For five days in July 2019 we gathered in the shadow of Rye House power station to live as a community, learn from each other and take action on the hostile environment and against new gas infrastructure.
SKILLING UP ON ANTI-RACISM
We know that in order to be effective allies we need to educate ourselves and so we had a jam-packed weekend of training and workshops lead by amazing groups like All African Women’s Group, Anti-Raids Network, End Deportations, Resist + Renew, North East London Migrant Action, and many many more. We had some difficult conversations about white privilege, cultural appropriation and class solidarity and tried to engage with these complicated issues with humility and contemplation. Anti-oppression is not something that can be done in a weekend; it needs to be an ongoing process of learning and reflection that informs every aspect of how we organise.
MONDAY – DAY OF ACTION ON THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT
We shut down a Hallmark coaches London Heathrow depot for their part in transporting detainees to deportation charter flights, using three tripods to demand they end their contract with the Home Office and stop profiting from the UK’s brutal and racist immigration policy.
We served the Home Office their notice. With 600 people outside, we demanded they meet the demands of the migrant-led World Without Borders project, including an end to detention and deportations, and end the hostile environment. If they don’t meet these demands, we’ll be back in October, hopefully you with us.
If that wasn’t enough mass action for you, you should know that we had a day of action against gas infrastructure too…
TUESDAY – DAY OF ACTION ON NEW GAS INFRASTRUCTURE
Activists spent 15 hours occupying a crane and blockading the entrance to the UK’s only gas site currently in construction, shutting down operations for the day in Keadby and taking over regional news with our message: Gas ain’t green!
Meanwhile, in the heart of the City of London, the dirty financing of fossil fuels was made very visible as we told them again: no new gas. Barclay’s and Deloitte’s position as investors was called out as groups blocked their entrances, buildings which house gas and oil companies were locked on to and we brought Moorgate to a standstill as we reclaimed the streets with our giant gas tower and our bodies.
We set up a pipeline in Standard Chartered’s entrance lobby, to let them know how we feel about their funding of the TransAdriatic pipeline which is tearing communities’ land from them and locking us into fossil fuels for decades to come.
At base camp near Drax-owned Rye House power station, we took a canoe along the river to let their security know: ‘Gas won’t keep us afloat’.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Bringing together activists to learn and skill up on climate and migrant justice was every bit as important as the actions that we took. With this camp, we have begun to take steps so that we can take effective action, in solidarity with activists on the sharpest end of the UK’s racist treatment of migrants. From here we’ll continue learning together and put it into action. Check out our reading list for some suggested articles on anti-oppression.