Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Movement Convergence: Climate Camp Takes on the Banks

In another example of movement convergence, and a reprise of the Occupy movement, Climate Camp UK has decided on a summer campaign targeting the Banks. While Occupy has moved into climate and ecology issues through Occupy the Pipeline, Climate Camp has moved into economic issues by targeting the banks that finance mining and fossil fuel industries. When the movements against the banks arose in the UK in 2008 following the first financial collapse, the Climate Camp movement appeared to recede into the background. As the riots ramped up in the UK, Climate Camp suspended all its activities. They seemed to struggle with how to make climate issue relevant in the face of an economic crisis. But by targeting the Banks, they have found a way to link climate issues to the financial crisis and make their movement relevant again. Climate Camp make their first attack on the banks in 2010 with a campaign against RBS.

Occupy itself has become an even more interesting phenomenon in the US because of its ability to morph and converge with many different movements and issues. Having begun in Zuccotti Park with virtually no agenda, the movement has been able to adapt to and take on a number of social issues as they arise: foreclosures, Hurricane Sandy relief, student debt; and now the ecology movements: food security, fracking and pipelines. This ability to morph and converge with other movements and issues has extended the life of Occupy far beyond it's initial ambitions.

"In summer 2010, environmental direct action group Climate Camp targeted a week long action camp at the headquaters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. As part of the communications strategy in advance of the Camp, the Agency was tasked with creating a video which would express the rationale for the chosen target.
Hijacking imagery from and satirising the storyline of the years biggest box-office hit Avatar, the Agency created a uniquely cheeky and humorous video. Making fun of banks is like shooting fish in a barrel, but explaining the link to climate change while still being funny was just the kind of challenge that we relish."

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