Climate Camp 2010: Swoop or Swindle?

Climate Camp Swoop 2009
Hundreds of climate change protesters gather on Blackheath in South London to take part in Climate Camp 2009

100 climate activists have swooped on the grounds of RBS headquarters at Gogarburn. The swoop happened a day early at 9.15pm in order to outfox authorities who were keen to prevent the camp from happening.

Secret Climate Camp Location RevealedClimate Camp Press Release

Indeed the authorities were so keen to prevent the camp from happening they offered them a spot on the campus:

The Royal Bank said it had allowed the protesters to establish their camp on part of the site and were willing to meet the protesters.

A Royal Bank source said 80-100 protesters had arrived soon after 9pm yesterday and attempted to cut through security padlocks on bollards at the back entrance to the complex.

“Our security people ushered them to a point in the campus which we had designated as a place they could camp,” he said.

Two arrests made as climate change protest targets RBSThe Scotsman

The camp also claims that 400 activists are on site, which sounds very high considering the lower turnout at the start of previous camps. I’ll believe that when I see it.

It has also been reported that yesterday’s swoop only attracted 40 campers (although others have said there were more), compared to the hundreds that took part in last years swoop.┬áThis years camp certainly has received a lot less media coverage than in the run up to previous camps. Jamie Potter has speculated a few reasons why this might be and I’m inclined to agree with most of them.

Looking through the program for this years camp there are only a fraction of the workshops and activities that have been planned at previous camps. Which may indicate what some of activists have suspected for some time – that the Climate Camp movement is in decline. For the last two years activists I have spoken to have been unsure as to whether there would be a camp the next year.

In any case, I’ll be heading up to Edinburgh later today to see whats happening, document camp life and cover the mass action on Monday.