Greenpeace volunteers occupy Parliament to save the climate

Posted by jamie — 11 October 2009 at 2:33pm - Comments

Update, Monday 7pm: after nearly 28 hours on top of the Palace of Westminster, the remaining 31 volunteers have been been taken into police custody after ending their protest peacefully. Thanks to everyone who's been supporting them!

 

Update, Monday am: 31 volunteers are still ocuppying the roof this morning, 24 came down last night and were arrested and all have been bailed to return.

Fifty-five Greenpeace volunteers scaled the walls of the Houses of Parliament and are now occupying the roof to call for a new style of politics in Britain, one capable of rising to meet the challenge of climate change.

Tomorrow MPs return from their summer break and the government's own Committee on Climate Change will publish a progress report on UK carbon emissions. They make it clear that Britain is not doing enough to meet its commitments, and insist that a "step change" in emissions cuts is needed. With just 60 days go until the critical climate summit in Copenhagen - which faces a very real chance of failure as things stand - Britain has yet to show true commitment to making the process a success. We need politicians who are thinking about the next generation, not just the next election.

Watch the slideshow of images from parliament »

The climbers have unfurled a banner on the roof of the Palace of Westminster's Great Hall which says: "CHANGE THE POLITICS, SAVE THE CLIMATE." They are vowing to stay on the roof overnight so they can welcome politicians back in the morning.

Before breaching Westminster security they told police officers exactly who they were, making it clear that they were about to embark on a peaceful protest.

Five of the volunteers - all of them experienced rope access experts – then climbed up the building's 15m lightning conductor to the roof’s apex. They are now out of reach of security guards, and plan to stay up there for the next 24 hours.

Anna Jones is on the roof of Parliament and says: "We need a green economy that will create jobs and bring prosperity while helping us beat climate change. We need politicians to be fighting for the next generation, not just the next election."

The other protesters are on a lower roof, equipped with tents and enough food and water to maintain an overnight occupation. They've issued a climate manifesto and are asking all politicians to sign it. It lists twelve simple steps our politicians could take to quickly cut Britain's carbon use, and to provide the help poorer countries need to develop clean energy, adapt to the impacts of climate change and protect their rainforests.

Please take a few minutes to write to your MP and ask them to sign on to the manifesto to support urgent and effective action to save our climate.

Our manifesto includes ruling out all emissions from new coal-fired power stations, ending airport expansion and delivering on the clean energy revolution that would see Britain harness the huge natural resources of our wind-swept island to build employment, develop new green industries and cut pollution. People say they get into politics to make a real difference. Well here's their chance.

The clock’s ticking down to the big climate summit in Copenhagen, but politicians are still treating the most important issue of our time as a political plaything. We need a green economy that will create jobs and bring prosperity while helping us beat climate change.

The MP's should see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T_3WJPYY9g

they may not be aware how close we are to the tipping point, project it onto the houses of parliment?

As an individual, I feel that I am doing my bit to limit my impact on the world's natural resources. Fortunately I now feel less like the odd one out. I'm all for individual freedom but not at any expense. There are a lot of people out there who need clear signals and an example to be set by government. What is this government doing? Unfortunately I strongly do not believe that the conservative party could deliver either. Where is the investment in sustainable development?

Greenpeace are fulfilling their promises.
Can the government say the same thing?
Copenhagen and your children will tell.

Dear Green Peace,

While protest has its place and it is relatively easy the world would be better served if the organisation of green peace was to place its efforts at finding alternatives to the percieved problems future generations are facing.

The mostly young people of the green movement have the energy and the intelligence to put this in place whereas people in their 60's like me do not have the physical ability and suffer diminished mental abilities. But we do have experience that we would like to pass on.

I took part in the 60's protest against the bomb and I was arrested and put under psychiactric treatment for 25 years for speaking my mind and while being treated I was called up and took part in a war and used the bomb myself (not that we are allowed to say so) and later worked at the bomb factory designing the bloody things. I cannot guaruntee that the bomb I designed (the trident warhead) will go off. I make mistakes like that....

I think we must invent alternatives to coal and oil, like windmills and thermonuclear fusion reactors so the fossil fuels won't be used.

There are probably other ways of doing things yet to be invented that would help too.

I do not really understand green opposition to bio-fuels as the fuels like palm oil do not impinge on food growing and provide employment in third world countries and do not increase the amount of atmospheric carbon overall.

Nor do I understand the green opposition to nuclear power except that the overall yeild of nukes is negative and that it is potentially very dirty with radioactive waste.

We have got to get energy from somewhere.

It is up to the green activists to find alterntaives not just protest and make the green option not only economically viable but economically atractive to venture capitalists and potential shareholders.

And we must not expect "the government" to act for us. The market is far stronger than the talking shop of parliament.

Mr Wilson tried nationalisation in Britain but the system collapsed and the soviets crashed after 75 years so we must dream of social paradise... it does not work, people are not like that.

I'm trying to do my bit with a patent application for a vertical windmill, a patent for a fresh water generator and I'm trying to build a fusion reactor based on what my elders who survived the war told me about the tesla engine. I've had some success but getting the winning combination has proved elusive - I'm getting more power out than I put in but my engine won't start!

Do not leave to "The experts" or "the government" it is down to us!

Christopher Strevens

The MP's should see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T_3WJPYY9g they may not be aware how close we are to the tipping point, project it onto the houses of parliment?

As an individual, I feel that I am doing my bit to limit my impact on the world's natural resources. Fortunately I now feel less like the odd one out. I'm all for individual freedom but not at any expense. There are a lot of people out there who need clear signals and an example to be set by government. What is this government doing? Unfortunately I strongly do not believe that the conservative party could deliver either. Where is the investment in sustainable development? Greenpeace are fulfilling their promises. Can the government say the same thing? Copenhagen and your children will tell.

Dear Green Peace, While protest has its place and it is relatively easy the world would be better served if the organisation of green peace was to place its efforts at finding alternatives to the percieved problems future generations are facing. The mostly young people of the green movement have the energy and the intelligence to put this in place whereas people in their 60's like me do not have the physical ability and suffer diminished mental abilities. But we do have experience that we would like to pass on. I took part in the 60's protest against the bomb and I was arrested and put under psychiactric treatment for 25 years for speaking my mind and while being treated I was called up and took part in a war and used the bomb myself (not that we are allowed to say so) and later worked at the bomb factory designing the bloody things. I cannot guaruntee that the bomb I designed (the trident warhead) will go off. I make mistakes like that.... I think we must invent alternatives to coal and oil, like windmills and thermonuclear fusion reactors so the fossil fuels won't be used. There are probably other ways of doing things yet to be invented that would help too. I do not really understand green opposition to bio-fuels as the fuels like palm oil do not impinge on food growing and provide employment in third world countries and do not increase the amount of atmospheric carbon overall. Nor do I understand the green opposition to nuclear power except that the overall yeild of nukes is negative and that it is potentially very dirty with radioactive waste. We have got to get energy from somewhere. It is up to the green activists to find alterntaives not just protest and make the green option not only economically viable but economically atractive to venture capitalists and potential shareholders. And we must not expect "the government" to act for us. The market is far stronger than the talking shop of parliament. Mr Wilson tried nationalisation in Britain but the system collapsed and the soviets crashed after 75 years so we must dream of social paradise... it does not work, people are not like that. I'm trying to do my bit with a patent application for a vertical windmill, a patent for a fresh water generator and I'm trying to build a fusion reactor based on what my elders who survived the war told me about the tesla engine. I've had some success but getting the winning combination has proved elusive - I'm getting more power out than I put in but my engine won't start! Do not leave to "The experts" or "the government" it is down to us! Christopher Strevens

About Jamie

I'm one of the editors of the website, and I do a lot of work on the Get Active section, as well as doing web stuff for the forests campaign. I've worked for Greenpeace since 2006 and, coming from a background as a freelance writer and web producer, it's been something of an education to be part of a direct action organisation. I'm from Cumbria originally but now I live in north London - I came to study here and somehow have never left.

My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

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