In Pictures: 18 Epic Climate Justice Actions in One Day
By Reclaim The Power / nodashforgas.org.uk

Blockades, shutdowns, lock-ons, love-ins, tripods and nanas…..Reclaim the Power’s day of action against the fossil fuel industry today (1 June 2015) saw 18 different actions drawing the dots between big energy firms, government ministers, public relations companies, oil arts sponsorship and the fracking industry.

Let’s take a run-down of the day’s events…

Action 1: 9.04am – Npower’s debt collection and pre-payment meter office in Leeds blockaded

RWE Leeds blockade 2

We’ve all had the threatening letters from energy companies demanding payment for bills we can’t afford – and today we hit back. Reclaim the Power groups visited RWE Npower’s offices in Leeds and blockaded the front doors. Many households are forced onto pre-payment meters which are more expensive than direct debit accounts.

Action 2: 9.08am – Delegates at World Coal Association conference locked out of Institute of Directors

World Coal Association delegates locked out - photo by Karl Mathiesen

The coal industry are trying to continue burning fossil fuels by dangling the promise of Carbon-Capture-and-Storage technology. Conference delegates at a World Coal Assocation event found all five entrances to the exclusive Institute of Directors blocked this morning. There no arrests but lots of marigolds.

Action 3: 9.09am “Wind not gas” protest at DECC

Cheeky protesters highlighted the continued fossil fuel bias within the Department for Energy and Climate Change by blockading its steps. Rowan Tilly explained, “Against the advice of their own Committee on Climate Change, the government has approved the construction of up to 30 new gas-fired power stations, and intends to go ‘all out’ for shale gas – with up to two thirds of the UK licensed for fracking. This new dash for gas is recklessly at odds with our national and international obligations on climate change and must be resisted, for both the sake of ourselves and future generations.

DECC - More wind less gas action

“We are now finding ourselves at a stage where we don’t know where government ends and corporations begin and unless we act now we will soon find ourselves be locked into infrastructure which will burn carbon for years to come whilst killing off renewable energy, with political decisions ruled by profit and acting in ignorance of the blatant dangers of climate change. We simply can’t afford to let this happen.”

Action 4: 9.10am – Invesco’s Revolving Door between government and Drax

Invesco revolving door action

Continuing this theme, Reclaim the Power activists visited the offices of Invesco – the investment management company which owns 26% of Drax coal-fired power station in Yorkshire. New DECC junior minister Andrea Leadman worked at Invesco for 10 years before taking up her post in government. The revolving doors were literally blocked and banner dropped above the London Wall road.

Action 5: 9.30am – Polishing a turd: office occupation of Media Zoo

Public relations firm ‘Media Zoo’ represent chemicals giant Ineos – who have recently pledged £640 million investment in fracking. Eight activists occupied their offices in Imperial Wharf, London carrying a banner banner reading, ‘Fracking is Shit. You can’t polish a turd.’ They used arm tubes lock ons to stay put. Seven people were arrested around lunch time.

Mediazoo’s website boasts extensive experience of dealing with “industrial disputes”, “fatal accidents” and “child labour”. They are consulting Ineos on PR and media strategy. The CEO of Ineos Upstream Gary Haywood said, “I want Ineos to be the biggest player in the shale gas industry.” Mediazoo were responsible for what UNITE described as Ineos’s “campaign of fear” during the dispute at Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland when 1400 workers fought cuts to pay, jobs and pensions.

Action 6: 9.45am – Anti-nukes visit Carmargue PR firm

Camarque blockade 6

As well as representing RWE Npower, public relations firm Camargue also spin the work of Horizon Nuclear Energy. 12 protesters targeted the firm’s offices in Soho. Clare Jones said, “The public has a right to be informed about the real dangers of nuclear – from cancer to contamination to climate change. For the cost of building one nuclear power station you could build over 1000 offshore wind turbines.”

Action 7: 10.25am – Energy UK lobby group blockaded

Energy UK blockade

Energy UK is the trade body for the Big Six energy companies. They have lobbied the government to introduce the ‘Capacity Market’ into the recent Energy Act (2014) – which uses public money to subsidise new gas power stations. Three people blockaded the entrance, including two in an arm tube lock on.  There were two arrests.

Action 8: 10.30am – Big Six Love-in at Oxfordshire Conservative Party headquarters

big 6 cameron energy love in outide Camerons office

Action 9: 10.55am – RWE Npower headquarters in Swindon blockaded

Swindon RWE Npower office blockade 10

Action 10: All morning – Subvertising in Oxford

Action 11: The Bill of Wrongs at British Gas HQ near Oxford

The Bill of Wrongs at British Gas

Action 12: 12.11pm – Lancashire Nanas link fracking and gas-fire power stations at Didcot B

Didcot B - Cuadzilla puppet 1

Action 13: 1.00pm – Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ rebranded by Shell

Shell rebrand Van Gogh's flowers

Action 14: 1.00pm – Avonmouth Biofuel plant invaded

Avonmouth Biomass action 2

Action 15: 1.30pm – “No stone left unfracked” Tripod fracking rig erected at London City Hall

Boris says it's fine - City Hall 2

Action 16: 1.41pm – Edelman PR firm deliver first fracked baby (trigger warning)

Action 17: 2.00pm – Blockade of Cuadrilla offices in Lichfield (again!)

Cuadrilla HQ blockade

Action 18: 2.30pm – Occupation of Imperial College’s Department of Mining

Dept of Mining - Imperial College London

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In Pictures: 18 Epic Climate Justice Actions in One Day