Sustainable Community Action

Electricity generated from solar panels

The Camp for Climate Action is a campaign gathering based on the old peace camps that is taking place near Heathrow. It began on August 14 and is planned to finish on August 21, 2007.

There was a similar camp during 2006, whose aim was to take action against the causes of climate change and to develop ways to create a carbon-neutral society, i.e. one which does not release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. The camp acted as a base for direct action against major carbon emitters such as Drax. It ran on broadly anarchist principles - free to attend, supported by donations and with input from everyone in the community for the day-to-day operation of the camp.

Media Criticism of 2007 campaign

On the 7th of August, 2007, the National Union of Journalists issued a public statement expressing "deep concern" over the Camp's policy toward media access during its 2007 event. Camp organisers stated that "media will only be permitted on site between 11 am and noon; that they must be accompanied and identified with a flag; must stick with the tour; that some journalists will not be allowed on site and that a “black-list” will be operated. Sympathetic journalists will be given longer access." The NUJ noted similarities between this policy and the behaviours of organisations that the Camp for Climate Action stands opposed to and warned that even sympathetic journalists may be alienated by the camp due to their shared "abhorrence of restrictions".[1]

The camp media team replied to the NUJ criticism by stating. 'The policy is a compromise that attempts to provide reasonable media access whilst respecting participants' right to privacy; a balancing act between the desire to reach a wide audience through the mainstream media, and the need to respect many participants’ wishes to avoid the media spotlight.' They went onto say 'The policy is not designed to control the media message or prevent critical coverage, but to allow camp life to unfold without the continuous pressure of media attention. We have always been clear that media work comes second to the key aims and activities of the camp – educating ourselves through workshops, creating a self-managed and sustainable community, and taking direct action – much of which happens more fully and productively without a media presence. [2]

On 9th August 2007 the media policy was changed removing any possibility of blacklisting some journalists or giving sympathetic journalists longer access [3]

Police Attention

Police make preventive searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

The camp is beings heavily attended by a force of 1,800 police, who are carrying out searches, including of all vehicles, under the Terrorism Act 2006 Section 44 and taking photos of protesters entering and leaving the camp.[4].

Mass action plan

On August 17 participants at the Camp for Climate Action collectively decided on a two-part plan for Sunday’s (August 19) 24 hours of mass action.

  • Marking out the proposed third runway - The two-part action to begin by marking out the land that would be destroyed by the proposed third runway.
  • The protesters will then lay an overnight siege to BAA’s corporate headquarters.

“The day of mass action will highlight the appalling impacts of the third runway and lay the blame at the feet of BAA, the corporate profiteer most responsible,” said Alannah Currie after last night’s meeting.

Campers are encouraging everyone who is concerned about climate change to take part in the day of action, whether or not they have visited the camp this week. Local Heathrow residents and schoolchildren will join campers in the marking of the runway. Over a thousand people are expected to occupy the 3km stretch of land, bearing pages of the Tyndall report [5], photographs of people whose lives have been devastated by climate change, and other powerful visual symbols.

“We are marking the land which we will defend from the proposed third runway. The fight belongs not just to those whose homes will be destroyed, but all those who want to defend this planet, our home, from the resulting climate change. Everybody should be here. BAA and the Government do not have the right to decide whether this runway goes ahead. The decision should be made by the millions who would be impacted by it not to the few that would profit from it,” said Andy Taylor of the Camp for Climate Action.[6]

24 hours of climate action

During the mass action protesters had worn copies of the Tyndall Report on their hands, carrying a banner reading, “We are armed....only with peer-reviewed science”. [7]

The 24 hours saw direct actions in other parts of England with targets including

  • carbon offset companies which were occupied by protesters dressed as red herrings
  • Sizewell A and B nuclear power station
  • BP headquarters
  • the office of the owners of Leeds airport, Bridgepoint Capital, on Warwick Street in London.


  • Beneath Heathrow's pall of misery, a new political movement is born. "It was not flawless, but the climate camp was still the most democratic and best organised protest I've witnessed." George Monbiot [8]


Img13714.jpg SCA

Gutza Wikipedia logo1.jpg Wikipedia
  • Environmental direct action in the United Kingdom W

External links

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  1. National Union of Journalists - NUJ warns Climate Camp over restrictions on media August 7, 2007
  2. Indymedia - Climate camp response to NUJ Criticisms
  3. Camp for climate action - Climate camp amended Press Policy, 2007
  4. [1]
  5. ‘Growth scenarios for UK and EU Aviation,’ Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. 2006
  6. Climate Camp Mass Action Plan Announced, 18 August 2007, Camp for Climate Action
  7. Indymedia UK, press release from the Camp For Climate Action, 20th August 2007
  8. The Guardian, August 21