Friday, 28 August 2009

Climate Camp Cavorting

I visited Climate Camp today with my daughter Clementine and friend Rachel. I've not been to the previous climate camps, but since it was in London this year it seemed like the ideal opportunity.

Blackheath is a great spot for the event, and it is a brilliantly organised affair.

I heard a talk from some of the women who were at Greenham Common. It was interesting to hear their first-hand account of that infamous camp - the hardships they endured during the winter is certainly inspiring. (Hmm...I wonder how many people would go to Climate Camp if it was staged in December? Maybe I'm being too cynical...).

One of the women said (twice, in fact) that it was always particularly galling at Greenham that they would camp there year-round, and then at their monthly actions, some women (and I quote) "would turn up, fluffing their hair, and then talk on our behalf to the press even though they were just there for the day."

Ah yes, sisterhood! It's a fine thing. I can understand that it would be rather galling, but surely the point with Greenham - and indeed with Climate Camp - is to get the message out to the press. Indeed, I saw a female press photographer today selecting two attractive young women and taking their picture, knowing as she did that the press would be more likely to use such a photo.

Of course it's not great that people judge on appearances and place such a high value on aesthetics, but surely we should be pleased that the message is getting into the press, and out to the public?

I was surprised to see a lack of police presence - in great contrast to April's G20 protest, I'm pleased to say! I did see some firemen. And a man with two ferrets on leads, much to my delight.

Another highlight was being threatened by a 3 year old in the children's tent. When I asked him to share the paint he said "I am going to stab you in the eye. I am going to kill you."

"That's not very nice," I remonstrated. "It really isn't in the spirit of Climate Camp, you know..."

This held very little sway with the tiny tearaway.

Thus ended my experience of Climate Camp '09.

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