Skip to content or view mobile version

Home | Mobile | Editorial | Mission | Privacy | About | Contact | Help | Security | Support

A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

An Open Letter to the Camp for Climate Action

David Douglass | 11.07.2008 11:50 | Climate Camp 2008 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Workers' Movements | London

Dear Camp for Climate Action,

Firstly thank you for contacting me. I'm hopping mad about what I've
heard, but I may not have been told the whole story. I can tell you too
the mining community whats left of us feel utterly betrayed by rumours
about you swinging all your efforts to close down what remains of the coal
industry. There are debates about counter-demonstrations etc and press
statements from the power workers and miners. So its vital we do not take
up cudgels over this unless and until and at least that we know where each
other stand. I was a matter of interest with the National General
secretary of the NUM and the Yorkshire Area Leadership last weekend and
they are spitting feathers about the Drax demonstration. The slogans on
the demonstration and the statements made to the press by the protestsrs
demonstrated no concern for the miners, railway workers or power workers.
There was no consultation with us, no debate with us, no seeing what we
wanted or how we see the world or how we can see if there is anything is
common. 'Leave It In The Ground' was the banner which was unfurled at
Drax, 'it' being the coal, and the miners ? where do we leave them ? that
bit wasn't answered. We know where John Major and Maggie Thatcher and
Harold Wilson left us, on the dung heap, and most of us are still there.

Our own demands would be two fold, firstly we want to see the opening of
'clean coal technology stations'. Yes the technology exists and had done
since the 50s but nobody was interested in applying it. There are at least
two methods, but the latest one is carbon capture, thats not the end of
the story but here isn't the place to elaborate. Enough to say its not a
con, it does produce massive savings in CO2 emissions, plus the bi product
of the Hatfield Main system is hydrogen and energy conservation. Which are
added bonuses on the carbon capture.

Secondly we want to see international ('fair trade' if you like )
standards applied to all imported coal and a level playing field in terms
of health and safety, conditions, hours and union recognition . Countries
with mass slaughter in the collieries should not be allowed to dump coal
here at the expense of workers in their countries and unemployment for
miners here.

65 million Tonnes of coal is burned in Britain each year only about 18
million of it is mined here, despite the fact that British coal is the
cheapest deep mined coal in the world. It is brought here in part because
rather than fit wipers and efficient filters to all power stations, they
import coal which produces less sulphur and ash and carbon when burned.
Instead they burn the miners at source.

There is about 500 years of coal in Britain, it can provide a breathing
space, to develop renewable sources, certainly solar, yes tidal, though
not destructive wind estates which are laying siege to the bits of free
land and crags and moorland we have left.

The governments main plan is and always been to make Britain Nuclear
dependant. That is why they closed down the mines in the first place.
Climate Camp must be very careful not to cross on the wrong side of the
barricade on this issue. Not to be used to promote Nuclear energy by
making the biggest focus coal .

The spokesperson at Drax this month said there was NO PLACE for coal in
Britain's energy supply ! Thats fairly final. The impact of that
statement, coming as it does with a middle class voice and total
indifference to the situation in the coal communities, is unlikely to
strike any cords this side of the tracks.

I understand you intend to shut down Kingsnorth Power Station in August. I
don't know this station in particular but I was informed this was a
station which was using clean coal technology ? Is that not right ?
whether it is or not we have to ask why coal ?.

Coal is not the biggest producer of CO2 its about the fourth and thats
with unfettered uncontrolled emissions from the third world in particular.
It could be massively reduced by demanding all coal which comes here meets
minimum standards of health and safety and union rights. That the
exporting countries themselves adopt clean coal technologies. Such a
tighter focus would be entirely more credible and principled than simply
saying 'close down all coal power stations, don't build new ones, and
exterminate the last of the miners and their communities'.

I cant say I'm keen on entering the lions den of the Climate Camp as a
former miners leader and life long coal miner. I'm tempted to say I think
we speak differant languages. However I shall pencil this is my calender
and see if I can attend along with any of the NUM leadership in order that
we can put our point view across and hopefully get you to adopt a more
balanced approach to the question of power generation and working class
expectations and demands.

You have my permission to put this letter on the website.

The World For The Workers

David Douglass

David Douglass


Please come and discuss further

11.07.2008 14:09

As someone who will be at climate camp I feel it would be excellent if you or a represenative were to attend the camp, and that further discussion around the issues you have raised be had.
I see no reason why this could not be possible and feel you should remain in contact with the climate camp through the website and organise to be part of such a debate.
It is a world that we all must live in and we need to seek solutions together.
Without such solutions to the problems of accelerating climate change none of us will have a planet capable of supporting life.


Why Kingsnorth?

11.07.2008 14:45

Given how much CO2 you get when you burn coal, building a coal fired power station in the middle of a climate crisis would be really stupid. Really, really, stupid. But incredibly, down at Kingsnorth that's exactly what power company E.ON and the Government plan to do.

Here’s our top 10 reasons for not building Kingsnorth, or burning coal or digging it up or well, doing pretty much anything with it other than leaving it in the ground. You don't have to read them all. Any one will give you reason enough to join us this summer. A new power station at Kingsnorth really is that daft.

1. Let's build a coal-fired power station!

If built, Kingsnorth will emit between 6 and 8 million tons of CO2 every year. That’s a hell of a lot of CO2, more even than the proposed third runway at Heathrow would produce. Scientists are usually a fairly reserved bunch but even they are starting to sound frantic about what’s happening with the climate. That’s not surprising given that, if we carry on treating the planet like a cheap boil in the bag dinner, we risk causing catastrophic climate change. That’s probably a bad idea. To avoid it we need to rapidly reduce emissions. So, in a world where we respect the ecology of the planet and the lives of those whose home it is, no Kingsnorth.

2. Kingsnorth is just the beginning. Six other similar power stations are planned.

How do you multiply stupid? We're not sure, but that’s what the power utilities want to do. Unless there’s a big fight over Kingsnorth these companies, with the backing of Government, want to build six more atmosphere-crunching coal fired power stations in the next few years. Collectively these power stations would emit around 50 million tons of CO2 a year. It’s hard to understand such a callous disregard for your fellow humans but if you want to, start by following the money. Power stations make lots of it and, given the amount of coal around, they're a ‘safe’ long term investment. It’s an age-old story but the ending isn’t written yet.

What happens at Kingsnorth is vitally important. When people get together determined to make the world a better place there is history-making potential. Look at the Suffragettes, the struggle for workers rights, the anti-roads movement. Kingsnorth can and will be stopped if enough of us get together to make it happen.

3. Because coal is the most polluting fossil fuel.

Coal was a really cool idea for the convenient long term storage of a load rotting prehistoric forests but burning it to make electricity is a monumentally bad one. It might have made sense at the beginning of the industrial revolution but then so did child labor, slavery and woolen swimming trunks. Now we know burning coal is wrecking the climate. Of CO2 in the atmosphere from human activity around 50% has come from the burning of coal. Mainly this is from Western nations who industrialized first.

Today burning coal is responsible for around one quarter of our global CO2 emissions. One of the great challenges for this generation is to find ways of living on this planet whilst leaving fossil fuels (especially coal) in the ground. We are quite literally the Power Generation. We have to change the ways we generate power and we need to find the power to make these changes happen.

4. Because coal is about as clean as an anthrax sandwich.

Proudly brandishing the phrase ‘clean coal’, the coal industry is confidently striding forth into our warming world. It’s a brilliant piece of PR greenwash. However, like ‘friendly’ fire or the ‘great’ war, it sounds kind of good but actually, when you get down to it, it really isn’t. Modern coal fired power stations are slightly more ‘efficient’ than old ones but the bottom line is: coal burning is responsible for one quarter of global emissions and those emissions are causing serious problems.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an important part of the ‘clean’ coal myth. It’s basically a method of capturing and compressing the waste CO2 from a power station and then pumping it into salt aquifiers and old oil wells for long term storage. There’s a few problems with CCS. The biggest one is that it doesn’t exist, it's science fiction. Sure there’s the odd experimental trial but at the scale of large coal fired power stations even the industry themselves say it's 10 years away at best.

E.on are saying that the power station they plan to build will be CCS ready. But ready for what exactly. We might be ready for the second coming but that isn’t going to help solve climate change that’s in happening in reality in the here and now. Given that the next few years are crucial and that other ready-to-go alternatives exist, CCS is just a distraction. Eon want to talk about CCS because they don’t want to talk about CO2 emissions. They want to obscure the truth: Kingsnorth power station will emit at least 6 million tons of CO2 every year and damn the lot of you.

5. Oh dear we're running out of oil. Wahey there's loads of coal!

No need to worry about the coming oil crunch, there’s loads of tar sands and coal - we’ll burn that instead. If you’ve got big investments in fossil fuels or you’ve just bought a villa in Greenland then maybe this ‘solution’ to the oil crunch makes sense. To the rest of us it makes about as much sense as a petrol-filled fire extinguisher.

Most of the geological evidence suggests that there is a lot of coal left, up to 200 years at current rates of consumption. But burning it really isn’t an option if we want a planet to live on (forget Greenland, those villas have sold out and the neighbors would be horrible).

6. But if we don’t burn coal the Chinese will.

Blimey. Where do you start? Yes the Chinese are building coal fired power stations but...

1. Climate change is a global problem and nearly every country is going to have to reduce emissions - the British, the Chinese, the Americans - we all have to get our shit together and change the way our societies make and use energy. If we're going to do it fairly (which in our view is essential), that means countries like the UK will have to cut a lot more than the Chinese. If you're burning coal you're making the problem worse. We're burning it here in the UK so that’s where we’ve got to stop it.

2. Not only are average emissions for each person significantly lower in China than in Britain, a large percentage of Chinese coal is burnt so that Chinese factories can make the throwaway consumer items that fill the shopping centers and refuse dumps of the west.

3. We’ve got to start somewhere. The very ecological systems we rely on for life are in jeopardy. If someone doesn’t wake up and try to turn off the gas we'll probably fry sleeping. Arguing about who should set the alarm is as pathetic as it is suicidal.

7. Without these power stations there will be an energy gap.

The old ones are the best ones. Problem: a load of companies want to make big bucks but can only achieve it by doing the rest of us over. Answer: come up with something scary so people are distracted and don’t notice what you're up to. O’oo the energy gap. A frightener isn’t it. It’s meant to be what happens if we don’t build new coal and nuclear power stations to replace the ones that are being decommissioned. We run out of energy, the Christmas lights go out , rubbish blows in the streets and we’re all transported back into the 70s and forced to listen to crackly Val Doonican records on pedal powered stereos.
But the energy gap is a nonsense.

Check out the Government's own projections:

• The amount electricity generating capacity reduction by 2027 from closing old coal and nuclear power stations: 35%
• The amount of energy Gordon Brown has said we will generate from renewable sources by 2020: 40%

On these figures there is no energy gap. In fact were up five percent seven years early. There are other gaps. A commitment cap, a vision gap, a take the bull by the horns and do something useful for a change gap. But no energy gap.

8. Because there is a growing movement against coal.

It’s not just about Kingsnorth. In Wales and Derbyshire people are trying to stop new open cast mines. And from Bangladesh and the Appalachians to Columbia and Ecuador people are fighting against coal and fossil fuel extraction. This summer there are five other climate camps in other countries all focused on the issue of coal.

This is an essential way of facing the energy and climate change crisis. It’s a call to get together and work for something better in solidarity with people across the globe. Its might sound like an old fashioned idea but then these days so does a stable climate and hell, if flares can make a come back anything has to be possible.

9. Because we need to talk about work.

Here’s a crazy idea. Instead of employing people to burn coal how about we build install and run an energy system based on renewables. They’ve started doing it in Germany and the industry already employs 250,000 people which is a lot more than work in our entire power sector . Here’s another one. We know that we need to make a transition from one energy system to another so what about building that transition around the workers in those industries, what about making it a just transition. And one final one. How about instead of working more and being exploited more so we can compete more just to produce more and more stuff, we work less to produce what we need and want, compete less and share more so we have more time and live better. Phew.

10. They don't have to build Kingsnorth.

There are a load of brilliant alternatives that would solve the energy issue without messing with the planet. If we're serious about these other options then it's crucial we stop the building of Kingsnorth and the other five power stations.

We’ve probably already said it so sorry to go on, but if enough of us get together and say no, then Kingsnorth will never get built. Last year a new runway at Heathrow was seen as a done deal. The Climate Camp helped galvanise almost universal opposition to that stupid plan. With enough of us, we can do the same with building new coal-fired power stations. See you at Kingsnorth on August 9th.

Climate Camp website repost
- Homepage:

Some history about joint action between Earth First! and the NUM

11.07.2008 21:58

It is quite possible that Climate Change may result in an unresolvable opposition developing between some trade unions and ecological resistance groups. However in the 90s during a wave of actions from South Wales to Derbyshire there was some informal co-operation between the NUM and Earth First! in the campaign against the expansion of Opencast sites. For more info on the actions as well as discussion of the issues and possible contradictions see:

'No Opencast! : History - Direct Action - Analysis - Contradictions'

Taken from Do or Die 7 - Voices from the Ecological Resistance


Open statement and invitation to the trade union movement

23.07.2008 13:54

As you may be aware the Camp for Climate Action will be happening near Kingsnorth in Kent, august 3 -11th 2008.

The camp is an open event to which all are welcome to attend and debate issues about how we can stop climate change. We will also explore practical examples of how we can live, work and take decisions together, in truly democratic and sustainable ways.

We aim to shut down Kingsnorth power station on the 9th of August for one day. We want to clarify that this action is not against the workers at Kingsnorth, nor does it mean we think the UK coal industry should be shut down overnight. It means we want to show the seriousness of the threat both to humans and our environment, now and into the future. This crisis affects the world’s poorest people first and hardest and is a social justice issue. We feel that we must take collective, political direct action to address it.

We recognise the history of political attacks on the miners and the union movement and we firmly resist that. We recognise the need for jobs, viable communities and a strong trade union movement, and we want a decent, fair and long term deal for all, including miners, energy workers and their communities. We believe we face a common enemy of short-termism, capitalism and the exploitation of people and nature that capitalism inevitably brings.

Coal is currently the dirtiest of the fossil fuels and it is an industry that is going to have to respond to the climate crisis. We are against any proposal that would increase our carbon emissions, as a new power station at Kingsnorth would. Extremely rapid reductions in emissions are necessary if we are not to watch millions suffer and die in the most preventable disaster the world has ever known.

We know much hope surrounds ‘clean coal technology’, but we see a lot of ‘greenwash’ there too. ‘Clean coal’ means many different things and is an idea not a single technology. We know many within the coal industry are pushing carbon capture and storage – CCS – and this is proposed for one part of the new Kingsnorth plant. It may offer solutions but on the scale required it is still only theoretical and will no doubt have many costs. Like many technical proposals its impact will depend on the political context it is used in. We are concerned that it does not marginalise solutions that could have a real impact today, like energy efficiency, renewables, local production, public transport etc. All of these could provide thousands of new jobs immediately, and help make our society healthier.

We don’t have a blueprint for the future but we do have a clear sense of the values which will guide it – environmental sustainability and social justice for all. We locate the roots of climate change within the ideas and practice of capitalism. Consequently we know that we cannot ‘solve’ climate change without addressing the way our world is run for private profit rather than social gain and for endless growth rather than satisfying needs.

We have adopted the model of ‘Just Transition’, in which the needs of workers are paramount within the transition to a new economy: their views are central, there should be adequate retraining where required, there should be no loss incurred. An increasing number of trade unions are adopting this model internationally. There will be ways we can make this transition protect, and benefit, workers and communities worldwide.

Climate change poses a question about our economic and social system. It is in fact an opportunity. The theft of resources, the inequality, the destruction of nature, the abandonment of communities unwanted by big business, the injustice, the poverty, the lack of a real say in our lives – all these can be addressed when we address climate change. As prices rise and people question the reasons for the instability, we will have welcome space to talk about capitalism, social justice and real democracy. It will be an opportunity for groups who were previously unaligned to work together. It will be an opportunity for us to realise the importance and excitement of collective action. It could and should offer the opportunity for the trade union movement to re invigorate itself.

We know we should have made greater efforts to communicate with workers and unions at an earlier stage, and we apologise for that. We hope this opportunity is now here and we warmly welcome a dialogue with all sectors over how we can move forward both fairly and sustainably.

We know there is a proposal for a counter demonstration against the camp. We are concerned that this proposal could give the impression that we are on different sides and be seized upon by government and media to avoid talking about the real political issues we could be addressing. Such a division, real or not, could damage us both, whereas mutual respect and aid could help. We need to engage in a constructive dialogue about the way forward.

To that effect we warmly offer to come to your branch or group to discuss these issues, and invite you to the Camp to do the same.

In solidarity,

Networking group – Camp for Climate Action 2008

Contact us via

Camp for Climate Action
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

Phasing out coal in Australia - working with workers

25.07.2008 07:22

An interesting letter - and some of it echoes the approach of the leadership of the major coal mining union in Australia (the Mining division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union), who stand side by side with the industry politically and literally at industry events calling for further investment in fossil fuels and so-called 'clean coal'.

However, the approach of union leadership is seemingly out of step with rank and file mine workers who participate in and are driving forces in local no coal campaigns, who came to the Australian Camp for Climate Action, and one worker in the industry even chose to get arrested stopping coal trains with his daughter!

Climate activists are building strong relationships with workers in the Hunter Valley / Newcastle in Australia (the world's largest coal exporting port) - who are committed to preventing runaway climate change, a just transition for workers and communities, and keeping coal as it already is, sequestered in the ground!

People can check out a reportback and video footage from the Just Transitions panel at Climate Camp Australia here

It included speakers Geoff Evans (Greenpeace Australia Pacific), Daniel Wallace (Newcastle organiser, Australia Manufacturing Workers Union), Anna Rose (national co-ordinator, Australian Youth Climate Coalition), Graham Brown (retired mineworker) and Peter Barrack (former Secretary Newcastle Trades Hall Council).

mail e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following 18 comments


11.07.2008 13:03

"I understand you intend to shut down Kingsnorth Power Station in August. I
don't know this station in particular but I was informed this was a
station which was using clean coal technology ? Is that not right ?
whether it is or not we have to ask why coal ?."

Kingsnorth is not using clean coal technology. Government spun that a new power station there would use carbon capture and storage. However, when a government official asked the operators (yes, that really is right, he asked the operators) if the licence should include even just provision for carbon capture the operators said no and the official replied within a few minutes to say that was fine. It shows where the power lies in that relationship, a perfect example of regulatory capture.

There is a place for some forms of clean coal, though only as a stopgap to get us from where we are now to where we need to be in the future. Carbon capture only captures the carbon dioxide. This point is made well in which I suggest you take a look at.

A N Other

500 years of coal

11.07.2008 14:01

It is pointless to quote 'at current rates of consumption' for a local resource which we have currently replaced with either cheap imports or by switching to natural gas. Of course our current consumption rates for coal are low and therefore it's easy to say we have 500 years of coal in the ground at these rates. However, it is obvious that those rates are meaningless when assessing possible future use in a world where neither gas nor oil are cheap any more.

In the UK, at the end of the pipeline bringing gas to Europe from Russia, we will be under massive pressure to move away from expensive gas to home produced coal. This would massively increase consumption rates and massively reduce the already over optimistic figure of 500 years worth of coal. Then there is peak oil and the increased demand for coal we can expect post peak. Already China is building dozens of coal to oil gasification plants and many other countries sitting on large coal reserves will no doubt end up doing the same.

If we were to burn all that coal (and I don't doubt that we will), the miners might have jobs but the future will be very very bleak for us all.

at current rates of consumption?

class issues raised

11.07.2008 14:37

As an outsider thinking about getting involved in the climate camp for the first time its important that these issues of class bias are raised, and the allegation that there has been zero discussion between campers and the miners does paint the camp in a rather negative light.

Climate Camp has been admirably open in its challenge to capitalism yet seems to have bypassed a community who have been at the frontline of active resistance to it in Britain for decades.

Have we forgotten?

maggie thatchers afterbirth

dialogue with the NUM

11.07.2008 14:46

I think many in the climate camp movement are aware of your concerns, and i for one think that it is important that we carry a messege of just transition and that the banners calling for jobs for those involved in every chain of the coal industry who may be affected by our demands.
I will make sure that the issue is raised at the national gathering in London this weekend. If the NUM would be interested in sending a representative i think that would be great.

I am happy that this dialogue is taking place, although maybe it ought to take a more prominant position within the environmentalist mvoement.


More Coal Background

11.07.2008 15:18

There is another item to do with Coal from Science in Society see:

Have a look there, then sign up to receive their e-mails which cover a wide spectrum.


Speaking to....

11.07.2008 15:30

....some of those I know who work at Drax, there are a lot of projects ongoing to implement some of the clean coal stuff...and plans to improve it further.

So I think from this perspective there is some positive change and I do think the demonstrations have helped to bring this about, and will continue to keep it on the agenda and ensure such projects are followed through.



Glad to see the offer of debate from miners

11.07.2008 15:34

I think this shows the problem with a lot of environmentalism.

Creating an ecological society cannot be at the expense of human beings, and cannot be achieved by ignoring the needs and interests of working people.

Anyone remember Judi Bari? She was active in the US anti-logging movement - but trying to work with loggers as well. Must have been doing something right, as someone blew her up in a carbomb.

We need to be addressing the problems at source rather than addressing symptoms. If we ignore capitalism, ignore the production relationships that affect us all, we're just a group of ineffectual single issue protestors that are irrelevant to most of the population.

I can't see capitalism collapsing overnight, so agree with Dave Douglass. An intermediate step would be clean coal, with the black stuff sourced here rather than dug out of the ground by kids and shipped halfway across the planet.

social ecologist

On class issues..

11.07.2008 19:39

Many of us work. Some workers are in highly-paid manual work (drivers of fuel lorries averaging £40,000/year, plumbers etc etc) or are in poorly-paid jobs that used to be considered middle-class, like teaching & nursing (£20,000/year). I know a carpenter who drives a fuck-off HUGE car, and regularly flies abroad on holiday, but that's ok cos he's 'working class'.
So what is class nowadays? Most of the real 'working class' are in other countries, doing the manufacturing jobs for our so-called needs. They are the truly exploited.
I live on less than £8,000/year and still live a luxurious existence compared to my exploited brothers and sisters abroad.
The thing is, climate change is affecting people in other countries - the poor and oppressed that make our stuff. So in that case, I agree that climate change is also a class issue, but not class in the traditional sense anymore.
I read on here that Coltan miners earn about £10/week. Don't know what UK miners earn but I expect it's a little more. I don't see why one section of UK workers should call a halt to protests at climate chaos. Adapt. We're all going to have to, sooner or later.


jem jem jem

12.07.2008 00:29

Stop thinking of class in some crap sociological sense (or indeed as Class War try to portray it).

Class is about our relation with Capital. Most of us are working class. We have no choice but to sell our labour. It is this dynamic that is at the heart of capitalism, and one we need to break if we are to create an ecological society.

Ignoring the plight of a group of people who are fucked over and justifying it because others are fucked over even worse is not on. I agree that relying on fossil fuels is not sustainable, but waving away the end of someone's livelihood is not to be taken lightly.

social ecologist

the response from climate camp *was* here....

12.07.2008 12:27

The letter from Dave Douglass, and Climate Camps response *was* here on this article. (accessed just now, 12 July 13:23)
But it appears to have been removed. Can anyone let us know why that happened?


to social ecologist

12.07.2008 14:06

Thank you for dismissing my views as 'crap' and patronising me in your comment title. Just the sort of hierarchical stuff class-war peeps fight against isn't it?!

My view is a global perspective as climate change is a global issue, whereas lots of people raging about miners jobs seem to be thinking on a very limited and local scale. That's just fine when you're fighting to keep a small school open or to protect travellers in your area or to stop tree-felling or whatever.
No doubt, slave-traders were pissed off at their jobs coming under threat. Carriage-drivers must have been furious when bicycles became popular. Grocers can't be best pleased at people queuing up to work allotments. And when we no longer need to burn coal to produce electricity, miners will be furious. But because they live here and not Angola, they won't watch their children starve to death or die for lack of basic healthcare as a result.


More discussion..........

12.07.2008 14:51

There is a good discussion on this very issue here:

Commie (kill all hippies tendency)

For an alternative plan of production

12.07.2008 15:04

Climate Camp is right to demand that coal (and indeed all fossil fuels) be left under the ground. But the people who are best placed to make that happen are those who work in the industry. That means we’ve got to win over those workers politically. We can’t by-pass them and shut things down from the outside by the heroic actions of a few well-meaning individuals. And we will only win workers to taking the necessary level of political action if there is the confidence to develop a workers’ plan for alternative production (along the lines of that developed by the Lucas Aerospace shop stewards in the seventies,) and crucially a mass movement of sufficient social weight and political strength to ensure that the plan can be implemented. The job of socialists is to build this mass movement, not to promote a divisive counter demonstration.

But can workers be convinced of the need to close their own industry? This is not how we should pose the question. The idea of capitalists closing industries under the whip hand of market forces is of course abhorrent. But we shouldn’t give up on the possibility of workers themselves organising to redirect their skills towards socially beneficial outcomes. For us it wouldn’t be a question of closing down the coal industry, it would be a question of reorganising to produce other things (for example turbines for wind, wave and tidal energy, all of which are far more labour intensive than coal) with no loss of pay and substantially better conditions of employment. The Lucas workers certainly didn’t insist on their right to continue making armaments! They drew up a democratic plan for socially useful production. That is the direction we all need to be moving in.

mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

how fucking dare you

12.07.2008 18:31

compare miners to slave traders. take your working class hatred somewhere else eh

"No doubt, slave-traders were pissed off at their jobs coming under threat."

- Homepage:

Guilty as charged

12.07.2008 20:07

Yes, you're right, that was clumsy of me. Was trying to think of jobs that people once thought were valid but don't now and picked the wrong one.
Now I remember why I never post on this site. Within a short space of time, some hierarchical male will tell you to fuck off.


Why this letter was originally hidden

12.07.2008 21:13

When this letter was first posted to this site, together with the reply, as a comment, it was promoted.

An email was then sent to Indymedia saying that it was "definatley not meant for public consumption" and asking that it be removed, so it was hidden.

The emails about this are here:

IMC Admin

what is climate camp doing about this?

13.07.2008 19:54

Since the reply from Climate Camp was a private personal email, i suppose it is fair enough that it was removed.

However, I think Climate Camp should respond here about what they are doing to address these issues.



Climate Camp is...

14.07.2008 14:14

not an organisation, so please stop saying "can Climate Camp do this? can Climate Camp do that?". Or is it that you need a collective organisation with a flag that its members can rally around even if its redundant? From people and their imaginations climate camp came, and to there it will return. Meantime, most of you will still be worshipping the leaders who keep you poor.

Anti-hierarchy, Anti-leaders, Anti-organisation

Upcoming Coverage
View and post events
Upcoming Events UK
24th October, London: 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair
2nd - 8th November: Wrexham, Wales, UK & Everywhere: Week of Action Against the North Wales Prison & the Prison Industrial Complex. Cymraeg: Wythnos o Weithredu yn Erbyn Carchar Gogledd Cymru

Ongoing UK
Every Tuesday 6pm-8pm, Yorkshire: Demo/vigil at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill US Spy Base More info: CAAB.

Every Tuesday, UK & worldwide: Counter Terror Tuesdays. Call the US Embassy nearest to you to protest Obama's Terror Tuesdays. More info here

Every day, London: Vigil for Julian Assange outside Ecuadorian Embassy

Parliament Sq Protest: see topic page
Ongoing Global
Rossport, Ireland: see topic page
Israel-Palestine: Israel Indymedia | Palestine Indymedia
Oaxaca: Chiapas Indymedia
All Regions
South Coast
Other Local IMCs
Bristol/South West
Social Media
You can follow @ukindymedia on and Twitter. We are working on a Twitter policy. We do not use Facebook, and advise you not to either.
Support Us
We need help paying the bills for hosting this site, please consider supporting us financially.
Other Media Projects
Dissident Island Radio
Corporate Watch
Media Lens
Earth First! Action Update
Earth First! Action Reports
All Topics
Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements
Major Reports
NATO 2014
G8 2013
2011 Census Resistance
Occupy Everywhere
August Riots
Dale Farm
J30 Strike
Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands
G20 London Summit
University Occupations for Gaza
Indymedia Server Seizure
COP15 Climate Summit 2009
Carmel Agrexco
G8 Japan 2008
Stop Sequani
Stop RWB
Climate Camp 2008
Oaxaca Uprising
Rossport Solidarity
Smash EDO
Past Major Reports
Encrypted Page
You are viewing this page using an encrypted connection. If you bookmark this page or send its address in an email you might want to use the un-encrypted address of this page.
If you recieved a warning about an untrusted root certificate please install the CAcert root certificate, for more information see the security page.

Global IMC Network

satellite tv


estrecho / madiaq
la plana
northern england
nottingham imc
united kingdom

Latin America
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
puerto rico


South Asia

United States
hudson mohawk
kansas city
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
tampa bay
united states
western mass

West Asia


fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs