Sunday morning I awoke and foraged for breakfast, discovering the most delicious vegan dark chocolate spread which tasted EXACTLY like the insides of pain au chocolat. I noshed on that and had some quite time reading my book before the morning over-view of Saturday’s events.
Aside from yet-more-talking, Marina was organising some direct action training that morning, so I decided to go out and get muddy down by the river. We did do radio training; learning to use radios during actions. It’s not just about turning on and having a listen, you know. We split into two teams and played Capture the Flag where each team has a flag (surprise) and the aim of the game is to, okay, there’s a clue in the name. We hid ours under a bridge, planning to use it as a bottleneck for the other team, a plan which was a little foiled when they approached from the other side of the river. Three of us, ‘White-Home’ stayed to protect the flag, and I was among the three who ventured towards the other camp, ‘White-Outreach’.
As we understood the rules at first, the opposing team could be tagged and would then be unable to move – a rule which worked in our favour when Martha (Red-Home) received a message calling for back-up while guarding my stationary self, so I was able to shout to Charlie for her to warn White-Home of their intentions. However, all three of us did end up stuck until Marina clarified that only the person holding the flag could be tagged. We wandered through their camp after that, Charlie eventually discovered the flag tucked into a tree stump and Elise from White-Home joining us. After some trial and error, another rule mix-up and me getting cracked in the head by somebody else’s, we formed a sort of relay group, throwing the flag as we were tagged. The rules were then clarified once again; when the flag carrier was tagged, the flag was to be returned to base.
Upon the return of the flag, Charlie and Maia decided it would be a good technique to switch-up with the boys, leaving Elise and I to watch one of the Red team rush with our white flag up to the Heart of Reeds – with Dan in swift pursuit! – but ultimately winning.
We had a debriefing session, then headed back to Pop-Up for lunch. (I may expand on the radio learnings in another post). More delicious food was on offer, this time potato soup and phat slices of crusty bread. Can I live at Climate Camp please? According to Alice though, sometimes the food can be dire.
I ended up at ‘Reception’ after lunch, in case of doorbell and new arrivals. Elise kept me company briefly and we discussed whether anything would be decided that afternoon as so much was going on aside from the meetings – quite a few people were out learning bushcraft in the afternoon or filming with Tom and his masks, and that morning most of the people who would have wanted to talk about direct action were out learning about doing it!
However, I feel that a lot did get covered in the end. Joining in the Outreach and Community group back in the meeting there were exciting actions on course to be implemented such as a South Coast Website, an environmental book group with talks and discussion, getting trained up to give talks and workshops at schools and community centres, creating press resource and teaching resource packs and running a blog to name, well, most of them.
We came together at the end to voice proposals, create working groups for particular actions and gauge consensus. Tom presented on the idea of Climate Carnival (!!) – a mass of masks, costumes and wheels tobe carted around the country on actions, providing an eye-catching creative space and generally being awesome. Very exciting. No specifics are in place yet, but there was a further meeting after I left. Direct Action put forward some targets and eventually created an ‘as and when’ working group for when people are involved in particular actions, the specifics of which need not be made public even within Climate Camp – although anyone can ask for the information.
To wind up the weekend there were some temperature checks on where people want to focus their energy, National or Regional and on having National or North + South or South Coast camp(s). I went for National and North/South (respectively), although since Kent is hugely under-represented despite having ‘hosted’ a Climate Camp at Kingsnorth I think I probably will try to focus my energies regionally and try to drum up some interest down around here.
And that was my weekend at Climate Camp South Coast Regional Gathering. Hopefully I’ll be getting involved with some community outreach tings and and and actually going out and doing actions instead of just sitting around being vegan and going on about that. Not that I’m going to stop going on about being vegan. But hey, you can be vegan AND rush power stations! So here’s to wanting something done and DOING IT YOURSELF instead of waiting for the government to step in and take over. COP15 proved pretty conclusively that they’re just going to fanny around waiting for somebody else to acquiesce to having less ‘power’ first, so fuck ’em, don’t do what they tell you and DO IT FOR YOURSELF.