Climate Camp Invades Lewes Tesco (27/2/10)
Climate change activists teamed up with local residents to invade the Tesco superstore in Lewes, East Sussex on Saturday in protest at plans to increase the size of the supermarket by 50%.
More than 80 protesters took part, entering the store and embarking on a game of Tesco Whirl. The idea is to grab a trolley keep it empty and form up with others to create a giant conga chain.
The point of not actually shopping was to highlight that for every £3.00 spent on retail in Lewes, £2.00 is spent in Tesco.
By increasing the size of the store, money will be drained from the independent shops, harming the town’s local economy. But police had received a tip off about the action and were on hand to prevent some protesters entering the shop while ejecting those who attempted to form a chain. Still a chain of 10 trolleys at a time did form.
As activists were thrown out of the store a party formed at the entrance with music and dancing from activists in endangered animal masks.
Climate Camp activist and Lewes resident Marina Pepper said: “Tesco is more expensive than people realise, thanks to their misleading advertising campaigns. They also rip off farmers and destroy local communities by undercutting and bankrupting competition leading to high unemployment and boarded up town centres.
“Tesco has a strong foothold in Lewes. It’s only the robustness of the local economy that has saved it so far. But these expansion plans are madness and could spell the end, destroying so much that our town holds dear – namely our independent shops which provide us with choices as to how we shop and what we buy.
“This action today was only the launch of a campaign that will see Climate Camp working side by side with community groups to ensure one way or another Tesco’s growth plans are thwarted. We implore people to contact their local councillors, especially those on the planning committee and
tell them a bigger Tesco is unwelcome here. Every little extra will hurt.”
Climate Camp Invades BP Petrol Stations Over Tar Sands (13/2/10)
On Saturday 13th February activists from the South Coast neighbourhood of the Camp for Climate Action invaded the three BP petrol stations in Brighton, on the Lewes Rd, Ditchling Rd and London Rd, to protest at BP's plans to invest in the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. Moving by bicycle 8 activists carried a banner reading 'Tar Sands Oil Is Blood Oil'. They handed out information on the Canadian tar sands and BP's plans to invest in it to customers and urged them to boycott BP.
Many of BP's customers where shocked to hear about BP's proposed involvement in one of the dirtiest businesses on earth, especially in the light of its past attend to project a green image, and in some cases left immediately left to get their fuel somewhere else. This action is the start of a campaign, which is hoped will spread across the UK. A one of the Brighton activists said: "We hope that other concerned local people across the UK will follow our example and begin putting the pressure on BP in their areas. Tar sands are an appalling example of placing insane greed ahead of the whole planet and everyone on it."
Tar sands are deposits of tar, sand and clay under the forests of Alberta in western Canada. Tar sands extraction is an ecological disaster, sometimes referred to as 'The biggest environmental crime in history'. Oil produced from tar sands is the filthiest most carbon intensive oil (over 3 times as much CO2 to produce as conventional oil). The Athabasca tar sands operations are the largest single industrial emitter of CO2 on the planet. Enough natural gas is used every day extracting this oil to heat 3.2 million Canadian homes.
Tar sands extraction involves the wholesale destruction of vast tracts of ancient forest over an area the size of England and Wales and the use of huge amounts of water that is left so contaminated that it must be stored in giant ponds. The toxic tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from space. Leaks for these ponds are poisoning local rivers and the indigenous peoples that live there. The rush to extract oil from tar sands is also trampling on the rights of the local indigenous peoples.
While the tar sands are in Canada, much of the financing is coming from UK companies. BP which once tried to rebrand itself as `Beyond Petroleum' to give itself a green image is planning on investing $10billion in the Sunrise Project a tar sands extraction project in Alberta. This week a number BP's shareholders have started a revolt and are pressuring BP to stop. Other UK companies that are involved in tar sands include Shell, RBS and Barcalys.