Workers' Climate Action at Climate Camp

Submitted by Newcastle on 20 August, 2009 - 9:26 Author: Bob Sutton

On 26 August hundreds, more likely thousands, of activists will execute a mass land squat somewhere inside the M25 and set up this year’s Camp for Climate Action.

There are four themes for the camp this year:

• Education, through a programme of over 100 workshops;

• Sustainable Living, demonstrated the physical infrastructure of the camp;

• Direct Action, training for and executing the physical obstruction of the processes that drive climate change;

• Movement Building.

This year’s location was not chosen to target a specific industry or installation (as locations have been for the past three summers). After the massive shocks endured by world banking this year, the location has been chosen to demonstrate that the global ecological crisis is rooted in “the economic system”, with the City of London at its centre.

Workers’ Climate Action is calling on trade unionists and working-class activists to come and help build the camp and build a movement to fight the destruction of the planet.

The mass organisation and democratic structures on the scale shown by the camp are something to be learned from. Taking these methods into the wider workers’ movement is one of the key ideas behind the setting up of the Workers’ Climate Action Network.

The amount of training in direct action at the camp is unparalleled. The schedule includes daily mass action training in which people can learn how to use their numbers to overwhelm police lines as well as more specific skills. In the coming period of increased class struggle, and the examples of police violence we have already faced, the occupations, and the sucess of more imaginative and militant tactics has shown that knowledge of such things is something our movement will need.

Just as we have at previous camps at Heathrow and Kingsnorth, and throughout the past two years, WCA activists will be arguing that we should build on the broadly anti-capitalist politics of the camp and that we should understand that it is people’s relationship with what they need to live and produce that shapes society. We see climate change as a question of class struggle — Who runs the workplace? Who runs society?

The solidarity built, the exchange of ideas, and probably most of all the events of the past year, havealready amounted to a sea change in the way many in the environmental movement relate to class politics

Many workers and supporters from the campaign to stop the closure of the Vestas factory plan to come to the camp in a contingent from the Isle of Wight, looking to share the experience of their struggle, learn new skills, build links, and gain support for their campaign.

Workers’ Climate Action will be holding four workshops, all over the bank holiday weekend:

• Sunday 30 August 10.30-11.30: Women and the miners’ strike.

This workshop aims to demonstrate that the ideas of workers in struggle can be transformed. With conscious solidarity, divisions in the working class can be overcome.

• Sunday 30 August 14.30-16.00: Workers’ Climate Action: climate change is a class issue

A basic introduction to the ideas and activity of the WCA network.

• Sunday 30 August 16.30-18.30: Visteon, Lindsey, Lucas and Workers-Led Just Transition.

How do we relate to the most socially and environmentally damaging industries? Can workers take control and transform their workplaces?

•Monday 31 August 16.30-18.30: Vestas — the fight to save a wind turbine factory

An account of the workers’ factory occupation and campaign — fighting not just over jobs or pay, but over a technology we need to save the planet.



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