Climate change protesters blockade oil refinery

Masked climate change protesters surround a bamboo tripod with their arms in cardboard tubes to prevent police from removing themAround 400 climate change protesters converged from all over London to travel to Stanford-le-hope in Essex to blockade Coryton oil refinery. The plan was not fully revealed to protesters until they were on the train to Essex, when organisers distributed leaflets with a map of the area and an explanation of the plan.

Organisers also distributed ‘goody bags’ on the train which included a mask, disposable boiler suit and equipment to make a cardboard lock-on tube. Once in Stanford-le-hope protesters spilt into groups and made their way towards the oil refinery through fields. Along the way protesters had left more equipment that could be used to blockade the road.

The blockade lasted 4 hours and protesters claimed they stopped thousands of gallons of oil being delivered.

Photos: Climate change protesters blockade oil refinery

Police make mass arrests at arms protest

Police made mass arrests at the end of a protest in Brighton against arms manufacturer EDO MBM. Around a hundred, mostly local, activists from the Smash EDO campaign attempted to evade police throughout the day to get near the arms factory.

Police mass arrested over 35 protesters, including a legal observer, who had been kettled on Lewes road for a breach of the peace. Sussex police said ‘many would be released without charge as a breach of the peace was prevented’.

EDO MBM manufacture the release mechanism for bombs on F-16 & F-18 fighter planes used by the Israeli Defence Force.

Photos: Police make mass arrests at arms protest

EDL protest in Leicester

An English Defence League protester is treated for a head injury by a police medic. He said he was hit by a police shield.

Police estimated that around a thousand English Defence League protesters gathered in Leicester. Violence broke out sporadically throughout the day as protesters tried to push through police lines. Bricks, bottles, cans, fireworks and smoke grenades were all thrown at police by the EDL.

Photos: EDL protest in Leicester

Thousands march against the Pope

Thousands of people joined a march and rally through central London against the Pope’s state visit to the UK. It is the first time a Pope has been invited to a state visit in the UK. His visit has been controversial because of his involvement before becoming Pope in the cover up of child abuse in the Catholic church.

Photos: Thousands march against the Pope

al-Quds Day Protesters March in London

Around 1000 protesters joined the Quds day march through London
Around 1000 protesters took part in the annual al-Quds march in London. The day was created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a day of protest against Zionism and in solidarity with Muslims across the world.

English Defence League members held a small counter-demonstration alongside the ‘March for England’ group. Counter-protesters shouted “Scum”, “You’re not English anymore” and “Who the f*ck is Allah?” as the Quds day march passed them.

Photos: al-Quds Day March & Rally

EDL clash with police in Bradford

An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite
An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite

Several hundred English Defence League protesters held a static protest in Bradford, after the Home Secretary banned any marches from taking place. Police made over a dozen arrests after the EDL clashed with police as they tried to break out of the protest area.

Rocks, bottles and smoke grenades were thrown at police by protesters, one of which hit an EDL protester, who received treatment from police medics.

Photos: EDL clash with police in Bradford

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.