Climate Camp Reader
Posted by dysophia on January 8, 2010
Dysophia and Shift Magazine have joined forces to put together a Climate Camp Reader, “Criticism without Critique”, published in January 2010. To download it follow this link:
In January & February 2010, the Camp for Climate Action will go through a period of introspection as it works out where it shall go next. While in some ways the Camp has been a success, it has also come under a barrage of criticism from some quarters within the radical movements that spawned it.
To help this debate we have put together a set of resources and relevant articles to inform and spark discussion relating to this criticism. Our bias is obvious, though the opinions expressed are those of the authors alone. Whether you agree with them or not, we believe they are worth taking on board. We hope at least that you feel confident answering their challenges, rather than just dismissing them.
Now is the time for the Camp to examine its politics in more depth, to work out just what it stands for. This is a cross-roads in its development, to continue down a path of ever increasing liberal, reformist approach, or to be the noisy radical, pointing out all the white elephants in the climate change debate. The future of the movement around the camp is being shaped here. The decisions being made now will have profound impacts on who is and who is not involved in the future.
The Camp for Climate Action grew out of the radical anarchist and environmental movements, a synthesis of the organisational skills developed at the Anti-G8 protest camp at Stirling, and the ecological direct action movements such as Earth First! The perception that emerges from these criticisms is this has been lost along the way.
We accept that this booklet makes challenging reading and that we offer little in the way of solutions. These, we believe, must come from within the camp itself. However, it is apparent that there is a need for two things. Firstly, a greater visibility for the anarchist roots within the day to day life of the CCA process and proposals. Secondly, and just as important, a more open and explicit critique of capitalism and how it is the root cause of climate change.
If we do neither out of fear of a mainstream media backlash, then we are reduced to being another NGO. Yet, the power of the Camp has always been the promise of a genuine alternative action in the face of prevarication and obstruction from governments and corporations – now is the time to spell that critique out and use it to build real alternatives, not legitimising the system we complain of. It was the strength of the Camp’s founding critiques that gave it the boldness its subsequent successes have rested on.
Ultimately, the message of the Camp is a very radical one – that radical social change is needed, especially if we are to tackle of the root causes of climate change. The answer is not to water down our actions and our messages, but to be bolder than ever. That is the excitement and power that gives the Camp its life.