The camp embodies a belief that wider change can be achieved by taking action in our own lives in accordance with our beliefs, and by working cooperatively to work out and bring about the alternatives. Having more control over our lives and their impacts on a sensitive planet can extend to a concern for activities that are carried out on our behalf, by the structures and systems within the present organisation of society. If we disagree with these activities we can decide to take direct action to stop them, and can do so effectively in a non-violent way.
Luckily, many alternatives are already here. Learning and skill sharing are very important aspects of the Camp for Climate Action. They will happen informally and organically, but in an organised and accessible way too. During the week over a hundred workshops will take place, covering topics such as:
• Climate change impacts
• Peak energy
• Transition towns
• Practical renewable energy
• Strategy and skills for action
The camp will be organised in a neighbourhood system where people from different geographical areas or with similar interests come together. People from Nottingham will form the greater part of a regional neighbourhood, the ‘Eastside’.
The neighbourhood will be a physical area for people to live during the week: where we can pitch tents, socialise, network, learn, plan and so on. Within neighbourhoods we may aspire to live as self-sufficiently as possible and take care of our basic needs.
In order that a neighbourhood can facilitate these things, there are some simple infrastructural elements that need to be taken care of, for example a place for cooking and people to cook. Some elements of the camp’s infrastructures are also set up and maintained by groups made up of people from across the camp, making them more central.
The people who attend the camp make use of the resources and the structures, so it is important that we contribute – in a way that is appropriate to us.
Many different roles have already been worked out by people attending national climate camp gatherings. Some involve contributing to preparations for a secure site and begin long before the week; many other jobs can be taken on once people arrive on site (see climatecamp.org.uk/jobshop.rtf for more details). Other tasks will not be dreamt of until the people participating in the camp identify them.
Neighbourhood planning takes place locally however, so anyone who is planning to go to the climate camp should consider which neighbourhood they would like to be a part of. If you think you will be staying with the Eastside neighbourhood, try to make it to a neighbourhood planning meeting. These meetings can serve purposes such as these;
- Gain a better understanding of what preparations are needed so that we can have physical structures such as marquees and kitchen equipment.
- Talking about tasks and jobs that are essential in running a neighbourhood and contributing to the overall running of the camp.
- Discuss different roles that can help us to have a cohesive, productive and friendly neighbourhood.
- Work out how tasks can be shared, so that lots of people do a little, rather that a few people left to do a lot.
- How to help people get involved in the running of their neighbourhood, and support them to feel happy and valued in making their contribution.
There are plenty of things for Eastsiders to sort out and think about in advance. Two neighbourhood gatherings have been arranged, on consecutive Wednesdays, the 18th & 25th July.
You might not have a great deal of time to do stuff before the camp, but attending these meetings is at least a way of getting to know other people who will be going to the camp for climate action. If you weren’t at last year’s camp, then coming to a meeting can also help you become familiar with aspects such as horizontal organisation and consensus decision-making, if you are not already familiar with these concepts, or have not seen them ‘in action’ before.
Everyone shares the responsibility of running a camp for climate action that has no leaders and no employees.
Get involved! We need to act now! It can be hard work, but at the same time most exciting. It’s about going out on a limb; working out a different route, if you believe, like so many ‘experts’ do, that the course we are on is leading us to trouble.
Nottingham/Eastside Neighbourhood gatherings:
Wednesday July 18th & 25th
The Art Organisation, 21 Station Street.
-See http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/location.php for more.