CLIMATE REFUGEE VIGIL and SYMBOLIC ‘CAMP’

11.30 pm to 1.00 am, Friday 2nd – Saturday 3rd

At the North end of the Millenium (wobbly) Bridge,  City of London

Organised by “Occupy the Foreshore”     With the support of the Occupy LSX Energy, Equity and Environment Working Group

On a rainy windswept foreshore, a “climate refugee camp” was set up – in the shadow of the neon-lit City, the financial powerhouse of our carbon-intensive economy.

Used palates, bamboo, tarpaulins and  lots of gaffer tape – together with 2 old canvas tents – was used in the construction of our symbolic ‘refugee camp’ on the  Thames.  Enthusiastic activists braved the dismal weather to congregate on the foreshore, including quite a number from the ‘Occupy’ encampment at St Paul’s,  nearby.

Spontaneous outbreaks of  musicality were rather rudely interrupted as the self appointed ‘organisers’ had everyone forming up with candles in jars in the shape of a ‘seven’  (see below) on the windswept shore, while photographers tried to communicate instructions from the Millenium bridge above them. Despite an often losing battle to keep candles alight in the wind some photos were taken before everyone was able to gather round the musicians once more in whatever of the camp had not yet been blown over…..

Strummer, candles, message

And so gathered round the flickering candles in bottles our London midnight  “refugees” listened to some fine performances on guitar and violin as a police boat plied the waters beyond and sodden ragged signs fluttered off the flimsy wood and bamboo structures with messages like ” there are now 25 million climate refugees” and ” 300,000 people die from climate change impacts every year” …………

A final burst of activity saw all the ‘construction materials’, and all the candles in bottles carried back up the steps onto terra firma, and the foreshore was left to its desolate self before the waters returned and activists found their way back to beds  – or in some cases sleeping bags in tents – but at any rate back to a level of comfort and security that real climate refugees, around the world, do not have……

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climate refugees

The City of London is the financial powerhouse for a high consumption carbon intensive economy from which a small number get very rich whilst huge amounts of greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere. Now all around the world poor and vulnerable people are beginning to suffer the impacts of a destabilised climate caused by these massive emissions …and this looks like just the beginning of something that will get much worse. We will use the desolate foreshore of the Thames, in the shadow of the skyscrapers of London’s financial district, as a stage onto which to bring ‘home’ the reality of the devastation around the world that is caused by the carbon-intensive economy that the City supports and drives. The rising waters of the Thames will symbolise the burgeoning climate crisis that threatens to engulf us all.

Please wear stout footwear and warm, windproof and waterproof clothing. You can download a Foreshore Safety leaflet here.

Vigil: The vigil will be an act of solidarity with all those around the world suffering the impacts of climate change now or in the future. Bring a candle in a a jar (or pick up one of ours at the event…)

Display :  A Symbolic Climate Refugee Camp will be set up on the foreshore to represent the growing numbers rendered homeless by climate change around the world.

Please be aware that setting up your own tent may not be advisable due to the influx of large quantities of water after a few hours !

Talks/Dicussions : On Climate Justice.

Photo-op : Participants to form up on the foreshore in the shape of a “7” carrying candles in jars, bicycle lights etc
7% of the world’s population create 50% of the world’s emissions and
7% of the world’s emissions are created by 50% of the world’s population

Atmosphere: Very Special.

>>>> Its possible to camp out at ‘Occupy’ for the night after the vigil, and before the march next day. Please email climaterefugee@cakeshop.org.uk if you would like to do this.

Litter: stewards will clean up but please remove everything you have brought down to the foreshore and keep the mighty Thames (as far as we can) a clean  and happy river……. 

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