In 2006 a camp took place near Drax power station, in 2007 near Heathrow Airport, and in 2008 near Kingsnorth power station in Medway, Kent.
Preceding the 2007 camp, airport operator BAA sought "the mother of all injunctions" to ban an estimated 5 million people from attending, but succeeded in injunctions against just 3 men and the direct action group Plane Stupid, preventing them entry to the airport.
The camp in August 2008 began with a one day event at Heathrow, followed by a march across London to Kingsnorth power station, in common with seven other camps globally that will be targeting coal.Last year large numbers of people from across the country turned up and helped out at the camp. The camp provided facilities that many of the people needed such as showers, cheap food, internet access, entertainment and medical services.
Saturday 9th August was named as the Day of 'Mass Protest and Direct Action', as radical environmentalists confronted E.ON's plans to build another coal-fired power station, which would be the first to be built in thirty years in the UK. The day was organised to highlight the impact on climate change with activists marching to Kingsnorth power station.
The action was also to highlight what is seen as an expansion to the fossil fuel economy, by corporations and government, and what activists claim is a demand of the opposite through scientific consensus. Furthermore, the camp attempted to challenge the businesses which will profit from the agrofuel industry, which they see as false solutions to the problems of climate change.
Following clashes between police and protestors at the periphery of the site, local MP Bob Marshall-Andrews was horrifed by footage, condemning the "provocative and heavy-handed" policing.. MEP Caroline Lucas also condemned police tactics, which included riot police, pepper spray and routine stop and search of everyone entering and leaving the camp.. The police announced to the press that they had found a cache of weapons in nearby woods, which they alleged belonged to those attending the climate change camp. Of particular concern were said to be "a 15in knife, a replica pointed throwing star, grappling irons, shields, kitchen knives and chains", found "hidden in trees and undergrowth around the site." Bizarrely they had also confiscated such dangerous items as a life jacket and a 'War on Terror' board game. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge stated that while he believed the majority of the Climate Camp protestors to be peaceful, the concealed items raised concerns of a minority of attendees having "more sinister intentions". He added that "There is no justification whatsoever for having these weapons... it is clear to me the plan was to use these items for criminal purposes. Police admitted they had no firm evidence to link the weapons to the camp, and protestors rejected the allegations as a smear campaign. Despite this, one protestor was arrested on August 10th for possession of a bladed instrument amidst 50 other arrests for offences including assaulting a police officer, trespass and obstruction. Four protestors were arrested having breached the perimeter, while 19 others were arrested after scaling the plant's exterior perimeter fence. Many of the protesters and casual visitors were radicalised after witnessing cases of police brutality, oppression and incompetence first hand.
It was preceded by a community arts project run by activists for local residents. The 'Our Place' arts weekend was held on 11 & 12 August at St Mary's Church Hall in Harmondsworth, one of the villages which would be severely affected by the building of a third runway.
Those injuncted from entering Heathrow Airport during the camp included:
On the 19th August the camp culminated in a day of direct action, incorporating between 1000-1400 people, depending on the source. The main protest was a blockade of BAA HQ by around 200 people. Other targets included Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk, the headquarters of BP in London, two carbon offset companies, Climate Care and the Carbon Neutral Company, British Airways world cargo centre, and Bridgepoint Capital, responsible for the Leeds-Bradford Airport expansion. 58 people were arrested.
In 2007 the police made preventive searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The camp was heavily attended by a force of 1,800 police, who carried out searches, including some vehicles, under the Terrorism Act 2006 Section 44 and took photos of protesters entering and leaving the camp.. On Sunday August 19 there were scuffles between protesters and police officers outside the offices of BAA at Heathrow, which were being targeted in a day of direct action by some of the protesters.
Over one hundred and sixty workshops ran throughout the camp, sharing practical skills on living sustainably, on subjects such as the science of climate change, environmental justice and the effects of climate change on people in the global South, corporate 'climate criminals', direct action, children's workshops, and many more.
Music was turned off after 11pm to allow campaigners to sleep. But on the last Monday of the camp music was allowed much later.
On August 31 2006, up to 600 people attended a protest called Reclaim Power converging on Drax and attempting to shut it down. There was a 'kids march' to Drax Power Station, with a giant ostrich puppet, made by the The Mischief Makers. Two protesters climbed a lighting pylon at the edge of the Drax site and four others broke through the fence . At least 3,000 police officers, from 12 forces from as far afield as Hampshire and London, were reported to have been drafted in for the duration of the protest. Thirty-eight protesters were arrested. The police reported that work at the power plant was not disrupted, though eye witnesses reported having locked-on to various machinery inside the power station, thus stopping work. No coal went into Drax that day, with the railway line in being blocked off.
Power for lighting, radios, mobile phones, sound equipment and laptop computers was supplied by solar panels and a wind turbine. Biodiesel from recycled cooking oil was available for other vehicles. Cooking used conventional propane cylinders..
Son of pedals sound system was another sound system at climate camp Video
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