I came to this event not quite sure what to expect, but nethertheless excited about the first radical climate event that involved camping and action in a while. A decent number were also involved in set up- about 20 to 25, most of whom stayed on, though a few left. It would appear that the police and security were caught by surprise with none blocking us. Although it appeared in the following days that the police were going for a strategy of minimal policing,(possibly due to the olympics taking all the policing budget or anti coal sympathies) resulting in a fairly chilled atmosphere on gate, except when it came to actions. For instance the occupation of Mainshill open cast coal mine where we were allowed to stay until 12 then threatened with arrest. As no one wanted to spend bank holiday in the nick we left. In other actions the police seemed to work out that vehicles leaving early in the morning meant something going on and caused problems. In addition to Mainshill, other actions were carried out, such as a blockade of Broken Cross coal mine and Lord Home's garden being dug up. Pixies also committed acts of sabotage against a conveyor belt involved in coal mining. There was also a decent amount of community solidarity such as creating a community garden, in a nearby village, which frankly is absolutely necessary in this age of cuts if we aren't to be marginalised. Overall around 80 people came to the camp which, given the weather, and compared with other Scottish camps is a decent number.
Given the relatively small amounts of people this shows that it is still possible to have a decent action camp which gets stuff done, it's just that post climate camp we are reduced to a core group. In these times it may be that quality is a much better thing to aim for than quantity, although it's good to aim for both. While ACAB, if the entire community is affected by something the (local) cops may look the other way. Quality over quantity does raise questions: how do we get new folk along? (of which there weren't so many) and get some people who may have been essentially acting as spectators at climate camp to come back and take action? What could be learned from TBTL, along with other camps such as Dale Farm, may indicate that less work should be put into the media, as nice as it is to have your face in the paper, and instead focus on winning the communities over. This does place issues about where to camp and where to put energy but frankly we have a world to win and it doesn't feel like we are winning at the moment.