Crude Awakening took a different approach to previous years mass direct actions, such as last years great climate swoop where the target is announced weeks in advance, with the day of action normally being a standoff with police, who like everyone else have also been warned weeks in advance. Crude Awakening was different in that a mass direct action was announced but the target kept a secret. Only that it would be an
action against the oil industry somewhere in London.
On the morning of the action people could choose to be part of one of three different Blocs that would end up converging at the final location. These were the Dirty Money Bloc, the Building Bloc and the Body Bloc meeting at Euston, Waterloo and Victoria respectively. At 10:00am SMS messages were sent to the different blocs directing them round London via the tube and eventually ending up at the final destination Coryton oil refinery, not in London but Essex. This proved to be the masterstroke as the police had been expecting something to happen in London so were taken off guard, which allowed 12 women to successfully handcuff themselves to two immobile vehicles on the only road leading to the refinery.
Police took some of their frustrations out on the body bloc by delaying their train and performing a stop and search, a stop and search under the same law that was ruled to be illegal at Kingsnorth. The three blocs then started arriving to reinforce the blockade and set up a second blockade further down the road which also happened to be on a crossroads with the only road out of a second refinery owned by Shell. The secretive tactics paid off, as this the busiest oil refinery in the UK with hundreds of Oil tankers leaving every day was effectively shut down and 375,000 gallons of oil prevented from leaving.