Climate Camp UK

Drax Climate Camp
Drax Climate Camp

We should be inspired by the original climate camp; this was a small group of people who were motivated by the climate science to organise and gather support to put on a camp. Their first objective was a manifestation of their whole project, action on combating climate change. In their process of organisation they agreed a set of principles that the camp provides:

Education on the problem

Practical skills training,

Practical examples of sustainable living in the form of camp infrastructure

Opportunities for direct action.

What can we learn from Climate Camp?

Heathrow Climate Camp 'The Cinema Tent'
Heathrow Climate Camp ‘The Cinema Tent’

The DIY approach was non-hierarchical, used consensus decision making and group facilitation. The climate camps were short term and located for protest. This suggests the climate camp ethics and organisation methods could be applied to rural training camps like the civilian conservation corps. This would not prevent the people involved from engaging in protest of course. Indeed such a group would have the skills and affinity to be very effective if they wished to engage.

Cinema Tent Kingsnorth Climate Camp
Cinema Tent Kingsnorth Climate Camp

The climate camp shut itself down in 2013. It fragmented and became dominated by informal hierarchies that manifested as cliques mainly involved in the facilitation and organisation of meetings. While practical people became tired of the bureaucracy and left.

Ratcliffe on Soar Protest
Ratcliffe on Soar Protest

There was also external pressures from the heavy policing of the non violent protests and undercover infiltration this put great stress on the movement. There was no spiritual dimension to climate camp and when it was severely tested people moved on. The lesson is to build a movement with people who have a deeper understanding and agreement on what they are doing and why they are doing it.


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