Summary of activity:
The only way in which the Camp for Climate Action (CfCA) exists is through neighbourhood meetings, UK Gatherings and direct actions that result from these meetings. Geographically organised neighbourhood meetings draw in activists from a particular area and normally meet in one or more towns or cities in their region. For example there is a London neighbourhood meeting in central London, … More information is available on the CfCA website, under ‘get involved’ and local groups pages. The UK Gatherings have generally happened on a monthly basis, and give an opportunity for all the neighbourhoods to gather and decide what actions to take, nationally, regionally and locally. Neighbourhoods are autonomous and can also make suggestions for national action at a UK Gathering. All meetings and Gatherings operate within consensus decision-making solutions.
This system also operates during a Climate Camp, as camping areas and kitchens are arranged according to the neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood and working group on the site sends a ‘spoke’ to daily hub meetings. Notes of each neighbourhood, working group and hub meeting were made available at meetings and on neighbourhood noticeboards.
The location, length and style of Camp were debated at length in monthly UK Climate Camp gatherings and regular neighbourhood meetings from January 2009-June 2009. From April 2009, working groups were set up to cover the logistics of preparing for, holding and deconstructing the Camp. The working groups met at UK Gatherings and networked through email lists and tele-conferences. Some groups held additional physical meetings. Many of the working groups used guidelines prepared by working groups for previous Camps. When new working methods were needed, the wisdom and consensus decision making of each monthly UK Gathering was sought.
The working groups networked with each other to enable the site to be occupied midday 26th August. Site security, composting toilets, kitchens, camping areas, workshops and entertainments were all working by the afternoon on 26th August. Less obvious working groups were also in action, such as the welcome group welcoming activists and visitors, and the meetings group facilitating daily meetings and information flow between each neighbourhood and working group. The outreach group and media group were particularly active in the run-up to the event and during the event, inviting national and regional groups, local groups and people and explaining the Blackheath Camp to anyone who asked.
Then much fun was had by all involved. The workshops informed and skilled up participants about economics, climate science, community facilitation skills, and direct action techniques. Various direct actions were developed on-site and took place in central London. Planning for a larger direct action at Ratcliffe in October 2009 and Climate Camp’s role at Copenhagen were also carried out. The Camp led by example for all activists and visitors by providing vegan food, renewable powered infrastructure and composting toilets. Twice daily tours introduced visitors to the Camp and the Site working group kept all the infrastructure working.