Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What was Climate Camp 2008 and how did it work?

I`ve just got back from holiday. I had a charming time in Kent at the Camp for Climate Action, me, some friends and about 1500 police officers from 27 different forces.

The climate camp has several strands to it:
  1. Acting as a space to think, educate and develop the climate movement.
  2. Acting as a demonstration of sustainable living.
  3. Acting as a place for non-violent direct action against the root causes of climate change.
As always, the participatory philosophy of the camp and the openness of decision making, along with a strong common cause made for an immense sense of both solidarity and collective determination. The camp is open, welcoming and strongly against all forms of discrimination--the attitudes behind which are considered a stronghold for hierarchy.

Despite what you may hear from cynics people in the right situations can make a powerful statement about the possibilities of mankind. With consensus decision making, a strong binding cause and the ability to contribute to any area of work, people work together extremely well.

In terms of social environment the things I liked best about the camp where:
  1. Trust: I lost my mobile phone and it soon turned up in lost property, food was paid for by donation--eat wherever you like and don't worry about coupons of cash, i left my laptop and camcorders in my tent for two days and they where still there.
  2. Camaraderie: The joint mission gives everyone a better entree than 'nice weather'...just kick off a conversation with something you really care about like the need for a smart grid, our plans for mass protest or a few comments about political policing.
  3. Selflessness: the whole camp is run on a volunteer basis so sanitation, food, educational workshops, security, cinema and entertainment where all testament to selflessness and collective effort.
The climate camp was special for so many other reasons but these three factors where the foundations upon which an extremely ambitious and high profile project was constructed.

For more about the climate camp check out the latest episode of Climate Radio by Phil England.

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