Accordingly, London Reclaim the Power teamed up with Occupy Democracy on the day to instigate two side actions: a mass sit down on The Strand and a 500-strong march on the headquarters of oil and gas multinational Shell.
Not standing for it
We recognise the value of providing a family-friendly march for thousands of people to express their hopes for a cleaner, safer and more equitable future. But we also know that our major wins throughout history have not been given to us by benign governments, we’ve had to rise up and take them. This is why we wanted to organise an action on the march that would allow people to gently step outside the prescribed and sanctioned protest channels – by autonomously organising a mass sit down with on The Strand in the proud tradition of civil disobedience.
Whilst Shell’s advertising tries to convince us that they are “securing our energy future”, we wanted to expose the social and environmental destruction behind their greenwash by returning a dirty carbon bubble back through their revolving doors.
As expected, the Metropolitan Police were there to greet us. They were quite insistent that they didn’t want to accept the bubble on Shell’s behalf, but that didn’t stop us trying. Afterwards, the lively crowd chanted and jeered Shell.
Speakers outside the headquarters highlighted Shell’s human right abuses in Alberta, Canada, the Niger Delta and Rossport in Ireland as well as their links to the UK government and their unabated profit driven hunt for fossil fuels.
Marches are great at mobilising thousands of people, but we need to take action against the corporations and fossil fuel companies responsible for polluting our planet.
Join Reclaim the Power for a weekend of direct action on the 29th May – 1st June. More details to follow.
Want to get involved in Reclaim the Power? Join us at our next national gathering in Leeds. More details here, all welcome!
PS. Check out a video from the action on The Guardian online
Click on the photos below to enlarge