.
i’d also like to see some proper debate about how the police conducted themselves on what was always going to be a peaceful blockade… anyway, i digress…

sunny- i’d just like to ask- the idea that the true cost of aviation should be reflected in the price of the ticket is an understandable one- and certainly seems fair to the planet and ecosystems.

but where i have a problem with it, and any sort of environmental tax, is that it will simply allow the rich to go on doing whatever they like, because these extra costs won’t really affect them. it is poorer people who will be affected, and they aren’t generally the ones who cause the problem in the first place.

this, and government colluding with big business to give them special favours, is why i have a big problem with market based solutions to our environmental problems. but i would still like people to at least *see* the true cost of flying represented… it’s a difficult issue, to be sure.

* * * * *

also, there was a lot of talk in the media of anarchists at the camp. i am an anarchist- i realised this at the camp last year! sombody explained to me what the main definition of anarchy was and i realised that it fitted very well with my world view. as i learnt more about it after the camp, my views expanded even more to the point where i will call myself an anarchist. for me and many other anarchists, far from being a chaotic bunch of individualists who would be violent at the the drop of a hat for no reason, it actually means co-operation and organisation with no government or power over anyone. indeed, having no government means a whole lot more co-operation and organision between equals. it works, and although the way the camp has been organised in a horizontal, consensus driven way isn’t perfect- it is an experiment already yielding exciting results. anarchy isn’t a presriptive doctrine or an ‘answer’ to everything. it’s a process.

sorry if that’s seems a bit off topic or preachy? i didn’t mean it to be :)

#9 Comment By Jean-Luc Gascard On 22nd August, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

“anarchists in an orderly…”

Sunny, I believe you have something of a stereotype of anarchists. Political anarchy isn’t the same thing as an anarchic tsunami. I guess you know that. No? :-)

#10 Comment By Dave S On 22nd August, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

As a popular anarchist slogan goes:

“Anarchy is order. Government is chaos.”

Anarchy (-an: lack of. -archy: rulers) really can be a rather organised affair, since without anybody to tell you what to do, you have to think for yourself and consider the effects of your actions on other people. That means working together, organising yourselves for the benefit of everyone.

Sure, there is a “bad” type of anarchy in which you do whatever the hell you like with total disregard for others, and this is the context we anarchists are usually tarred with by the media, but this is far from the reality of what an anarchist society would be like.

If anything, I would argue that we’re already more-or-less living in the “bad” type of anarchist society, since essentially those with the means pretty much CAN do whatever the hell they want with total disregard for their impacts on others.

This would not be the case if we lived in a truly anarchist society, in which we would be empowered to make our own decisions and act both individually and collectively in the context of a wider community of equals, all of whom would be mutually unable to exploit each other.

Without people in power, we’d finally have the freedom to get along with each other. :-)

#11 Comment By Dave S On 22nd August, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

PS. So in the context of anarchists forming an orderly queue for the (vegan) burger wagon, this is entirely to be expected!

When you get on a bus, do you shoulder-barge your way to the front, knocking all-and-sundry out of your way? Or do you join the end of the queue and wait your turn to embark?

Even if there were no consequences if you did, would you really shove others out of the way to get to the front first? Would most people?

OK, a tiny minority might, but they can also be dealt with. The majority standing peacefully in the queue could ask them politely not to do so, and ultimately refuse to let them on the bus at all if they persisted; they would have to walk instead, causing only themselves an inconvenience in the process.

In such circumstances, where everyone was equal, why would anyone really bother to push to the front?

In some ways, it’s a bit of a strange analogy, but I think it’s relatively useful to explain why free from external coercion, people get on and organise themselves and don’t exploit each other.

I think it also explains the beginnings of a justice system in an anarchist society - that empowered not to tolerate selfishness, and to actually do something about it themselves to deal with it, it would simply not be tolerated, and would be collectively eradicated.

Crime - and crucially the opportunities in which it is possible to commit crimes - would virtually disappear overnight.

If there’s anything we anarchists are not, it’s soft on selfish arseholes! Though our ways of dealing with them are undoubtedly more in the form of reasoned positive encouragement and palliative assistance to not be such an arsehole in the future, long before we start excluding them from our midst.

When everyone is equally important - when YOU are actually a somebody - why would you mistreat others, unless you were actually psychotic (incapable of empathy)? Furthermore, such a society would be much better equipped to deal with psychotic people, since we’d have the resources to actively help them integrate as much as possible, and to care for them properly when it’s not.

An anarchist society would be virtually crime-free.

#12 Comment By Sunny On 22nd August, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

JLG - I was just joking…. ;)

katy: but where i have a problem with it, and any sort of environmental tax, is that it will simply allow the rich to go on doing whatever they like, because these extra costs won’t really affect them. it is poorer people who will be affected, and they aren’t generally the ones who cause the problem in the first place.

thanks for that. It’s partly true, but a huge hike in prices would also put a sharp stop to a lot of business travel, which is the main reason why there are so many flights…. and it would stop cheap consumer travel…. but I think over the medium-long term, it would force plane companies and airlines to invest in using more sustainable and less-polluting technologies to bring down the price given they know the demand is there.

#13 Comment By Devil’s Kitchen On 22nd August, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

Snny,

Y mght ctlly b th STPDST prsn hv vr cm crss. nd, rlly, thr’s lt f cmpttn.

Y mght vn b stpdr thn Nl Hrdng…

DK

#14 Comment By Leon On 23rd August, 2007 @ 1:00 am

Hey Katy, welcome to PP, thank you for giving a decent account of what anarchists and anarchism is about, I’m sick and tired of the media bullshit around the concept, PP is better for having a few on the libertarian left around, please do stick around. :)


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URLs in this post:
[1] Bloggerheads: http://www.bloggerheads.com/
[2] yesterday saying: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/alice_miles/article2260212.ece
[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkFD6t56wm4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkFD6t56wm4