Camp for Climate Action
Camp for Climate Action
9th August, 2007
Come camp! says one of the organisers of the Heathrow Camp for Climate Action
Next week, from August 14th to 21st, The Camp for Climate Action will take place near Heathrow airport. The camp is for everyone who opposes the lunacy of expanding airports in full knowledge of the severity of climate change. It’s for everyone who knows that now is the time to act, not just as individuals, but collectively and cooperatively. We will learn, live, socialise, work and take action together in the shadow of Europe’s biggest airport; one of the UK’s biggest CO2 emitters.
There is huge support for the camp amongst those living close to Heathrow, who have been campaigning against noise and pollution for 30 years. Many local residents will be at the camp and have helped to make it happen.
The camp has three key aims: to be a place where we explore grassroots solutions to climate change through workshops, skill-sharing, education, debate and entertainment; to demonstrate and live the alternatives – materially and socially – and to take collective direct action against the root causes of climate change.
There is an exciting programme of over 100 workshops covering topics as diverse as climate science, and building a rocket stove. These workshops are participatory and given for free - many by camp participants who are experts in their field - reflecting a key theme of the camp; that we all need to work together, sharing our skills and knowledge.
The camp will use as little energy as possible and only from solar panels and wind turbines constructed on site. All our food will be vegan (the lowest impact way to eat), organic and sourced locally. All our recyclable waste will be recycled locally and all our compostable waste, including human waste, will be composted locally too. We will leave the land exactly as we found it.
The camp is also, uniquely, an experiment in social sustainability. There are no leaders and all decisions are made collectively. Work is done by working groups which anyone is free to join, and we will sleep, eat and socialise together in neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood has a shared kitchen, where we will take it in turns to cook. Neighbourhoods meet daily to make decisions affecting them and the rest of the site; these then feed into a wider camp decision making process. All meetings use consensus decision making, where everyone has an equal say and all voices are heard. This can be time consuming and hard since it is so different from how decisions are made in the rest of our lives, but it is truly empowering.
There will also be 24 hours of mass action from midday on Sunday 19th to midday on Monday 20th which anyone is welcome to join. The form of this action will be decided by all that want to take part during various open sessions throughout the week. There is no master plan; like the rest of the camp the mass action is what the people who come to the camp make it.
Some people will come to the camp mainly for workshops, some mainly for sustainable living, some mainly for direct action and many for all three. We hope that everyone who comes will leave inspired and continue using everything they have learned and experienced once back home. Only by working together can we truly tackle climate change. The camp is just the start; the movement of collective action on climate change is growing – come and be a part of it!
See www.climatecamp.org.uk for directions to the camp from Tuesday 14th. Come for a day or a week, all are welcome!
This article first appeared in the Ecologist August 2007