Monday, August 13, 2007

Shout in Peace

Well, before this blog turns into a forum for cute kitty pictures and discussions about how much cat food is needed, I think it’s time to return to some more globally pressing issues.

Just over a week ago I posted about the Camp for Climate Change taking place at Heathrow on the 14th – 21st August 2007. Calvin Jones from Climate Change Action Group then posted an article explaining the reasoning behind this years Camp, their aims and philosophy. In addition Calvin’s blogs provide up to date information on campaigns at the main group and in Scotland and resources. If Climate Change is something you feel strongly about then I urge you to take a look at the article and the blogs.

But if for a moment we imagine one of those wavy flashbacks to the week before last, the biggest problem about this Camp was BAA’s abuse of the law to try to silence peaceful protest; however as Mr. Jones pointed out BAA did not succeed, the Camp is still going to take place and in fact so unsuccessful was BAA’s initial action that the named protesters in the original injunction can still take part lawfully. So, one would think that for once campaigners had won a victory over big business.

Unfortunately, it seems that the world does not reserve such kind surprises, on Saturday I read that up 1,800 extra officers had been drafted to police the event and were being encouraged to use section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Section 44 gives the police powers to:

· Stop and search people and vehicles for anything that could be used in connection with terrorism

· Search people even if they do not have evidence to suspect them

· Hold people for up to a month without charge

· Search homes and remove protesters' outer clothes, such as hats, shoes and coats.

Well, perhaps using a Terrorism law is not so far fetched in this case, after all it is companies like BAA and the ilk that are terrorising the whole world with the short-sighted policies thus causing irrevocable damage on the planet we all share. But has BAA won?

This morning I read:

In four minutes and 30 seconds yesterday, two double-storey scaffolding tripod towers were erected and a banner slung between them. Within the hour, up to 150 people had come and were unloading pallets, tents, compost toilets, wind turbines, kitchens and bikes.

Camp for Climate Change started two days early and arrived before the Police did! Some protestors have already been stopped by the police, but at the moment all seems well with some policemen pointing out that they do actually agree with the camp.

So please, if there is an issue you care about SPEAK OUT. Time and time again popular peaceful protest (with minor disruptions) has proved to be successful and now with web platforms such as these we are even more able to disseminate information. So let’s do it while we still have the chance. Last week I also read that the MoD had put in place new restrictions on what the Armed Forces can publish on Blogs, e mails, websites and text messages!

And lastly Tony Wilson died at the age of 57 on Thursday night of a heart attack after battling kidney cancer. As the founder of Factory records, my hat goes off to him for creating the most fabulous record sleeves that had me sneaking into my big bros room to stroke them while blaring out Joy Division, as I sat nodding my head and being all morose.

5 comments:

kimy said...

by following your hyperlinks I feel much more aware thanks for the excellent post/update. meow. eek.

apprentice said...

Yes great post. Personally I'm annoyed at BAA trying to blame the protesters for undermining the "war of terrorism" A third runway at Heathrow is crazy, we cannot go on just ploughing things up and pretending that we're some how immune to climate change.

How much good protest does is another matter, remember the huge protests against Iraq and it changed nothing.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Peaceful protests and ongoing pressure can indeed make a difference. I was invited to a meeting of things "trees" last week - finally, we are getting some concessions - finally, it seems all the months of effort are forcing the authorities to realise that we're serious and they need to listen to us.
People can change things - but there has to be will and passion and the willingness to give up time and make an effort. Hats off to the Camp organisers and participants!

Verilion said...

hi Kimy, glad to share the info.
And Apprentice, I don't know, I've been following it in the newspapers and the more fuss BAA get the more press it gets. In the end how many people would have even known about this if BAA hadn't completely overreacted? And maybe the Daily Mail readers will shake their fingers and call them terrorist hippies, but hopefully there will be some people who will be encouraged to change their ways. The difference between Iraq and this was the effect on the economy. Got up to the bit in Flannery's book (Yes Im still reading it, it's got difficult words in it) that is about the cost to the economy of doing nothing about Climate Change. Now if protestors focused on that...
And Vanilla, congrats on doing something. It seems that a lot of effort is always called for to achieve a little bit of change, but hey things do change, so keep at it, I've got my fingers crossed for you and the campers.

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