We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

Call for action: rolling blockade blocking Balcombe fracking

Posted: September 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Energy | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

28 Days Later: Please spread far and wide

A Rolling Blockade of the Balcombe fracking site, 1st September – 28th September

Fracking company Cuadrilla’s governmental licence to drill in Balcombe ends on September 28th. The government may be allowing them to drill but they have no social licence from the people of Balcombe to frack their land and threaten their water supply.  Neither do they have any mandate to begin an entire wave of fracking across the country. The vast majority of people in the UK want cleaner, greener energy.

After the upsurge of climate activism at Reclaim the Power in August, let’s make these last 28 days count. Let’s halt their work at Balcombe, and also send a strong message to those wanting to frack elsewhere.

A blockade has been on-going at the drilling site, but trucks have still been getting through. Now it’s time to up the ante.

We invite groups from around the country to come and play a part in a 28 day rolling blockade.

Think creatively and act responsibly. Pick a weekday before September 28, gather friends and useful kit get yourselves to Balcombe.

Fracking is stoppable, another world is possible.

 


Reclaim the power at Balcome: Frack Off

Posted: August 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Events | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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Hundreds of climate and anti-cuts activists are planning to ‘swoop’ on a secret site in the Balcombe area where shale oil and gas company Cuadrilla is engaged in exploratory drilling.

Swoop participants will meet at Balcombe Train Station at 1pm on Friday August 16th before moving en-masse to take the site. The five day action camp taking place there – named Reclaim the Power – will run from August 16-21 and involve ‘mass, audacious and creative acts of civil disobedience’. [1]

Cuadrilla has a six week concession in the Sussex village to drill for shale oil, but 85% of Balcombe residents oppose the drilling. Over 45 local groups opposing fracking have sprung up around the country in response to requests by Cuadrilla and other companies to drill in their area. [2] Balcombe is widely regarded as the frontline in the government’s dash to frack the UK for fossil fuels.

The group spearheading the swoop – No Dash for Gas – shut down EDF’s West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire last October. 21 activists occupied the site and lived up two chimneys for a week, in protest over what they describe as climate chaos and escalated fuel poverty if the government’s ‘dash for gas’ goes ahead. [3] The protest prevented over 23,000 tons of carbon emissions and resulted in EDF suing the group for £5million – a suit dropped after just three weeks due to massive public outcry including a petition signed by 64,000 people.

Now the group is mounting an ambitious action camp with a coalition of organisations including UKUncut, Disabled People Against the Cuts, the Greater London Pensioners Association, Campaign Against Climate Change, and Fuel Poverty Action. The Reclaim the Power camp at Balcombe will see participants engage in workshops covering extreme energy, Just Transition and work, resisting government cuts and solidarity with communities on the front-lines of climate change.

The camp will also include a full day’s ‘direct action training’ where participants will plan a number of ‘missions’ together before engaging in 48 hours of action against Cuadrilla.

Sharon James of No Dash for Gas said: ‘Our event is called Reclaim the Power and that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to reclaim our energy system out of the hands of corporations that will frack our countryside, crash our climate targets and send fuel bills through the roof. We want democratically controlled, renewable energy. Our action will echo the local community in showing Cuadrilla that fracking is unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary.’

She went on to say:

‘Fossil fuels are not the answer to our energy gap. Social, economic and climate justice movements can and will unite to stand with affected communities to resist this undemocratic activity. We urge Cuadrilla to stop drilling, get out of Balcombe and drop fracking, fast.’

Ken Savage, aged 91, of The Greater London Pensioners Association said: ‘We lend our full support to and stand solidly with Reclaim the Power. Many pensioners dread the winter where many of us cannot afford the heating and are seeing our friends pass away un-necessarily. 7000 people died last year – many of them pensioners – because they couldn’t afford to keep warm. Many of us see climate change as a real threat to our grandchildren. We want to see a change in this country’s energy policy which takes climate change seriously, makes the change to safe and sustainable power and which serves human need and not corporate greed. We will be present at the camp and look forward to taking part in this important event and protest’.

Ends

[1] http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/ [2] http://frack-off.org.uk/local-group-specific-pages/ [3] http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/uncategorized/press-release-campaigners-from-no-dash-for-gas-abseil-90m-down-power-station-chimney-to-end-7-day-occupation/

Contact

No Dash for Gas Media Team 07447 027112

Email: info@nodashforgas.org.uk

Twitter: @nodashforgas


Reclaim the Power, 17-20 Aug

Posted: May 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Energy, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

we won

Join No Dash for Gas for a 4 day camp and protest at West Burton power station: 17th — 20th August 2013

Is Climate Camp back?

Big decisions are being made now about how we’re going to power the UK. The government’s policy of increasing our reliance on gas is pushing millions into fuel poverty. This – coupled with ruthless cuts to essential services – leaves many with an impossible choice between heating and eating. And the same policy guarantees that we’ll miss even our modest carbon reduction targets. Both the financial and the climate crises are related to the pursuit of profit above all else, in the interests of the few and at the expense of the many.

We need a win. And one win we need is a secure future for generations to come, where profits don’t trump the public interest and where we have safe, clean energy to meet our needs.

Be part of creating something BIG this summer, get involved now and Reclaim The Power.

We can fight back, as the student, trade union, women’s, disabled rights and anti-cuts movements have shown us. There has never been a more critical time to take action. The solutions are there to be grasped.

21 people went up two chimneys but 64,000 came down

Last October, 21 environmental activists shut down EDF’s West Burton power station for a week in protest at the government’s Dash for Gas. West Burton is the first of up to 40 new gas fired power stations being planned. With your help, including a solidarity petition signed by 64,000 people – they fought off EDF’s attempt to sue them for £5 million.

This summer, inspired by their action, we are building a wide coalition of groups and individuals who will be coming together to Reclaim the Power. We’ll plan together. We’ll put forward solutions. We’ll cross the border from anger to action. It was people power that stopped new coal and stalled plans for a third runway at Heathrow, that made bankers’ greed and tax avoidance toxic and that is now fighting austerity attacks on workers, women, pensioners and the disabled. Together, we will stop the dash for gas.

Want to be part of creating Reclaim The Power? Wondering where we’ll be, how you can get there or what you need to bring? More info to come soon, keep up to date at:

 


Self Empowered Energy Revolution – Part 1

Posted: April 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Education, Energy, Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

GeneratorFocus

The Energy Group at Grow Heathrow is kicking of a series of Sustainable Technology training days with a workshop on how to build your own generator from scratch – Saturday 27th April at 11am – 6pm

The small Wind Turbine that was kindly donated by one of our supporters isn’t quite up to scratch for our battery bank. We need to make some new windings, so what better opportunity to share our knowledge than by inviting people to come and share in the experience.

We’ll be going through winding our own coils with ceramic coated wire, setting the magnets in resin and then configuring the coils to produce energy as the magnets pass.

The workshop will be accompanied by a delicious lunch.  Donations gratefully accepted where possible. Check out our Facebook event or email us at info@transitionheathrow.com for more information.

Come on down to Grow Heathrow to get skilled up for the Self Empowered Energy Revolution!


Donate to get people building hobbit holes

Posted: January 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Education | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Straw bale building at HeathrowTransition Heathrow / Grow Heathrow

Here’s an appeal from our friends at thePOOSH.org, an inspiring grassroots movement that’s supporting people to learn and try out green building for free. They’ve helped us roof our straw bale house, and engineered us a fuel efficient rocket stove that reduces wood consumption by burning secondary wood gases. Now they need some money to keep doing what they’re doing:

In September, thePOOSH team started a four month tour of the UK–travelling, speaking in Universities, helping at build sites and just spreading the word of sustainable building and the organisation. For now we have completed the tour and have in total of 14 build sites registered on our website in the UK.

Well a bit about thePOOSH. Our vision is to someday see a world where community-driven sustainable construction simply will be known as construction, and we want to inspire and empower people to build economical, sustainable, and community created structures by creating a network of volunteers that exchange knowledge, labour, and experiences!

At the end of the year we wrapped up the tour in Scotland where we spent a week intensively planning the future of thePOOSH: our goals, dreams, roles, responsibilities and about a thousand (+/-) future projects!

Well, we are growing fast, and as of today we have over 500 users and 41 build-sites (and at least one build-site on each inhabitable continent!) Today alone 20 new users joined our ranks! But we want to be even more constructive and we want to continue building the movement! Read the rest of this entry »


The ZAD in France is set to successfully resist eviction

Posted: January 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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Saturday, November 17th – Day of Reoccupation.

A yellow forklift truck leads the way; walking close behind is a block of Zadists carrying a fortified banner declaring: No to the airport and its world.

Behind them 20 tractors pull huge agricultural trailers filled with building materials: piles of pallets, straw bales, tyres, doors, windows, prefabricated wooden walls, hundreds of planks, corrugated iron roofing, tools – pretty much anything you can think of, including kitchen sinks.

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We sit on top of one of the trailers. The affinity group from our local village has decided to build one of the constructions for today’s reoccupation action – we have named it the Black Bloc Sanitaire – it’s a shower block and bank of compost loos. The pile of building materials that we sit on is much more messy than the trailer behind us which carries the wood for a group of young architects. The architects have a super neat stack of carefully numbered pallets and the rumour is that they have already practiced setting up their dormitory building in the main hall of the Nantes school of architecture. Our construction doesn’t even have plans that are to scale, but we are hoping that the collective energy of the day and a dose of spontaneity will see something rise from the pile of rubbish we are sitting on. This is the opportunity of a life time for anyone who has ever dreamt of building their own cabin, rebel palace or fortress: A free plot of land, no planning permissions or building regulations and hundreds of people keen to help build.

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None of us know where we are heading, the location has been kept a secret. From high up we see the river of human being flowing behind us, snaking through the country lanes as far as the eye can see. As always, we have Radio Klaxon on in the background, they have just announced that the mainstream media think that there are 40,000 people are on the action and over 400 tractors! We are all here on an illegal demonstration whose aim is to build a rebel settlement together on the land earmarked for the airport (see part 1). Last night the president interrupted a state visit of Poland to make a statement about the protest, reminding the French public of the “power of the law.”

A year ago, when I first saw the flyer for this action, with its floating date to reoccupy 4 weeks after the first eviction, I thought it was a great idea but that it would be a handful of tired traumatised post eviction activists symbolically rebuilding a couple of huts. Little did I imagine I would be taking part in one of the largest act of mass disobedience I’ve ever experienced and that we would have enough material to build a hamlet. The fact that there is not a single police officer in sight, however, not even a helicopter watching above, is strangely disconcerting.

Read the rest of this entry »


MASS ACTION: Big six energy bash

Posted: April 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

On May 3rd, the same day as the London Mayoral elections, The Climate Justice Collective will be taking to the streets to block the energy monopoly going on behind closed doors at the UK Energy Summit.

The summit will see companies from the Big Six including EDF, EON, RWE Npower and Scottish Power, as well as oil giants like Shell and BP, conspiring with government to line their pockets at the cost of climate crisis and millions of people locked into fuel poverty. The UK Energy Summit is the wrong people asking the wrong questions and proposing the wrong solutions.

The Big Six energy companies are the obstacle to an energy system that could keep the sea levels down and get the heating on in fuel poverty homes. We want a fair, democratic and clean energy system, not a corporate monopoly – the UK Energy Summit cannot go ahead!

Be in Central London on Thursday 3rd May. Be ready to go at 11am. Keep an eye out on our Twitter (@CJ_Collective) for updates on meeting points and live and instant action plans.

Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/HAKIdq

This blog was taken from the Plane Stupid website


School visit

Posted: December 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , | No Comments »

Last week three of us hopped on our bikes and headed over to Abbotsfield School for Boys in West Drayton, where we had been invited to speak to a class of year 11 Geography students.

They’re working on a project about eco-footprints, and they wanted to hear about the work we do in Transition Heathrow to reduce our personal footprints and to promote solutions in the local community. We showed them pictures of the site, and explained all the many ways in which we keep our consumption low, including growing our own food, solar panels, rain-water collection, and our soon-to-be erected wind turbine.

We had an interesting chat with the students about the different types of solutions we are normally presented with, and the problems with them. On the one hand, it may be easy to stop using plastic bags, but what difference does it make if you’re doing it on your own? And one the other hand, how on earth can we convince governments who prioritise economic imperatives over environmental catastrophe that they need to take action before it’s too late?

The answer lies between these two poles. What we need is grassroots community-based action, working together with the people around us to empower each other and make the changes that our governments seem incapable of.  We’re looking forward to talking to more children around the area and are currently putting together some proposals to be sent round all the schools in the Borough. We think it is really important to hear their  ideas for a sustainable future, and to share some of the experiences that we’ve had in Transition Heathrow.


Tar Free Transition Heathrow

Posted: November 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Tar Free Transition Heathrow unveiling

Transition Heathrow is delighted at being named the first Tar Free community in the UK. At our recent Resistance Jam weekend, Sue and Emily from the UK Tar Sands Network visited Grow Heathrow to unveil a new banner they had prepared for us and to explain their new initiative.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the capitalist system around us has gone crazy. Our total dependence on oil is socially self-destructing, and the only way our economy can sustain itself is by wrecking everything in its path in a quest for the last remaining dregs of unexploited oil reserves. The environmentally catastrophic Tar Sands extraction in Alberta is the foremost example of this.

Across the world communities are starting to stand up to illegitimate governments and corporations that continue to put profits before people. We need to join the dots between communities under threat. The forces trying to destroy communities around Heathrow airport are the same as those bringing destruction to Alberta. We at Transition Heathrow stand in solidarity with the indigenous communities who face losing their livelihoods, traditions and history through the complete destruction of their local environment.

We felt incredibly honoured when First Nations activists from Alberta chose to visit Transition Heathrow earlier this year, as part of the No Tar Sands UK tour. An evening of discussion and shared stories brought hope and inspiration to our separate struggles. Working together and supporting each other can only help communities under threat defend themselves.

Becoming a Tar Free Town means making a commitment to only using ethical sources of energy. By themselves, our actions may not have much impact, but by acting together we can drive the Tar Sands out of our towns and out of the UK, and create a future where our energy needs are met without the rights of indigenous communities being trampled on.


Building our own media alternatives

Posted: October 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The corporate media empire have too much power. Not just power but increasingly political influence. We need to break out and build our own media alternatives… this social reporting pilot project is a good start.

We are too reliant on the mainstream media. Any campaigner will tell you that it is essential to send out a press release to the mainstream media when organising a protest or any kind of event. It would be foolish not to – by disengaging with the mainstream media you would be missing out on an entire audience – an entire nation potentially waiting to hear your story. And that is part of the problem. The mainstream media needs us but at the moment we also need them too.

Like many across the country I love reading the Guardian on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea. But one thing I recognise is that although better than most news outlets, the Guardian are definitely not on our side – they need to be swept aside too. Take climate change for example. Most would agree that the Guardian have got it right on climate change and that they understand the implications and need for action. But then you turn the page and see a full page Ryanair advertisement for cheap short-haul flights. To me this highlights how the Guardian, when it comes down to it, are just another capitalist money making machine. The Guardian are so built in to the system that they will always put profits before balanced news stories and so therefore cannot be on our side.

 

 

 

Any transition to a new world has got to involve radically addressing and reclaiming our media. This is why I am most excited about taking part in this social reporting pilot. Independent platforms such as this, Indymedia, the Manchester Mule and Schnews are some examples which have started to re-evaluate how and why we do media – but we need to build them up. Just Do It – the new climate change documentary is another good example. The film shows a journey activists went on from being worried about climate change and simply wanting to ‘bring down emissions’, to a position where they see capitalism as the system perpetuating climate change. What was different about this film was that that it was made possible through crowd funding and hours of volunteering. This was important because the message of the film matched with the ideals on which it was made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend just gone London hosted the Rebellious Media Conference, a gathering which aimed to explore “inspiring examples of radical media practice and to further develop radical critiques of the mainstream media.” Post Murdoch hacking scandal this conference couldn’t have come at a better time. A hot topic for debate at the conference was inevitably social-media and the digital revolution. #Arab Spring and #OccupyWallStreet are just two examples of how social-media is re-framing how news is told to the world. Twitter and Facebook have definitely revolutionised our ways of doing media but how much we can trust these new forms of media is debatable.

Although we use it as a tool we cannot rely on the mainstream media as a means to getting our media out. When it comes down to it the powers we are fighting against have more media control than we do – some of them own the media after all. So what can we do instead? “10 steps to a hard hitting action media team” (published by some ex climate campers) advise this:

  • Communicating to other groups in the movement through your website, social-media, meetings/gatherings/conferences and through existing networks.
  • Produce your own media: news-sheets, e-mail bulletins, blogs, zines
  • Use independent media to distribute and get news. Check out: OccupulseIndymedia,Manchester MuleSchNewsDissident IslandReelnews

This blog was taken from the Transition Network website as part of their new social reporting pilot project.