Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reflections on climatecamp process so far

Last year we did http://climitecamp.tv as an affinity group action, ie. a group of trusted people got together and did it, no meetings, organized in 3 days. It worked very well producing over 20 live edit shows in the solar power studio.

We played a role in setting the policing on a back foot by supporting the legal team with video help, which continued after the camp producing the film that was used in the committee in the Parliament and at legal conferences. Holding a CC archive of video helped in a number of court cases, getting at least one case dropped.

The interesting issue this year is that we have got more involved in the "process" which has displaced a lot of time and energy, but the project is more "embedded" this year which hopefully will do some good. We didn’t engage with the "process" last year because of what am going to say next:

All activist "organizing" is full of bureaucracy, backstabbing and design by committee, invisible hierarchy are rife and decision by obstruction is endemic. Life stylise is core to many groups, if you don't talk, act and most importantly dress like them you are excluded/marginalized. These issues have seriously hampered the growth of the climatecamp movement so far.

700 first year
1500 second year
2500 third year

This year might be different, many of the most active organisers form past years are now much less involved, and a whole new group of more “liberal” campaigners are filling the spaces they have left. From my prospective this is both good and bad:

* Good - outreaches to a much wider community

* Bad - the core of the climatecamp is in the spiky anarchism and the fuck off attitude which creates the very exciting space full of real radical alternatives.

This year decides if the climatecamp is co-opted or acutely starts to build a real alternative – lets see what happens.

Ps. Any radical people out there, can we try and stop all the sectarian crap – I mentioned above as this pushes the liberal agenda which isn’t the outcome I desire.