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Heading to Hove [Sep. 3rd, 2009|01:34 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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From Climate Camp I head to Hove for the Green Party Conference. Hopefully I'll be able to blog live from there (if 3G service is good) and keep you updated.
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Pink Floyd, adapted [Sep. 1st, 2009|12:26 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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We don't need no devastation,
We don't need no dirty oil,
No Hydrocarbons in Alberta,
BP, leave tar sands alone.

Hey, BP, leave those tar sands alone.

All in all, your just another prick in the wall.


That's the song they're currently singing outside the BP offices. They allude to the extraction of tar sands in indigenous lands in Canada. They also have a few indigenous people at the protest.

BP, BP, RBS and Shell,
If you dig up the tar sands we'll raise hell.

That's the other rhyme.
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A little more of life at Climate Camp [Aug. 27th, 2009|08:04 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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The Cadet Training Centre just beside the Camp - where the police have camped out


Or does it?


some tea?


Boxes of condoms


lots of bread for lots of campers


More food.


And the toilets (squatting)


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Climate non-event? [Aug. 27th, 2009|01:46 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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With the police treading extremely softly in this edition of Climate Camp, and the campers not adopting Direct Action (at least not officially or en masse), I wonder whether the camp could end up being a non-event.

In speaking to campers, I gather that on the agenda are the following: 

1) Educating campers about the evils of the corporate world etc. through workshops through the week. That is, educating the already indoctrinated or preaching to the choir. Not quite a story here.
2) Some small demonstrations/gimmicks across London. They have already set up at the Climate Exchange. However, the police are doing their utmost to not get involved AT ALL. Indeed, they just let the protests continue unheeded. It seems that their little meeting with the Campers last night (which did arouse some emotions here) has only further satisfied them that no extreme police action will be required at any of the planned actions across London. No deaths, injuries, clashes can be expected meaning a slow day for every media outlet bar the Guardian - who are, it seems, involved in documenting every tiny detail of every non-event at the camp.
3) Live, love and loiter in the camp (I spotted two absolutely HUGE boxes of condoms - one wonders how they have that much stamina). Alright, the condom part is newsworthy.
4) Discussing future tactics. Again, not really newsworthy, is it?

With this hefty agenda, I wonder what the campers are out to achieve this week. One figures that in order to achieve change, they need to reach out to more than just committed environmentalists and/or get something splash-worthy on the tabloids.

As for myself, I hope they figure this out, coz then we're in for a treat.



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Climate Camp: The Anti-Bank Holiday [Aug. 27th, 2009|12:01 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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At the gate of the Climate Camp, I met up with Ruth, a middle aged woman who was more than happy to give me her thoughts on a range of issues including the upcoming Anti-Bank holiday being planned for the weekend.

Me: What's on the agenda today?
Ruth: Well, today was supposed to simply be a set-up day. The workshops and training programs don't begin until tomorrow, so today is rather low-key.

Me: Training for what?
Ruth: Protests, camps, action. We're planning a protest at Copenhagen later this year so there definitely be some training for that.

Me: What is your beef with Copenhagen? What do you think will happen there?
Ruth: We can't trust the governments to make the right decisions for us. They will probably just have some loose, agreement to cut emissions by a small amount. Our government is totally incompetent in this regard.

Me: But isn't the UK going to meet its Kyoto targets?
Ruth: No, the UK is off its targets. We can't trust the government to make public transport decisions, energy decisions. Did you know that they have just closed a wind turbine factory at the Isle of White. The workers protested with a sit-in strike. All the while they go on building coal power plants and polluting the environment, so how does that show any sort of competence. There is a lot of talk and pretense about Britain being in the lead, but its not the truth.

Me: What about the change brought about with Bush out and Obama in?
Ruth: Well, I'm not so optimistic. It's not so much about the President in the US since the US government is dominated by the oil and carbon industry. How much can one person change in the face of these lobbies? It depends on ordinary people making sure that the auto/oil/coal industries are not the ones who determine policy.

Me: What else is happening today?
Ruth: We're just getting the camp ready for a big weekend. We're calling it the Anti-Bank weekend.

Me: What's the significance of that? 
Ruth: The significance is that the Banks are the lynchpin of an economic system that is destroying our planet. This year it has been widely recognized that its a system in crisis. Did you know that 25,000 pounds per person has been spent on bailing out the banks? All the while the massive bonuses continue. Why can't we spend that money on renewables?

Me: What do you plan to do to mark the Anti-Bank Holiday?
Ruth: We're educating ourselves here and everyone who wishes to join us and who can come on how to stop the juggernaut of profit-driven growth.

Me: No Direct Action, then?
Ruth: Not as of now, but we there are some autonomous groups going out to target a dozen sites. We will also be planning for October when we shut down a power plant and for Copenhagen.

Ruth: (to someone else) Has the UK met their Kyoto targets then?
Other person: Yes. Well, they did it almost co-incidentally, because they switched over a lot of power plants from coal to gas - just because of the lower costs associated with gas, and thats why they are on target. However, it is admitted that they are on target.






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Climate Camp titbits [Aug. 27th, 2009|11:37 am]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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Things going on around the camp this morning: 

1. People queuing up for the toilets
2. A public speaking stool set up at the entrance where anyone may speak (shout) freely for 3 minutes. Right now someone shouting about Jesus and vegetarianism.
3. A controversy rages in the Devon neighbourhood (there are 'neighbourhoods' set up around camp named after places in the UK) about whether they should return the two boxes of condoms they took from the London people.
4. One resident, Milo, loudly complains that the showers aren't set up.
5. Some local residents come around to visit.
6. Residents queue up outside the food storage in order to stock up their neighbourhood common rooms with bread, honey, butter, tea, and so on.
7. A resident goes out in order to buy a chopping board.
8. A lovely lady offers to give me an interview, an opportunity that I greedily take up. The interview will be posted next.

All in all, the camp is really extremely peaceful this morning. Families, friends and neighbours just go about their business, setting up the camp, settling into their home for the next week.

The anarchist poster is gone too.

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Climate Camp: you meet all kinds [Aug. 27th, 2009|09:56 am]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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I caught up with Urmas Ott, 27, an environment student in Thailand University who hails from Estonia, who is here in London specifically for Climate Camp.

He says, "I'm here to support my brothers and sisters with the same idea as myself: To prevent the destruction and annihilation of our planet!"

He wishes to set up the same movement in Estonia, ruing the fact that most Estonians really couldn't give a damn about climate change. But, he adds, this is perfectly natural in less developed countries - "They care more about food man. And when they get rich they want to show off with Big Cars."

I ask how he came all the way here from Thailand/Estonia.

"By plane. But what can you do, man?"

He notes that the CO2 emissions per km for air travel is less than that of road travel and excuses himself by arguing that he is here for a higher cause. That his presence at climate camp is worth it , "Every man is an asset, you know?"






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Pictures from Climate Camp 2009 [Aug. 26th, 2009|08:17 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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Lovely Anarchists
The Anarchists

The tripod
The Tripod


The bathrooms being built
The bathrooms being built


The (very) lonely suit from BP at our initial meeting outside their offices. He didn't clap or cheer.

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How to build a Climate Campsite [Aug. 26th, 2009|04:11 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
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1. Build a fence around the campsite to make it easier to handle potential police action
2. Build compost toilets
3. Build showers
4. Build a drainage system
5. Build public tents, meeting spaces
6. Build media tents, kitchens etc
7. Build very tall tripods that people can climb in order to evade the grasp of the police
8. Pitch your own individual tents
9. Start public meeting explain who Wat Tyler was. Condemn the failed economic system to wild cheers.
10. Sit back, relax and smoke a lot of weed with environmentalists.


p..s I cant post pictures on this Vodafone 3G connections. I would have loved to, since the tripods in particular are amazing.
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The symbolism of Climate Camp site [Aug. 26th, 2009|02:27 pm]
Chaitanya Netkalappa
It was the site of the peasants revolt in 1381 led by Wat Tyler.

Off we go to revolt once more!


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