Bringing the cuts home

Misc on December 9, 2012 | Make a Comment

Still great. This is Steve Price‘s winning entry to the 2011 TUC 60 second ad competition.

Shakespeare Reclaimed?

Misc on November 19, 2012 | Make a Comment

Thespian activist collecitve Reclaim Shakespeare Company are claiming victory as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s short-lived association with BP comes to an end. In a statement issued to The Independent the RSC said: “We have no further sponsorship [with BP] confirmed ” The activists claim that the RSC’s programme for 2013 has been announced and that none of the productions appears to be sponsored by BP.

Yesterday four playlets were performed inside the Great Court of the British Museum in protest at BP’s sponsorship of the Shakespeare exhibition the space currently houses. Alongside the principal performers, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company estimate another 200 “actor-vists” participated in a chorus of:

Double double, oil is trouble

Tar sands burn while greenwash bubbles

Double double, oil is trouble

Let’s reduce BP to rubble.

On 15 November BP admitted it was guilty of 14 criminal charges in relation to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and accepted fines totaling $4.5 billion – the biggest combined fine in US history. The charges include lying to Congress. The increased police and security presence at yesterday’s event would appear to suggest that BP’s public relations largesse comes increasingly not just with a reputation and credibility cost to the recipient but with a financial one too.

Performer Richard Howlett said:

“As the reality of climate change becomes ever clearer, the case for ending oil sponsorship of the arts is gathering momentum. The RSC seem to have seen sense, and decided to no longer act as a figleaf to hide BP’s destructive activities. The British Museum, Tate, National Portrait Gallery and others must now do the right thing and follow suit.”

Climate action in London continues tomorrow as activists gather to shut down a conference hosted by the Canadian Embassy in partnership with Shell and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office aimed at increasing investment in the Canadian tar sands. Shell is the subject of a legal action brought by the Athatbascan Chipewyan First Nation over the threat posed by the company’s tar sands developments to their traditional ways of life. The UK and Canadian governments have been effectively colluding to delay European legislation which would effectively prohibit importation of tar sands oil into the EU due to it’s relatively high carbon footprint. Professor James Hansen has said that “exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts.”

Tory plot to undermine the Climate Change Act

Misc on November 14, 2012 | Make a Comment

Greenpeace undercover sting breaking today reveals plot within UK Conservative Party to undermine the Climate Change Act. Peter Lilley is caught on camera saying: “Basically I think [George] Osborne wanted to get people into key positions who could begin to get government off the hook of the commitments it made very foolishly. We could well see, certainly amendments to the Climate Change Act, cease to make it legally-binding, make it advisory.” Put together with the recent promotion of sceptics and anti-environment Tories into key positions and the capture of government by the gas mafia, this has all the makings of one big shit-storm. It also explains how the government intended to square the building of 20 new gas-fired power stations with its legally-binding commitments on the Climate Change Act. It didn’t…

They’ve declared war on us. We need to fight back.

Misc on November 13, 2012 | Make a Comment

Naomi Klein interviewed while spending time with Occupy Sandy, helping victims hit by the hurricane in New York and New Jersey, and explaining the rationale behind 350.org’s Do the Math tour – coming to a city in the US near you over the next few weeks (7 November-3 December).

We know how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere and still have a hope in hell of staying below 2 degrees – which by the way is too warm. What we’re experiencing here is less than 1 degrees warming. So imagine what two degrees warming would look like. But governments agree on how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere and have a chance – not a guarantee but a chance – of staying below two degrees. And what we know is that fossil fuel companies already have in reserve five times as much carbon. Meaning they’re planning their business models to destroy the planet . They’ve declared war on us. We need to fight back. Direct action is a part of that but we can’t fight this one pipeline at a time, we need to go after their business model.

Read more…

Experience the Tate à Tate audio tour

Misc on November 11, 2012 | Make a Comment

Part of the campaign to end fossil fuel sponsorship of the arts, Tate à Tate is a series of three alternative audio tours commissioned from artists (including a collaboration between Climate Radio’s Phil England and radio artist Jim Welton) which explore this issue of BP’s controversial sponsorship of the Tate galleries. They are designed to be listened to in the galleries themselves, but if you are unable to visit in person, you can still listen to the works online.

See what the press say about Tate à Tate‘s hacking of the Tate Modern’s sound space then take the tour for yourself and see if you think Tate is in breach of its Ethics Policy which stipulates:

Tate will not accept funds in circumstances when [...] The donor has acted, or is believed to have acted, illegally in the acquisition of funds, for example when funds are tainted through being the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Workshops around these alternative audio tours are available to groups of students, activists, artists or academics, and if you are moved to do more, here are some suggestions for other things you can do to help to make fossil fuel sponsorship of arts and culture socially unacceptable.

No Dash For Gas!

Misc on November 2, 2012 | Make a Comment

As the UK’s environmentally-illiterate government seems intent on building a new generation of gas-fired electricity stations that would lock us in to a high-cost energy supply and blow any chance we have of meeting our commitments under the Climate Change Act, around 30 activists have taken matters into their own hands by occupying and shutting down the in-construction West Burton gas station. Hurrah! Check out the latest images and video clips of their protest.

Update: The final two occupiers came down on Monday 5th November after stopping the operation of the power station for a full seven days. Sign and share this petition against the UK’s dash-for-gas; come to this public meeting in London on 19 November; see the protestors’ solutions; and follow the group on Twitter or Facebook to find out about upcoming actions you can get involved in.

Read more…

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