|Climate Camp: The Anti-Bank Holiday
||[Aug. 27th, 2009|12:01 pm]
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.