For my fifth protest, I joined the newly-formed Climate Save group to stand in front of the London headquarters of Cargill. This company does a lot of supply chain logistics for food, including animal feed. As such, they are very implicated in Amazon deforestation and have been working with Bolsinaro to weaken regulations in Brazil. They have a terrible track record with hurting workers, pollution and harming indigenous people. (We’ll leave aside the question of who is worst in the world, but they’re certainly prominently placed on this list.)
We met up with a few XR protestors and chanted and there were a few short speeches. Climate Save is an offshoot of Animal Save and is an animal rights group. These groups sometimes make me feel uncomfortable, but the London branch of Climate Save seems very on it. They are a migrant-lead group of Spanish speakers from Europe and the Americas. This is an ongoing campaign, so I’ll be back this coming Friday with them again.
Cargill, for their part, had a little panic. We showed up a little late and heard that the area had been crawling with police officers and Cargill had shut the building’s front entrance and covered over their name on the large directory listing on the front wall.
This repeating protest should continue to grow!
I went on Saturday to another leafleting event with Earth Strike, this one by Angel station. Our previous action got us two new members, so it wasn’t in vain, but I do feel like the uptake could be higher. I’d prefer to do a proper protest that also has outreach. There is a lot of institutional momentum, so we’ll see how this goes over. I want to show up at the next meeting with a concrete proposal. I’d also like to lead a mini-workshop clarifying goals, demands, aims and tactics. It’s very easy to confuse tactics with goals and it’s best to sort this out while the group is still new.
Common House hosted a new event called the Activist Cafe, which will have roving venues. It was a chance for people to catch up with each other and promote future events. There was a speaker who is involved in the Pink Bloc in the Paris strikes. She was extremely cool. I may make a separate post about all the cool things she talked about.
Extinction Rebellion Tower Hamlets
I also went to an XRTH meeting. We broke into groups and I was helping organise the Tower Hamlets presence at the upcoming Put Out the Fire march, which will take place 22 February. We deicded to focus on how indigenous communities are effected by climate change and damaging resource extraction.
We also decided to have a feeder rally in Altab Ali park, by Aldgate East tube station. We hope many other groups come join this event. If you are active in human rights, climate justice or related areas, I hope you can please come along. We are looking for speakers, so do get in touch.
This will be:
Noon, 22 February
Altab Ali Park
It’s a short event, as we want to get to the main march location (TBA) for 1pm for a 2pm start. It’s a long day, but will be family friendly and a good first action for people just thinking about getting involved in the fight for climate justice.
I’ve got a public activist calendar online, which you can subscribe to! I don’t go to everything on the list, though. The next ones I’m likely to attend are:
Local Rebellion – Defend Councils’ Powers For Net Zero. The Tories say they’re green but are threatening to prevent local councils from going to zero carbon. Shame them into dropping this.
Noon, 6 February
Marsham St & Horseferry Rd Westminster, London SW1P 2AX
Climate Protest Against the WORST Company in the World. The ongoing action against Cargill.
Noon, 7 February
77 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4AY, United Kingdom
BP Must Fall! Get BP out of the British Museum and fight colonialism within the museum.
13:00 (1pm), 8 February
Protest against Glencore! A british-owned multinational mining company that pollutes the planet and kills numerous child labourers.
13:00 (1pm), 29 February
50 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8HD
This week, I feel like my meeting/action ratio has been poor, which admittedly is part of why I want all outreach events to be proper protests!
It was extremely useful to meet up with the Green AntiCapitalist Front, however, and I’m extremely happy to be helping plan the upcoming XR-lead march.
It’s interesting how XR events have dizzyingly fast turnarounds which make it sometimes hard to do all the planning one would wish for, and Earth Strike has such a long leadup!