People resisting climate change closed down the Royal Bank of Scotland's Global HQ at Gogarburn near Edinburgh and took direct action at numerous sites throughout Edinburgh today 23rd August.
The Camp for Climate Action said: "We are celebrating a successful day targeting various climate criminals - holding direct actions, demonstrations and street theatre confronting the role of financial institutions like RBS in bankrolling climate change."
Harry Reynolds who took part in the actions said:
“No one came to work today at the RBS Gogarburn headquarters. Since we had already effectively shut that down, we decided to concentrate our energies targeting RBS and its fossil fuel affiliates in the Edinburgh city centre. We’ve done a lot to disrupt RBS dirty energy operations today, but we are committed to keeping up the pressure until we manage to cut off the flow of capital from the banks to the fossil fuel industry.”
The Climate Camp have expressed bewilderment as to police claims of oil being spilled on a main road, and have no knowledge who was responsible for it if the incident did take place.
A group of protestors occupied the head offices of Forth Energy, a company planning to build four new biomass power stations in Scotland. Three protestors chained themselves to the front of the building, two occupied the inside of the office, and two more dropped a banner from the roof of the office. Five arrests were made.
Simultaneously, seven protestors blockaded the RBS executive carpark at the Gyle Industrial Estate by super-gluing themselves together.
A group of demonstrators dropped a two metre long piggy bank branded with the RBS logo filled with 60 litres of oil-like substance (molasses) outside the headquarters of Cairn Energy, a company which is coming under fire for its Arctic oil drilling operations. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is currently engaged in a situation with the Danish Navy off the coast of Greenland with regards to Cairn Energy’s drilling operations.
RHINOCEROS LAYS SIEGE TO BANK HQ
Protestors, including Fringe performers, shut down the Nicolson Street RBS branch. Three individuals super-glued themselves across the front doorway, while another group played music and danced while handing out leaflets. There were three arrests. After the previous group of protestors was removed by police, a group of “tar-covered” protestors shut down the Nicolson St RBS branch a second time, as several activists locked themselves onto the building. The North Bridge branch of RBS also shut down after musical protestors set up a tent and performed songs denouncing the "oil bank". Round the corner on the Royal Mile demonstrators scaled two storeys of scaffolding to drop a banner which read “RBS funds and profits from climate chaos”. This protest was still continuing at 6pm.
The entrance to the RBS-sponsored performance space on the Royal Mile was occupied by protestors highlighting the destructive RBS-backed Tar Sands project in Canada. Delegates from the indigenous people directly affected denounce that "RBS are killing our people." More info on Tar Sands project and actions today against it. A banner was dropped from a building reading “oil tar sands = environmental chaos”, there were two arrests.
Another banner was dropped over the A8 which read “RBS: using our money to fuck the planet”
Meanwhile at Gogarburn activists laid siege to RBS HQ with a six metre tall mock siege tower on wheels with a life-size papier mache rhinoceros head mounted on the front!
Actions in previous days have included: Hundreds of activists in boilers suits stormed the RBS headquarters, catapulting oil-like substance (molasses) onto the building and attempting to get inside the building. There were two arrests.
A group of activists caused the closure of RBS bank branches in town by performing a spoof song-and-dance version of Lady Gaga’s number one hit “Pokerface”, rewriting the lyrics to talk about RBS’ funding of fossil fuels. They invaded an RBS-sponsored stage on the Royal Mile and performed the routing for passers by.
A group of 40-50 street theatre activists exposed how RBS’ PR masks the reality of its investments by performing “Greenwash Guerrilla” street theatre at Gogarburn and the Royal Mile. On Saturday, several hundred activists launched an incursion into the RBS HQ complex and held a dance party in the foyer as one activist gained access to the reception area and superglued herself to the front desk.
Also on Saturday, climate campers joined Coal Action Scotland and local people from Communities Against Airfield Open Cast at a 200-strong march and gathering in Cousland, Midlothian, to show their united opposition to Scottish Coal's plans to extract 2 million tonnes of coal from a planned huge open cast mine at the 154-hectare site at Airfield Farm
So far, there have been 14 arrests throughout the duration of the camp (from Wednesday evening through Monday afternoon). Natalie Swift, a spokesperson for Climate Camp, commented on the day of action: “Today we have seen people tackling RBS’ responsibility for the billions of pounds it provides to environmentally destructive and dangerous fossil fuel projects. We are being failed by the government and financial institutions, and we are creating a vibrant social movement that takes direct action against the causes of climate change when politicians and bankers fail to do so.”
Photos of the camp and actions are available at: http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions/edinburgh-2010/photography
- The making of the Trojan Pig used at Cairn Energy action http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/08/ribs-the-trojan-pig-makes-a-mess-at-...
- Raising a Ruckus- a short film covering the site take and the first incursion into RBS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATJwdb4b2Tc&feature=player_embedded
Twitter: Updates from actions throughout the day of action, including photos and videos, are available on the Climate Camp Twitter stream.
- More info on what the Climate Camp is and why people are taking action against climate change
- Info on why the Climate Camp are taking action against the Royal Bank of Scotland
- Info on why the Climate Camp took action against Forth Energy
- Info on ongoing community resistance to new coal and open cast in Scotland : Coal Action Scotland