Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Archive for climate justice

Westside/Rising Tide Blockade Merthyr-Aberthaw Coal Train

News from the frontline…
UPDATE: TUES 27TH 14.30

Massive respect to every1 involved! Alas, on account of all the press persons being nicked this story needs to be got out as much as possible! Not that much out there at the moment. Please help getting the story out if you can! My latest update is that absolutely every1 involved has been nicked up to about 17/18 people all told I reckon, including drivers, legal observers, etc. Vehicles believed to have also been impounded. 😦 A second wave lock-on with more heavy duty gear believed to have attached themselves to track shortly after 1st wave cleared; all arrested later that aft/eve. Lets get this story out there.

Chase x

Chase

PREVIOUS ACTION AT MINE

Bristol and Bath Rising Tide Stop Coal Train – Happening Now !

Today, people involved in the Rising Tide Network1 have literally puts their necks on the line by chaining themselves to the rails in order to block the rail link to the Ffoss y Fran Open Cast Coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil. They are currently blocking the movement of coal trains from the mine to Aberthaw Power Station2.

Please Call 07835366330 For on-site interviews and updates. Alternative number (off site): 07909172768

Kim Green from Rising Tide (UK) said:

“We are Protesting the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels in the face of a global climate emergency. The failure of the Copenhagen climate talks to deal with this huge problem, and the obvious policy inadequacy the three main UK parties contesting the general election to take the necessary action to tackle the problem has highlighted the need for the people to take grass-roots direct action.”

Kim Green continues:

“This action is also in support of the local people of Merthyr Tydfil whose campaign ‘Residents Against Ffoss y Fran’ have been fighting the mine for over six years. The mine causes noise pollution for up to 16 hours a day, dust and dirt are carried into the town by the wind, and it turns the rain black.”

The process by which Miller-Argent3 were able to get the go ahead to exploit this resource at the social cost of both the local and global community, highlighting the democratic deficit in the planning process, which takes in to consideration the social-environmental impact of such projects. The newly formed quango “The Planning Commission” will only make these things worse, being able to ignore any consideration in favour of profit.

Miller Argent have been quick to pressure their small workforce into mobilising against local concerns – but their apparent concern for their workers is betrayed by the fact that they are actually looking to sell the mine as the quantity of high quality coal is only about as half as good as they initially believed. They are in fact making a loss on the project.

Notes To Editor:

1. Rising Tide is an international network of groups tackling the Root Causes of Climate Change and Climate Injustice .http://risingtide.org.uk/

2.Aberthaw Power Station is the biggest polluter in Wales. In 2006 it released 7.4. million tonnes of Co2. It is Projected to run until 2025 with NO PLANS to fit carbon capture storage (CCS) technology. 40% of the coal for the power station is supplied by Ffos y Fran. It was targeted by Bristol & Cardiff Rising Tide in 2008.

3.Miller Argent own and run Ffos Y fran. Argent are in turn owned by the BT Pensions Group. Both of these organisations make much of their ethical and sustainable practices But in this case they seem to be placing profits over and above any element of social responsibility.

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Bristol and Bath Rising Tide – New Year Meetings

Rising Tide – Rises again !

Rising Tide UK is a network of groups and individuals dedicated to taking local action and building a movement against climate change. 

After quite a pause since we last met – it was decided at the recent Westside Gathering to get regular meetings of Rising Tide happening in Bath and Bristol.  If you are still up for tackling the root causes of climate change – come and join us.

So the next meeting is going to be at the Black Cat Social Centre in Bath at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 2nd February. This is currently in the squatted vicarage building at the back of the Methodist church on the corner West Avenue less than 20 secs from Oldfield Park train station (turn left when leaving the station go over the railway bridge and you are facing it).  For Bristol folk there is a train from Bristol Temple Meads at 18.49 arriving 19.03 and trains back at 21.10 and 22.28.

The following meeting will be in Bristol at the Kebele Social Centre, Robertson Rd, Easton at 7.30 on Monday 15th Februay. Our proposal is that meetings will then continue on a fortnightly basis alternating between Bath and Bristol – lets give it a try.

Want to get involved?

What Does Climate Justice Look Like?:The Case Of BP In Colombia/Cinema Klandestino presents: “Our Oil And Other Tales”

 

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's sponsorship of the National Portrait Awards in 2007

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's Sponsorship of The National Portrait Award in 2007

Tuesday 10th November – 8pm

Cinema Klandestino present Our Oil And Other Tales plus

Wednesday 11th November – 6.30-9pm

What Does Climate Justice Look Like? Copenhagen and The Energy Crisis: The Case Of BP In Colombia

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's sponsorship of the National Portrait Awards in 2007

At the Old Council Chamber, Department of Law, University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building, Bristol BS8 1RJ

As world leaders and world activists prepare to descend on Copenhagen to take action on climate change, have we fully understood its structural causes? Colombian NGOs argue that the developed countries need to control their patterns of consumption, luxury and waste. Who is responsible for the global North’s ecological debt to the global South?

Colombian social movements argue that multinational oil and mining corporations, especially BP and other British based companies, have destroyed their environment, their human rights and social fabric. This raises vital questions linking environmental justice with international solidarity. As Colombian communities struggle to defend their territories against multinational plunder, what can be done to build links with those affected by the seemingly unquenchable thirst for profit? How can corporations like BP be made accountable?

Guest speaker Isaac Marín from COSPACC, Colombia introduces and explores the situation on the ground in Casanare. The leader of this grass-roots organisation looks at the social and enviromental effects of BP in the region. Yasmine Brien (Rising Tide) re-contextualises climate change and global energy politics in terms of climate justice, including a look at so called “green” solutions such as biofuels.

Organised by Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Bristol Rising Tide and Espacio Bristol-Colombia. Chaired by Alice Cutler from Trapese. For info on this event contact: o.edwards@gmail.com or suspiciousasians@yahoo.co.uk
07838 504840

Tuesday 10th November – 8pm

Cinema Klandestino present Our Oil And Other Tales

kallingkardfront
With introduction and discussion afterwards led by Mark Ellingsen (Bristol Solidarity with Venezuela) and Thomas Muhr (University of Bristol)

A two-month journey across Venezuela, from Lake Maracaibo to the Orinoco Delta. The people of the oil fields and the mining centres talk of their close encounter with these exploitations. For the first time, in the revolutionary Venezuela, a documentary delves deep in the problematic of oil and coal, from the angle of the life experience of communities, oil workers, indigenous people.

The film takes a look at world politics on oil and other extractive activities, jointly with the themes of sovereignty and self-determination of a people engaged in a real process of change.

Directed by: Elisabetta Andreoli, Gabriele Muzio, Sara Muzio y Max Pugh
Produced by: Gattacicova (Italy) and Yeast Films (UK)
From the film makers of “another way is possible in Venezuela”

83 minutes, Spanish with subtitles in English

Call 07747 833376 and listen to the brief message for venue and directions.

Putting “The Fun Between Your Legs” in Copenhagen

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination and Climate Camp are plotting together to design and build a new tool of civil disobedience for the RECLAIM POWER mobilisations taking place in Copenhagen, during the UN climate summit in December. Made from hundreds of recycled bikes, The Bike Bloc will merge device of mass transportation and pedal powered resistance machine, postcapitalist bike gang and art bike carnival.

Everything we take for granted: the weekend, gay rights, contraception, women wearing trousers, the right to strike, to form a union, the abolition of slavery. Everything was won by disobedience, fought for by people who refused and resisted, claimed back from those in power. Their disobedience was a gift to our future.

Every form of rebellion we know, from protest marches to lock-ons, barricades to boycotts, factory occupations to street parties, super glue actions to climate camps was invented, dreamt up and designed. More often than not, by a small group of people huddled together, laughing and creatively conspiring with each other; engineering the art of resistance.

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination and Climate Camp are plotting together to design and build a new tool of civil disobedience for the RECLAIM POWER mobilisations taking place in Copenhagen, during the UN climate summit in December. Made from hundreds of recycled bikes, The Bike Bloc will merge device of mass transportation and pedal powered resistance machine, postcapitalist bike gang and art bike carnival.

Bike hackers, welders, climate campers, artists and engineers will be working together to design and build The Bike Bloc across two cities: Bristol (Arnolfini Gallery 15th 30th Nov.) and Copenhagen (4th- 18th Dec.) Come and take part, either designing and building the prototype in Bristol, putting together the real thing in Copenhagen or swarming with us on the day of civil disobedience on the 16th of December.

*Put the fun between your legs, become the bike bloc.*

For times and how to get involved:

funbetweenyourlegs.info

bikebloc@climatecamp.org.uk

Fossil Fools Day 2009 – review

Fossil and Financial Fools Day goes global
April 1st saw not only mass protests in London ahead of the G20 summit, but local demonstrations in cities around the UK and across the globe. Under the banner of Fossil Fools Day, activists held protests at banks, energy companies and power stations across the UK, Canada, the USA and South Africa to highlight the twin economic and climate crises.

More action reports and photographs will be added here as they come in.
Email info@risingtide.org.uk with your Fossil Fools Day action report.

In the UK …

Climate Camp in the City

Climate Camp in the City

On the eve of the G20, activists descended on London to highlight the links between the financial and the climate crisis. While the ‘Financial Fools Day’ Street Party got underway outside the Bank of England, the Camp for Climate Action set up camp outside the European Climate Exchange. Their message: “Stopping carbon markets – because nature doesn’t do bailouts”. For the most up-to-date information visit – www.climatecamp.org.uk.

Climate Meltdown

Climate Meltdown

Meanwhile over at the Excel Centre, the Campaign against Climate Change staged a “Climate Emergency” Ice-berg Demo where the G20 were to meet the following day. The action featured a giant ice block sculpted like an iceberg and demonstrators dressed in white with some even wearing strings of ice cubes around their necks. The backdrop to this was provided by ‘Climate Emergency’ placards and panels showing maps and graphs of arctic ocean ice loss. The message was simple : Polar ice is melting much faster then scientists thought and is the most visible symptom of the
frightening speed with which the climate is changing. We will lose the race against climate catastrophe unless action is taken soon.

Greenwash at the Tate

Greenwash at the Tate

Earlier in the week, the oil Goliath BP was felled by a Fossil Fools Day’s David as BP postponed its centenary party at the British Museum to be held on April 1st, due to a demonstration organised by Art Not Oil and Rising Tide, (now rescheduled for May 6th at 6pm, as BP is attempting to resuscitate its broken party on that day.) Earlier on FFD, Art Not Oil’s musical contingent played ‘Celebrate This!’, a new paean to BP, inside and outside the BP-sponsored Tate Britain gallery in London; www.artnotoil.org.uk.

Plymouth Rising Tide at RBS

In Plymouth, Rising Tide penguins super-glued themselves to the entrance of RBS to highlight RBS’s funding of fossil fuels projects. RBS are one of the biggest investors in the fossil fuel industry and provided $16 billion to coal-related companies in 2007 alone. Ann Smith of Rising Tide Plymouth today said: “RBS is now 57% owned by the UK taxpayer. Climate change requires a move to renewable energy, not continued support for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry”. More photos

In Oxfordshire, the early hours of April 1st saw local activists hanging banners from bridges over the A34 between Oxford and Didcot. Banners read “Caution: Climate Change Ahead”, “Give Way to Wind” and “Fossil Fool: 3rd exit” complete with pictures of Didcot Power Station. With Didcot (run by RWE NPower) due for de-commissioning in a few years, it is time to pursue renewable options locally. One of the activists said: “We want not only Didcot, but also the government and the G20 to see the folly of their actions in pursuing unsustainable technology. We have an opportunity to pursue safe, cheap alternatives and ensure a cleaner future. The wise choice would be to grasp
this opportunity”.

In Portsmouth, members of Portsmouth Climate Action Network and the University’s People & Planet group took up position outside the Nat West Bank in Commercial Road to encouraging shoppers to tell Royal Bank of Scotland – NatWest to stop funding climate chaos. Activists said: “It is our money that RBS-NatWest is using to extract tar sands, burn coal and fuel climate chaos. We believe that the only way to prevent dangerous climate change is by investment in renewables, not in dirty coal. We are calling on the public to contact RBS-NatWest and the UK government and tell them what they think about them bankrolling climate chaos.”

A Fossil Fool Award is given to Bournemouth Airport

A Fossil Fool Award is given to Bournemouth Airport

In Bournemouth, members of direct action group Plane Stupid turned up at Bournemouth Airport to give them a Fossil Fool Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to local, national and global pollution’. Tara Bosworth said, “Bournemouth Airport may well be the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Dorset and they are expanding their operations, more than doubling the number of flights, now that’s plane stupid and why they are getting our Fossil Fool award.” A member of the airport staff accepted the award but declined having his picture taken.

Fossil fool themed street theatre took place in both Frome in Somerset and Totnes in Devon. In Totnes, the International Climate Criminal known as ‘Old King Coal’ was put on trial. The prisoner, who is not in good health, was led from The Plains up to the Civic Square where he was tried before a jury of local citizens and schoolchildren. Unfortunately other members of the Fossil Fools Gang, including Oil and Gas, remain at large and are a continued danger to the planet.

Oh, and earlier in the week, the oil Goliath BP was felled by a Fossil Fools Day’s David as BP postponed its centenary party at the British Museum to be held on April 1st, due to a demonstration organised by Art Not Oil and Rising Tide, (now rescheduled for May 6th at 6pm, as BP is attempting to resuscitate its broken party on that day.) Earlier on FFD, Art Not Oil’s musical contingent played ‘Celebrate This!’, a new paean to BP, inside and outside the BP-sponsored Tate Britain gallery in London; www.artnotoil.org.uk

In South Africa …

SASOL is awarded Fossil Fool of the Year Award

SASOL is awarded Fossil Fool of the Year Award

In Johannesburg, Earthlife Africa awarded Sasol (the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation) the prestigious 2009 Fossil Fool of the Year Award for producing 72 million tonnes of CO2 per year (over 15% of South Africa’s total emissions) and for trying to build a new coal-to-liquid power plant. Although Sasol initially resisted accepting the award (one can only imagine why), the efforts of a determined group of protesters finally forced the tainted trophy to be accepted.
More info

In the USA …

Mannequins for Climate Justice at Bank of America

Mannequins for Climate Justice at Bank of America

In Boston, Massachusetts, the “Mannequins For Climate Justice” shut down the Kenmore Square branch of Bank of America. A mannequin was chained to the doors of the bank shortly before opening this morning. The lone mannequin protester, Guy Fox, said, “Even a dummy like me can see that Bank of America’s massive loans to coal companies and support for the epidemic of foreclosures and evictions has to stop now.” Fox further said, “Bank of America seems determined to be so evil it’s almost comical, but people resisting the bank’s practices will have the last laugh. Happy April Fools to all the capitalist fossil fools!”

Marching on Old King Coal

Marching on Old King Coal

In Berkeley, California, a bike ride/march highlighted BP’s $500 million deal with University of California. Under this deal, the oil giant BP is investing $500 million for the university to research biofuels, raising issues of greenwashing, false solutions, and the interaction between a public university and a private corporation.

Trouble under the sheets

Trouble between the sheets

In Asheville, North Carolina, protesters declared Governor Purdue to be in bed with Duke Energy, and demanded the cancellation of the Cliffside coal plant. In response to the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) ruling that Duke Energy’s Cliffside coal plant is a “minor source of emissions”, protesters gathered at noon outside Governor Purdue’s Western North Carolina office in downtown Asheville to demand that she revoke the plant’s permit. In a demonstration organized by Asheville Rising Tide, protesters set up a bed in front of Governor Purdue’s office with people in business suits representing Duke CEO Jim Rogers, DAQ head Keith Overcash, and Governor Purdue under sheets and covered in money. A banner reading, “Governor Purdue in bed with Duke Energy” provided a backdrop to the under-the-sheets liaison.

In Denver, Colorado, a Fossil Fools Day rally of concerned citizens, health experts, and environmental and neighborhood leaders demanded a transition to clean energy. The rally, led by WildEarth Guardians, and joined by Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Clean Energy Action, SafeMinds, students, church members, and affected nearby communities, was held in the shadow of the Cherokee coal burning power plant at Denver’s Heron Pond Natural Area, and called upon Governor Ritter to help Colorado seize clean energy solutions and keep Coloradoans safe from coal. Carrying handmade signs and holding pinwheels to symbolize a transition to clean energy, dozens of citizens demonstrated their frustrations with the status quo and their hope for protecting their future.

In New Orleans, conservation groups, students, and concerned citizens joined forces at Entergy’s headquarters to protest about the company’s plans to expand their use of coal power in Louisiana. “Louisiana’s coast is ground zero for climate change impacts,” said rally organizer Jonathan Henderson. “Entergy should be a responsible neighbor and work to limit coast-destroying pollution and protect rate-payers from future carbon price increases”.

In the spirit of the “Coal Circus,” students from Bowling Green, Kentucky orgaised a ‘Monster Mash’ and a critical mass bike ride.

Students in Tempe, Arizona, also hopped on their bikes and declared themselves “too cool for fossil fools.”

In Canada…

A sad, bad RBC banker

Five actions in one day in downtown Toronto? No foolin!
Rainforest Action Network activists kicked Canadian Fossil Fools Day off with a bang, dropping banners off of a highway, greeting over 4,000 cars (we counted) stuck in deadlock traffic over a period of two hours. From bridges, we broadcast messages about Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)’s financing of the Canadian Tar Sands from our makeshift Pirate Radio station. Our banners read “Pirate Radio 89.9 FM Tune in now” and “Royal Bank creates climate chaos. Renewables not tar sands.” The pouring rain didn’t block our view of car after car reaching for the radio dial as they drove under us.

We began by dressing up and impersonated bank employees. About 16 of us rode elevators for up to two more hours, chatting up other RBC personnel – “Hey, on my way to work today I heard about how RBC is financing the destruction of Native territories in Alberta, causing people cancer and polluting the water! Tar Sands are the world’s dirtiest oil. Did you know that? I had no idea! I’m telling my manager right away!”

Meanwhile, outside the HQ, several more of us leafleted and held banners reading “RBC Creates poisoned water in our community,” “Renewables not tar sands” and “RBC: financing cancer and toxic sludge.”

Back inside, a lone Torontan walked inside the main office with a beautiful bouquet of balloons. I don’t know where he got the idea to release them in the atrium, or how a banner reading “ROYAL BANK CREATES CLIMATE CHAOS” got attached….I also don’t know how they’re gonna get it down.

Later that evening, dozens of activists reconvened outside RBC headquarters alongside “Tarbie,” an oil-soaked version of RBC’s prized mascot “Arbie” who explained to passersby that he and RBC are helping finance one of the fastest growing sources of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, and how they conflict with the financial giant’s PR promises to promote clean water.

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