Westside Action

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

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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?

Climate Camp Critique Reader

Drax, 2006

Excellent Range of Articles contained here: cca_reader

Yeah, I know it’s 52 pages long, but at least for those of you who arent getting out much at the moment or

A) Think Climate Camp is a “wizard idea” and don’t see why it needs to change at all

B) Think Climate Camp used to be good but now has been hijacked by liberals

C) Didn’t know Climate Camp was Started by Anarchists

It’s an essential read.

Editorial:

In January & February 2010, the Camp for Climate Action will go through a period
of introspection as it works out where it shall go next. While in some ways the Camp has been a success, it has also come under a barrage of criticism from some quarters within the radical movements that spawned it.

To help this debate we have put together a set of resources and relevant articles to inform and spark discussion relating to this criticism. Our bias is obvious, though the opinions expressed are those of the authors alone.

Whether you agree with them or not, we believe they are worth taking on board. We hope at least that you feel confident answering their challenges, rather than just dismissing them.
Now is the time for the Camp to examine its politics in more depth, to work out just what it stands for. This is a cross-roads in its development, to continue down a path of ever increasing liberal, reformist approach, or to be the noisy radical, pointing out all the white elephants in the climate change debate. The future of the movement around the camp is being shaped here. The decisions being made now will have profound impacts on who is and who is not involved in the future.

The Camp for Climate Action grew out of the radical anarchist and environmental movements, a synthesis of the organisational skills developed at the Anti-G8 protest camp at Stirling, and the ecological direct action movements such as Earth First! The perception that emerges from these criticisms is this has been lost along the way. We accept that this booklet makes challenging reading and that we offer little in the way of solutions. These, we believe, must come from within the camp itself. However, it is apparent that there is a need for two things. Firstly, a greater visibility for the anarchist roots within the day to day life of the CCA process and proposals.
Secondly, and just as important, a more open and explicit critique of capitalism and how it is the root cause of climate change.

If we do neither out of fear of a mainstream media backlash, then we are reduced to being another NGO. Yet, the power of the Camp has always been the promise of a genuine alternative action in the face of prevarication and obstruction from governments and corporations – now is the time to spell that critique out and use it to build real alternatives, not legitimising the system we complain of. It was the strength of the Camp‟s founding critiques that gave it the boldness its subsequent successes have rested on.

Ultimately, the message of the Camp is a very radical one – that radical social change is needed, especially if we are to tackle of the root causes of climate change. The answer is not to water down our actions and our messages, but to be bolder than ever. That is the excitement and power that gives the Camp its life.

Green Scare in the UK (part II): UPDATED

As the Climate Justice Movement becomes bigger and more of a threat, repression grows:

greenscarecover

UPDATED SUNDAY:NOW WORKER ACTION TARGETTED UNDER TERRORIST LEGISLATION “The main contractor at Fiddler’s Ferry power station in Cheshire is seeking an injunction under the Prevention of Terrorism Act to prevent blacklisted workers from picketing the site. A hearing is pending in the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on Wednesday 21st October at 10.30am, at which a company is applying for an injunction against Steve Acheson, one of the 3 electricians in the class legal action blacklist case against companies affiliated to Ian Kerr’s Consulting Association, & also Sec. of the Unite/EPIU Manchester Contracting Branch: this is an injunction sought by the company (main contractor) at Fiddlers Ferry. This injunction is being brought under the Prevention of Terrorism Act & seeks to show that Steve, as the 1st respondent, & others unnamed [as second respondents], by their constant picketing of the site represent “a threat to the energy supplies of this country”. Because this application is being brought under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Steve will not be able to defend himself at this hearing, as we understand it. The basis of the application is that by picketing the site he is committing a Trespass because he & others are on the Firm’s property; that having issued leaflets to workers on the site calling for ‘direct action’ he is ‘inciting’ the workforce to commit acts contrary to the national interest which may impact on energy supplies & that he has, at times, acted in a way that might have intimidated the workforce. There is no mention in the company’s deposition to the Court that he was formerly employed by them, nor that his picket represents a campaign against blacklisting. One senior trade union leader in the RMT has already said that if this goes ahead it will have consequences for the whole trade union movement.”

CLIMATE TERRORISTS?

Too tired to write seperate article but one additional quote from the coppers who interviewed us: “95% of people we stop under this legislation aren’t terrorists”. This shouldn’t make people afraid of travellling to Copenhagen – or any other international mobilisation – but any travel plans should take this into consideration.

The Next Bristol- Copenhagen Mobilisation meeting is: Monday 26th October, Kebele, 14 Robertson rd, Bristol. BS5 6JY at 7pm

UK border police (Kent Constabulary) used anti-terrorist legislation to prevent 4 British climate change activists (including a westsider) from crossing over into mainland Europe where he planned to take part in events surrounding the forthcoming United Nations summit in Denmark.

Chris Kitchen, a 31-year-old office worker, said he feared his treatment by police could mark the start of a clampdown on protesters, hundreds of whom are planning to travel to Copenhagen for the climate change talks in December.

Tonight he will make a second attempt to reach Denmark, where he plans to take part in discussions organised by a network of protest groups coming together under the banner Climate Justice Action.

He said he was prevented from crossing the border yesterday at about 5pm, when the coach he was travelling on stopped at the Folkestone terminal of the Channel tunnel.

Jack Sheppard adds:

“On our second try to get to Copenhagen we we’re reminded that we were relatively lucky, when 2 “Sans Papiers” were removed from our coach at 3.00am – probably to a German Detention Centre”

Kitchen said police officers boarded the coach and, after checking all passengers’ passports, took him and another climate activist to be interviewed under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a clause which enables border officials to stop and search individuals to determine if they are connected to terrorism.

The passports were not initially scanned, Kitchen said, suggesting the officials knew his name and had planned to remove him from the coach before they boarded. During his interview, he was asked questions about his family, work and past political activity. The police also asked him what he intended to do in Copenhagen.

When Kitchen said that anti-terrorist legislation does not apply to environmental activists, he said the officer replied that terrorism “could mean a lot of things”. By the time his 30-minute interview had concluded, Kitchen’s coach had gone.

Police are understood to be monitoring protesters on a number of databases, some of which highlight individuals when they pass through secure areas, such as ports.

Kitchen is a prominent activist who has taken place in a number of peaceful acts of civil disobedience, such as glueing himself to a statue in parliament, to call for more action to cut carbon emissions.

“The use of anti-terrorist legislation like this is another example of political policing, of the government harassing and intimidating people practising their hard earned democratic rights,” he said. “We are going to Copenhagen to take part in Climate Justice Action because we want to protest against false solutions like carbon trading and to build a global movement for effective, socially just solutions.

“People who are practising civil disobedience on climate change in the face of ineffectual government action are certainly not terrorists, and I am sure that their actions will be vindicated by history.”

Kitchen said police paid for a ticket for him to return to London after questioning and arranged for the coach company to give him a seat on another coach.

A Home Office spokesman said: “There has been no change in policy. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 enables an examining officer to stop, search and examine a person at a port or in a border area to determine whether they are someone who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

“The exercise of the powers by the police is an operational matter for each force.”

Jack Sheppard adds: “The fact that legislation allows people to be detained, delayed -and forced to answer questions (under the legislation “no comment” is an offence), have there mobile phones confiscated and presumably empited of all there numbers, texts etc without even reasonable grounds for suspicion that we were going commit terrorist offences – the interviewing police officers made it clear that we weren’t suspected of being terrorists,or or were ever likely to commit them in the future is clearly a piss take.”

Swoop Arrests:

Climate activists including members of campaigning groups Climate Camp and Plane Stupid have pledged to shut down the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station run by German energy giant E.ON. The arrests follow an injunction taken out by E.ON against protesters that will allow police to arrest anyone who enters the plant’s grounds. A large police and private security presence is expected at the site, which has upped its security measures, including the erection of a new electric fence.

The campaigner charged yesterday has been released and bailed to return to a police station on Saturday, when the power station protests are due to take place. On Tuesday this week, 31-year-old office worker Chris Kitchen was prevented from travelling to Copenhagen to take part in events around the UN climate talks this December. Three other activists are now understood to have been detained and searched this week while attempting to travel to Copenhagen, though they have subsequently completed their journeys.

Activists for Plane Stupid also claimed they were phoned yesterday by Nottinghamshire police and told “they would be arrested” if they came to Ratcliffe-on-Soar. Tracy Singh from Plane Stupid said “the police are acting like hoodlums. We are absolutely disgusted.” A press spokesperson for Nottinghamshire police said it would be facilitating lawful protest around the power station and denied activists would be arrested simply by coming to the site.

Richard Bernard, a spokesperson for Climate Camp, added: “They’re threatening and arresting people for just thinking and talking about taking meaningful action. This is clear intimidation — they’re just trying to scare us. But what’s really scary is climate change, and that’s why we’re going to take control of Ratcliffe on Saturday.”

E.ON has responded to the planned protest by placing a series of videos on its YouTube channel with comments from its press team, the power station manager and protestors.

A spokeswoman for E.ON, said: “We respect the right of people to have their say as long as it’s peaceful and lawful. [The planned action] is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible. What I would say is by all means come, but don’t try to break into the power station.”

Activists have been sharing satellite maps and photos of the power station online, which they plan to travel to by train and bus. The Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station emits 12.8m tonnes of CO2 a year and is Britain’s third largest source of direct greenhouse gas emissions. E.ON says it is one of the UK’s most efficient coal power stations.

In April this year, 114 people were arrested at a Nottingham school on suspicion of planning a direct action on the power station. At least 25 of the activsts have been subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass, a charge which places restrictions on communications with friends and family and potentially carries a sentence of six months.

E.ON has also been the subject of an ongoing campaign by climate activists for its plans to build a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. Last week the company said Kingsnorth had been postponed because of the global recession, an annoucement that campaigners viewed as a victory for the climate movement.

Bristol-Copenhagen Mobilisation Meeting: Never Trust a Cop

oct12thpost

For all those who want climate justice and are pondering going to Copenhagen for the latest in the a long series of ineffective and corrupt inter-governmental talks (COP15) then come to Kebele on Monday October 12th at 7pm. That ‘s 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY

never ever, ever trust a cop of any description

never ever, ever trust a cop of any description


See ?

See ?

Westside @ Vestas

Supporting the Vestas Workers on the Isle of Wight

We were planning to go to the Big Green Gathering – I was sitting in the front room with the kids and a friend sorting out everything to take to run our workshops when we heard the bad news

Where else could we go? What else could we do with the week? Supporting the Vestas workers seemed the obvious choice.

The day of the first injunction hearing we set off not knowing if the occupation would still be on, prepared to jump out of the car we had borrowed for the trip to help the workers. On the way we started to pick up Isle of Wight radio, Vestas’ application to remove the workers had been turned down – the case had been adjourned until the following week due to their failure to serve the papers properly.

When we arrived it looked like the RMT had just arrived, over the course of the next few days the Union seemed to be taking a bigger part in helping the workers. They agreed to help the non-unionised workers – negotiating with police and probably most importantly providing an institution that the police could understand.

While we were on the Isle of Wight one of the occupying workers left suffering from malnutrition, and was immediately hospitalised! At six every day workers and supporters spoke outside the gates – one day Bicycology turned up to provide a PA system, then stayed for the demonstration on Saturday 1st August. A pedal powered PA system outside a wind turbine factory – couldn’t do better really.

I managed to meet some of the workers and family members of the men inside – holding their babies up to the railings. Some had taken jobs in the last few months thinking that finally they had secure incomes for their families. They are skilled workers who can build any size turbines. The families were frustrated that well-heeled locals threw they energy into opposing turbines that would spoil the view from their twee cottages and country piles at the loss of local jobs. Vestas had stated in their support for an application to site a wind farm on the island in 2005 that refusal could jeopardise their Isle of Wight operations. The families said that it wouldn’t just be the 625 jobs – hundreds more depended on the Vestas’ factory for contracts.

While we were there the nearby burger van started displaying Climate Change Action Camp posters and stocking veggie burgers!

Co-Mutiny: Next Meeting/COP 15 – Mobilisation

Next C0-Mutiny Meeting– Thursday 6th August 7.30pm. Kebele, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton. BS5 6JY

comutiny-poster-and-flyer-front1

Never trust a cop!

blog address: http://nevertrustacop.wordpress.com/

Climate Change is not an Environmental Disaster it is a Capitalist Disaster

While remaining part of the Climate Justice Action umbrella group, a more radical voice was needed for the mobilisation around the COP15  (Conference of Parties meeting, no. 15) this December in Copenhagen.

The mobilisation will be massive – tens of  thousands of people will converg on copehhagen – but will it be more than an ineffective lobbying exercise ? The Choice is yours.

e-mail westsideclimateaction@gmail.com for local mobilisation advice/suggestions.

http://nevertrustacop.wordpress.com/

GRAPHIX

Against COP15 summit, Copenhagen Dec. 2009

The catastrophe is real and climate change is one of its many symptoms.
The COP15’s inevitable talk of “saving the world from the climate
crisis” is an elaborate hoax to disguise the COP15’s true purpose: to
restore the legitimacy of global capitalism by inaugurating an era of
“green” capitalism. A new rhetoric of “saving the climate” will exist to
justify their repression, their fortified borders, their colonial
resource wars. To give the Emperor new clothes. Our response to this
astounding lie is an uncompromising and absolute NO to their system.

More has to be shaken than our holiday habits to sustain the world for
times to come. It would be foolish to pin our hopes upon the very people
who continue to kill off the planet for money. At Copenhagen, they will
argue over how to properly create a market to commodify and so pollute
the biosphere, dispossessing millions of people from their land to
profit from destroying what remains of our earth. Governments and
corporations will not sacrifice their growth to reduce carbon emissions,
or only do so in order to create a new authoritarian regime for themselves.

The entire rhetoric of the “climate crisis” and the “financial crisis”
is a cynical maneouvre by the state spin-doctors to deny the
all-encompassing crisis of self-declared civilization. The COP15 will
only attempt to hide the war that capitalism is waging against all life
on the planet, a war that has spread across the entire globe for the
last five hundred years, a war that encompasses the totality of even the
oceans and atmosphere. In the midst of war, one does not talk of
management and “technical solutions.” You cannot fight a war by
pretending the war does not exist, by blinding yourself to repression
and becoming complicit in accepting the false-promise of a petit
bourgeois tranquility. Instead, one recognizes the enemy. One chooses a
position. One fights.

Only by ridding ourselves of those who claim to be representing us and
by defeating the ideology of endless economic growth, industrial
production and consumption can we take control of our lives and planet.
It is time to state: we are going to consciously attack the structures
supporting the COP15: we will break through the lines of their police;
we will refuse to negotiate with warmongering governments and the
embedded media; we will refuse to side with sell-out NGOs and all the
would-be managers of protest; we will refuse all governments and
governance and not just de-legitimize the present ones. It is time to
state why we think that insurrection is needed to actually begin the
change everybody is so desperate for. Acting together in fundamental
opposition to those in power we might get a first glimpse of the
richness and opportunities possible when ideas, experiences and concepts
are shared amongst people from all over the world.

Against COP15 summit, Copenhagen Dec. 2009

The catastrophe is real and climate change is one of its many symptoms.
The COP15’s inevitable talk of “saving the world from the climate
crisis” is an elaborate hoax to disguise the COP15’s true purpose: to
restore the legitimacy of global capitalism by inaugurating an era of
“green” capitalism. A new rhetoric of “saving the climate” will exist to
justify their repression, their fortified borders, their colonial
resource wars. To give the Emperor new clothes. Our response to this
astounding lie is an uncompromising and absolute NO to their system.

More has to be shaken than our holiday habits to sustain the world for
times to come. It would be foolish to pin our hopes upon the very people
who continue to kill off the planet for money. At Copenhagen, they will
argue over how to properly create a market to commodify and so pollute
the biosphere, dispossessing millions of people from their land to
profit from destroying what remains of our earth. Governments and
corporations will not sacrifice their growth to reduce carbon emissions,
or only do so in order to create a new authoritarian regime for themselves.

The entire rhetoric of the “climate crisis” and the “financial crisis”
is a cynical maneouvre by the state spin-doctors to deny the
all-encompassing crisis of self-declared civilization. The COP15 will
only attempt to hide the war that capitalism is waging against all life
on the planet, a war that has spread across the entire globe for the
last five hundred years, a war that encompasses the totality of even the
oceans and atmosphere. In the midst of war, one does not talk of
management and “technical solutions.” You cannot fight a war by
pretending the war does not exist, by blinding yourself to repression
and becoming complicit in accepting the false-promise of a petit
bourgeois tranquility. Instead, one recognizes the enemy. One chooses a
position. One fights.

Only by ridding ourselves of those who claim to be representing us and
by defeating the ideology of endless economic growth, industrial
production and consumption can we take control of our lives and planet.
It is time to state: we are going to consciously attack the structures
supporting the COP15: we will break through the lines of their police;
we will refuse to negotiate with warmongering governments and the
embedded media; we will refuse to side with sell-out NGOs and all the
would-be managers of protest; we will refuse all governments and
governance and not just de-legitimize the present ones. It is time to
state why we think that insurrection is needed to actually begin the
change everybody is so desperate for. Acting together in fundamental
opposition to those in power we might get a first glimpse of the
richness and opportunities possible when ideas, experiences and concepts
are shared amongst people from all over the world.

Benefit Cheats ?- What About the bankers?

img02

You’ve all seen those posters: “Benefit Cheats – We’re on to you” with a nasty stereotyped image of overweight working class woman . Well, it seems that benefit fraud costs the taxpayer (so not the untaxed super-rich) £3 billion pounds a year, whereas Octobers bank-bail out cost us £39 billion pounds…so far. So wheres the posters depicting greedy investment bankers making investments in funds they don’t know the value of?