The Movement is Changing! Long live the Movement!
So last weekend, after 6 years of existence the climate camp has officially announced its decision to change. Not end but change. The statement is really great and can be read here. The camp has decided to;
1. We will not organise a national Climate Camp in 2011.
2. We will not organise national gatherings as ‘Climate Camp’ or the Camp for Climate Action in 2011.
Whilst keeping several working groups which will aim to;
- A group to maximise the usefulness of our material resources.
- A group to address ongoing communications plus learn from and document our experiences over the past few years.
- A group to investigate new organisational forms, structures and tactics for possible next experiments.
- A group to organise a meeting to share ideas about these next experiments.
As the statement accurately begins the political times have changed, new dynamics have moved the political space in which we operate to a very different place. What was once new and fresh had become slightly predictable and no longer spoke to the activist scene or the wider public. It’s really difficultto realise that a group/movement has reached a dead-end and an certainly very brave to decide to end this project and start experimenting with alternatives.
The Climate Camp was certainly successful in many ways (direct action, skill sharing, awareness raising on climate change) and also struggled in some areas (international linkage, overemphasis on finance and certain banks such as RBS) but it’s importance is unquestionable. In a period of low social struggle the camp for climate action was a key node within the UK’s Left wing milieu. I went to several camps and they were quite formative in my political trajectory so far (admittedly helping to define as much of what I opposed as what I supported). However, the recent protests, their lack of specialist activists in the forefront, their focus on other struggles (education, welfare, etc.) had left the climate camp struggling to engage. Indeed the task of linking climate justice with anti-austerity measures needs to be taken up in more detail than the general call for green jobs.
Given the scale of the cuts, the upsurge in social struggle and the organised Left’s difficulty in relating to them these experiments are more important than ever. This blog has been a commentator on the climate camp (at times, admittedly, a fairly acerbic one) but would like to wish everyone involved well with future projects and hope to bump into you in an exciting political space/event sometime soon.
As the articles title suggests this isn’t the end but a new beginning, part and parcel of our experimentations with political forms and content and should be applauded as a brave move towards the continual revolution of our praxis. But what shape will this crysalis take and in what from will it emerge?