Climate Rush tackled more climate criminals last week when the UK coal industry got together for their annual 'coal awards'. In a protest timed to coincide with the UK Coal hosted awards, around 15 climate activists paid a visit to their Doncaster headquarters, dressed in Edwardian style complete with red sashes with the words 'No New Coal' written across them. A banner reading 'Leave it in the Ground' was suspended across the entrance.
In London, the dirty coal pushers shied away from confrontation with the modern day climate suffregette movement, abandoning their booking at the plush Landmark Hotel and scuttling off to Lords cricket grounds instead. At the hotel, around a hundred activists rushed inside through a fire exit and began an alternative awards ceremony to highlight the ecological damage that the coal industry is inflicting on the environment. After being ejected from the hotel, a couple more attempts were made to gain entry and one arrest was made before the alternate awards continued outside. The Landmark hotel management were less than happy about the righteous fury brought down on them by the climate criminals promised not to accept bookings from such damaging industries again.
Coal represent 50% of the electricity production in the UK and its greatest contribution to CO2 emissions so the coal industry has seen increasing attention from activists in the UK (and beyond). Last month activists and local resident disrupted work at the Rosewell open-cast coal mine in Midlothian, operated by Scottish Coal , and another protest stopped work at UK Coal owned Shipley open cast coal mine in Derbyshire. In the US capitol on Monday, 2,500 protesters blockaded the gates of a coal fired power plant for almost five hours.
Campaigns : Climate Rush | Coal Action Edinburgh | No New Coal | Capitol Climate Action | Coal Caravan
Newswire reports : Coal Rush 1 | 2 | 3 | Doncaster 1 2 | Rosewell | Shipley | USA 1 2
Previous Climate Rush actions : 'climate suffragettes' smash gov windows | chained to parliament | Heathrow 1 2 | Manchester 1 2 | Parliament 1 2
Rush stages sit down inside hotel (c) http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/
As a result of the Climate Rush protests, the Landmark hotel vowed that companies and organisations which contribute to climate chaos will no longer be welcome to use their facilities for corporate promotion and entertainment. The hotel say they will now deny companies such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (the biggest single investor in coal and oil industries) and oil companies, such as ESSO, BP and Shell, as well as the coal industry from using their ballrooms and banquet halls to promote their cause. The manager also pledged to communicate with the 24 other five star hotels in its’ group to suggest they do the same.
A spokeswomen for the Climate Rush explained, "For too long profiteering from climate change has been sold to the public as a necessity of ‘business as usual’. But with global temperatures rising and climate chaos running riot in the form of drought (Africa and Australia) and flooding (low lying lands all over), we all need to work together. We applaud the Landmark for their good sense and the vision to say ‘enough is enough’. They rightly don’t want to be associated with the corrupt system that needs overturning. We welcome the Landmark to play their role in the new way of doing things so needed.”
The Climate Rush suffragettes will next be targeting long term coal investor Royal Bank of Scotland with a flash mob style rush this coming Thursday (5th March) at 1pm. The bank has been in the headlines recently after a taxpayer bailout of £33 billion and has controversially been funding coal extraction and burning. For more information about the role of RBS in funding fossil fuels, see the 'Cashing In On Coal' report published by PLATFORM.
A climate camp spin off initiative, the Coal Caravan is focusing on open cast coal mines and the people that will be directly affected. They'll be cycling through the north of England, visiting open cast sites, proposed sites and talking to people along the way. An opportunity to learn from the local residents about the history of coal in the UK, raise awareness of the size of the problems that open cast will have in the UK, bring together activists and concerned residents to show that every mine is worth fighting, see a beautiful part of the country before more of it is destroyed, make friends and challenge yourself! It starts Friday 24th April Meet at the Sumac Centre in Nottingham and continuing through till the 4th May.
Over in the USA, the anti-coal campaigns are firmly on the agenda right now because a mass protest planned in Washington. Even before the protest took place it spurred politicians to action. The aging coal fire plant near Capitol Hill has been kept running on coal thanks to back handed deals by congressmen from coal-mining states, rather than switching over to gas which would be cleaner. A protest was organized to try to force the plant to make the switch only to find two senators pre-empting the protests by also calling for coal to be dumped. This thrust the coal issue directly to the top of the national media agenda even before the protests on Monday which saw 2,500 people blockading the power station for almost five hours during a severe snow storm.
Check out this video by NASA scientist Dr James Hansen made to encourage people to attend the Capitol protest.
Other actions have happened in the United States, China and Australia - there appears to be a growing international grassroots movement building against coal.