Sunday 31 August 2008

Back From Reality

Right, first things first: I've been unexpectedly absent from this blog for a couple of weeks due to some Real Life stuff that isn't blog material. This has meant that I haven't mentioned the Daily (Maybe) Best Green Blogs 2008 yet, which has meant that I've only got three votes for the "People's Choice" with one day to go. You can vote here if you read this in time, but I think I may have missed the window for frantic self-publicity. Oh well. I've lost the top spot I had last year, but I'm frankly amazed to still be included in the Top 20 given the quality of all the others. I'm especially pleased to see Beansprouts in there, which I've liked for ages - Hi Melanie!

Second thing second: It's surreal, dark and part-animated. It's called "The Wrong Door", and it's on BBC3 at 10:30pm on Thursdays, or here on i-player if like me you still don't own a freebox digiview thing. In general I don't really like CGI animation - it so often doesn't move convincingly, and fails to be truly life-like while also missing out on the rich and distinctive characters and textures that scruffier stop-mo techniques can give. For a sketch show though it'll do nicely, especially if it matures a bit further into edgy weirdness.

Other things in no particular order:

Wasp thing - why are so many wasps dying in my flat suddenly? Is there something in here that attracts dying wasps, or something that kills passing wasps, or something that attracts lots of wasps which then die in average numbers given the time of year but it seems like a lot because there were so many to begin with? And how long will it be until I step on a not-quite-dead one with bare feet?

Fat furry thing - my neighbour's cat is back, along with quite a few extra rolls of cat fat she's acquired over the summer. As soon as she's settled down I'm going to start chasing her twice round the flat every day for exercise. I'm just cultivating a false sense of security for a while by putting a blanket on a table for her and rubbing her ears...

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Good Advice

(Click for a bigger version if you can't read the text properly)

I'm guessing it's probably from Private Eye.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

NETCU Guide to Policing Protest

I heard a rumour while I was at camp that a copy of the NETCU Guide to Policing Protest had been dropped by a police officer during one of their violent incursions onto the site. The NETCU guide is a handbook for police on laws relevant to protests with guidelines on how to interpret them, and police forces "are advised not to release this guide following freedom of information requests".

I've just found the entire thing in PDF format here, so I thought I'd link to it as a public service since it's not available through normal democratic channels.

I can't work out how to save it on my own machine because I only have Adobe Reader and none of the menus say "Save" on them anywhere - can anyone help?

Additional from Indymedia:

If you have any concerns about NETCU then get in touch with them

04.08.2008 22:56

They only have a postal address as a contact so here's a little extra:

PO Box 525
PE29 9AL

Tel: 01480 425091
Fax: 01480 425007

Email: ***NEW***
Or try:

You can ask for Steven Pearl, head of NETCU, for all of your complaints.

Concerned Activist
home Homepage:

Monday 11 August 2008

Lego Protest

From Indymedia - E.ON’s replica of the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station has been occupied by one inch tall climate change campaigners. The drama unfolded at the Legoland park in Windsor – sponsored by E.ON – where the Lego Kingsnorth is given pride of place next to Big Ben and Canary Wharf.

More here

Friday 8 August 2008

Climate Camp Ready for Action

My plan so far for the day of action involves using some kind of floating thing to sail up the river, getting into the power station and find the manager's office. I'm told that on his desk is a big red button marked "STOP", and there is a prize of a bottle of rum for the first person to press it and switch the power off.

I went canoeing a few times when I was at school and it's only a few miles, and I've got an eye patch and everything so I'm sure it'll be fine. Until then I'm trying to put residents of Sipson (which is where the climate camp was last year) in touch with residents of Hoo, which is where I had a lovely pint of Kentish ale last night and chatted with some local people here.

Local feeling has been very much swung in our favour after some really nasty police behaviour, and rumours are rife of the ridiculous items confiscated from campers and locals alike, most of which are true.

I need to cycle to power the battery of this laptop for half the time I spend using it, and since I'm a slow typist and a poor cyclist I'll just point you at indymedia and our own onsite TV station VisionOn for further news, probably at least until Sunday and assuming I'm not either drowned or nicked by then.

Please send messages of support to the camp if you can, it's good to hear from the world outside the police lines occasionally!

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Climate Camp at Kingsnorth

Well, Glastonbury was amazing - having so little rain meant being able to sit on the grass, walk around a lot more easily and generally relax more effectively, without having to wrestle with waterproof trousers and stinking wet socks every few hours.

I came home to find the allotment knee-deep in weeds, and I've spent several weeks frantically picking all my fruit before shoving all my kit back in the rucksack to go to Climate Camp.

The camp this year is at Kingsnorth in Kent, where E.ON and the government apparently think it would be a good idea to build a new coal-fired power station on the site of an old one.

It would not.

As the camp paper puts it, "Building a coal-fired power station in the middle of a climate crisis ... makes about as much sense as a petrol-filled fire extinguisher" The existing power station is reaching the end of its 30 year lifespan, and building a new one would be a commitment to burning coal there for another 30 years. Coal is the most polluting form of fossil fuel (despite the impression that E.ON's greenwash tries to create), and six more coal-fired power stations are planned across the country if Kingsnorth goes ahead.

It's big and it's urgent, and it's now half a mile away from me as I sit in my tent flicking spiders out and eating carrots. I somehow managed to lose both my waterproof coat and my wellies at Glastonbury, but I'm surviving intermittent rain so far with boots and a drab stinky coat that I found in a bin recently.

Yesterday was mostly taken up with resisting some nasty police behaviour, but today I've been going to talks and workshops and generally getting on with what I came here for. The day of mass action is on Saturday, the police haven't beaten anyone for a good few hours now, and I'm trying to figure out the logistics of having a wash with a cup and a bucket inside my tent.

I'll keep you posted.