Why are you targeting the European Climate Exchange?
Because the system of carbon trading they oversee will be the billion dollar elephant in the room at international climate talks later this year in Copenhagen. We’re in the middle of an economic crisis based on wild speculation and blind faith in the market. With the recent crash in the price of carbon price within the European Trading Scheme, the flaws inherent in this elaborate system of offsets have never been more exposed. If we want a viable future for everyone on this planet, we can’t let city traders be the guardians of our climate system. In short: Carbon trading doesn’t work.
What kind of actions will take place on 1 April? How do people get involved?
There’ll be sorts of stuff going on: from debates on the alternatives and workshops on the finer points of the trading system. There might even be a bit of creative naughtiness and perhaps some direct action. People just need to show up in London on 1 April and get stuck in to whatever takes their fancy. Delicious vegan food for a small optional donation will be provided. Bring sleeping bags and tents if you have them – we’re having a climate camp in the City!
The Daily Mail expects a riot – how do you respond to that kind of scaremongering?
The Daily Mail expects all sort of things. We’ve learned not to take too much notice. For me, one of the most inspiring moments of last year’s camp was the sense of calm focus and togetherness that everyone showed in the face of outrageous police aggression. At the top gate, repeated police incursions were met with successive waves of climate campers peacefully resisting; sitting down, singing songs and telling stories, and demonstrating the power of collective action. We’ll stand up for what we believe in, but we’re not the mob the Daily Mail wants us to be.
What do you hope will be the outcome of 1 April action in the City?
I think it would be great if loads of new people turn up and imagine something different for the future. Hopefully that sentiment will travel far and wide, along with the message that world leaders have got their response to climate change very wrong indeed.
Why carbon trading? How does this relate to the previous climate camp actions at Drax, Heathrow and Kingsnorth?
Every time we’ve set up camp outside a major emitter, some big business or government spokesperson has always popped up and said ‘Don’t worry! Carbon trading will sort it out!’ It’s widely accepted that the richer, carbon-heavy nations should be the ones to make drastic cuts in emissions. But plans for new runways and coal-fired power stations will make it impossible for countries in the north to do their fair share. NASA’s Jim Hansen is now suggesting that we may be perilously close to the danger zone in terms of greenhouse gas concentrations. So we need to cut emissions and help with climate friendly measures in other parts of the world. It’s not a choice: we have to do both.
Is this a one-off action, or part of a longer campaign focusing on carbon trading? Is this part of a build up to (or related to) other actions in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December? If so, what will those be?
It’s part of a longer campaign focusing on the current economic system and how it’s got us into this mess. Carbon trading is just one part of that. Our summer camp will explore the economic crisis (and the system that caused it) and how it relates to climate change and other social justice issues. Carbon trading and free market dogma have dominated UN negotiations in recent years, so yes, we’ll be taking action around the time of the Copenhagen Summit as well.
What form will these events and actions take?
As yet, those questions are largely unresolved. But anyone can turn up to one of our monthly national gatherings to answer them! See www.climatecamp.org.ukfor details.
What has the G20 got to do with climate change discussion and carbon trading?
The G20 focuses on efforts to kick-starting the economy, on getting people spending again and things like bailouts for the automotive industries. These are not futureproof plans. This is precisely the time we could be concentrating on creating jobs that will help stop the climate crisis. The G20 governments have been particularly blinkered by the neo-liberal discourse around false free market solutions to climate change. Their agenda is one of a future for business as usual. So we’re camping on April Fools’ Day, to show that that future is bleak.
Is the financial crisis good for the climate?
In terms of changes to investments and output, to various climate friendly and not so climate friendly projects, its a bit of a mixed bag. But that’s not really the point. The financial crisis could be an opportunity for renewal. For making the changes we need to tackle climate change and finally bringing some sense of equity to the world. But we can’t just hope for change and we shouldn’t rejoice in something that’s bringing ever more suffering to millions in the here and now. For the crisis to really be good for the climate, we need to use it to expose the inherent contradictions in the financial system and empower people to imagine something new. The crisis certainly exposes the insanities of carbon trading to a whole new level.
Is this a re-run of older summit protests (like the J18 Carnival Against Capital in the City in 1999). What lessons have been learnt from the successes and failures of other counter-summit protests?
People who went to, and helped organise, the J18 Carnival will probably be involved again. And the way we’re organising the 1 April day definitely draws upon the same model of open, consensus based meetings. Indeed, the idea for Climate Camp came out of the ‘eco-village’ that was set up at the G8 in Scotland a few years back. But I think after three summer camps, the Climate Camp has taken on an identity all of it’s own. Absolutely lessons have been learnt, but the camp in the City will be something new: expect pop-up tents on tarmac, workshops in bus stops and actions in the avenues of power!
Where to go/what to do …
Gather at noon, 1 April, at the European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW. Bring a pop-up tent if you’ve got one, sleeping bag, wind turbine, mobile cinema, action plans and ideas … let’s imagine another world.
Matt Megarry was a participant in the Camps for Climate Action in the summers of 2007 and 2008, at Heathrow Airport and Kingsnorth coal-fired power station.
Glenn Greenwald was interviewed by Amandla Thomas-Johnson over the phone from Brazil. Here is what he had to say on the War on Terror, Trump, and the 'special relationship'
Andrew Dolan on how the left must match the anti-establishment rhetoric of the right, but with a different politics
In the first of a series of interviews with migrants' rights and racial justice activists from the US, Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Peter Pedemonti, co-founder and director of the New Sanctuary Movement in Philadelphia
Yasmin Gunaratnam reflects on John Berger’s gut solidarity with the stranger
Charlie Clarke and Heather Mendick discuss how to work through the tensions within Momentum
In 1972 David Widgery wrote about the bitter intensity of love in capitalism
Emma Snaith speaks with directors Emer Mary Morris and Nina Scott about the power of theatre to encourage community resistance to estate demolitions.
Photos from The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, by David Walters
A short story by Kirsten Irving
Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK
The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari
Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace
Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill
Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility
Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports
From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices
How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed
In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design
Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform
Who owns our land?
Guy Shrubsole gives some tips for finding out
Don’t delay – ditch coal
Take action this month with the Coal Action Network. By Anne Harris
Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen
Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant
Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’
Utopia: Daring to dream
Imagining a better world is the first step towards creating one. Ruth Potts introduces our special utopian issue
A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank
News from movements around the world
Compiled by James O’Nions
Podemos: In the Name of the People
'The emergence as a potential party of government is testament both to the richness of Spanish radical culture and the inventiveness of activists such as Errejón' - Jacob Mukherjee reviews Errejón and Mouffe's latest release
Survival Shake! – creative ways to resist the system
Social justice campaigner Sakina Sheikh describes a project to embolden young people through the arts
‘We don’t want to be an afterthought’: inside Momentum Kids
If Momentum is going to meet the challenge of being fully inclusive, a space must be provided for parents, mothers, carers, grandparents and children, write Jessie Hoskin and Natasha Josette
The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava
Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.
How to make your own media
Lorna Stephenson and Adam Cantwell-Corn on running a local media co-op
Book Review: The EU: an Obituary
Tim Holmes takes a look at John Gillingham's polemical history of the EU
Book Review: The End of Jewish Modernity
Author Daniel Lazar reviews Enzo Traverso's The End of Jewish Modernity
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Ida-Sofie Picard introduces Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – as told to Jenny Nelson
Book review: Angry White People: Coming Face to Face With the British Far-Right
Hilary Aked gets close up with the British far right in Hsiao-Hung Pai's latest release
University should not be a debt factory
Sheldon Ridley spoke to students taking part in their first national demonstration.
Book Review: The Day the Music Died – a Memoir
Sheila Rowbotham reviews the memoirs of BBC director and producer, Tony Garnett.
Power Games: A Political History
Malcolm Maclean reviews Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History