Updated Statement Re: Policing
August 27, 2009
Since this press release was sent, the police have contacted us to clarify their position. They have told us that they will continue to talk to our police liaison volunteers outside the Camp gates.
The Camp for Climate Action have released the following statement to explain the current situation of policing at the Camp:
We have met with the police in the run-up to every Camp, including this one. We have explained to the police that our intentions are to spend a week holding workshops on climate change and climate action.
At 3:30pm today, people from the Camp for Climate Action met with Julia Pendry, Silver Commander of the Metropolitan Police outside the gates of the Camp at the police’s request.
This followed an earlier demand from the police for access to the campsite. After campwide discussions, the following decision has been made:
We will meet with the police, and we will talk to the police, but we will do it outside the Camp. The reason for this is very simple: many people at the Camp have suffered violence, harassment and intimidation at the hands of the police, at events such as the Kingsnorth Camp and the G20 protests. Although the police have not used these tactics at this Camp so far, that doesn’t mean that we are suddenly going to start trusting them. We take decisions as a whole Camp, and discussion is still ongoing, but at the moment, there is no reason for the police to come on site.
A lot of people from the community, and the media, have already visited the Camp, and will be able to confirm that it is a completely safe, friendly and welcoming space. Meanwhile, the police have mounted surveillance cameras and microphones on cranes and can see everything we are doing in here anyway. We currently feel that there is no reason for them to enter the site.
We have been open, honest and perfectly reasonable in our dealings with the police. We are saddened, but not surprised, that they are now threatening to cut off contact with our police liaison team. We feel this is an unreasonable response to our perfectly sensible position.
Finally, we encourage everyone else to come down to the Camp! The site is nearly complete, the main marquee is currently being erected and our fantastic workshops programme is due to begin tomorrow. See www.climatecamp.org.uk for the full run-down, and for details of the fantastic "Climate Casino" action that took place at the Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate this morning.