Bristol Rising Tide don't have a regular schedule of meetings at the moment, so ask around at Kebele (14 Robertson Rd, Easton), where we are based or get in touch by email (replacing (at) with an @ sign): Bristol(at)risingtide.org.uk
Westside neighbourhood at Kingsnorth climate camp 2008. Picture credit: Jess Hurd.
Formed out of and inspired by the first Climate Camp in August 2006, Bristol Rising Tide has gone from strength to strength. We are motivated by the growing evidence that climate change is well underway and and that those in power are not going to do much more about it than rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.
We are an open, autonomous, grassroots direct action group: everyone is welcome except the police and their mates. We have adopted the People's Global Action Hallmarks, a statement which affirms our rejection of all systems of domination - you name it - capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and any other -isms or -ologies that divide and oppress us. We don’t believe governments or businesses are going to solve our problems: We are going to have to do it ourselves, learning as we go.
On the 5th and 6th of November 2021, aviation protest actions across the globe coordinated by Stay Grounded, called for an end to aviation’s greenwashing and an effective reduction of air traffic. The diverse protests were part of a Global Day of Action called by the https://cop26coalition.org/gda/ a UK-based civil society grouping, mobilising around climate justice during COP26, the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. In addition to the 18 events for 12 UK expanding airports, protests also took place in Mexico, Nepal, Germany and France.
Aviation is the most climate-damaging form of transport and one of the worst examples of climate injustice, so nobody should be fooled by attempts to greenwash aviation. New technologies and so-called ‘sustainable’ fuels will take decades to be used on commercial, long haul flights – and it is these flights that cause the vast majority of aviation’s climate wrecking emissions. (Check out 5 Greenwashing Factsheets here:- https://stay-grounded.org/greenwashing ). Research shows that relying on techno-fixes will not decarbonise the aviation sector rapidly enough to stay below the globally agreed 1.5 degrees C limit; and the UK government’s advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, recommends NO net expansion of UK airports and has repeatedly warned the government that technological solutions alone will be insufficient to make the aviation sector even net zero by 2050. Yet, every UK airport has plans to expand.
In this context we took to the fields and streets to counter greenwashing and aviation expansion. In what rapidly became a full Week of Action, Rising Tide UK co-ordinated the Stay Grounded activities in the UK for airports at: Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds-Bradford, London-City, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton and Stanstead. Our press spokesperson Ray Stewart said:-
"We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate-wrecking emissions is an extreme risk we cannot afford to take. Instead, we demand immediate action be taken to prevent aviation growth to cut associated emissions, for us to stand any chance of remaining within 1.5C.”
18 events for 12 UK airports showed what happens when we get together and co-ordinate united action around common themes under the Stay Grounded UK Chapter umbrella. So well done to those groups that took part and thanks to those who acted as group spokespeople, took photo's and did techy stuff. Lets have more groups covering more airports next time! We encourage those groups to visit https://stay-grounded.org/how-to-become-a-member/ .
Here's a round-up of what happened and where, with media links of which we're aware.
Given our work has so many overlapping priorities we've agreed to work together with RtP in London (& Bristol) and hold joint meetings. One of the reasons we have got together is to support this camp to highlight a future of connected communities and a climate justice movement that recognises the rights of everyone - a mass action camp for migrant and climate justice, taking direct action against new gas infrastructure built by Drax, shutting it down and also training-up and learning how to support resistance to the UK's Hostile Environment for migrants to take action later this year. https://www.facebook.com/events/584658665344782/
The Stansted 15 are a group of anti-deportation protesters who blocked a UK government deportation flight at Stanstead Airport last year to make the links clearer between climate change, colonialism, homophobia and the border regime. In a world of the IPCC's current forecast of 3 degrees C plus, innocent climate breakdown refugees will face the power of the state to maintain borders. In the UK and many other countries, that "hostile environment" has already begun. They were sentenced on 6th Feb'19 by a Crown Court judge. They avoided immediate prison sentences, with 3 given suspended sentences and 12 given Community Service Orders. The jury found all fifteen defendants guilty of "intentional disruption of services and endangerment at an aerodrome" under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act – a controversial use of terror-related law. This outrageous verdict attempts to suggest there is a link between non-violent protest and terrorism.There seems to be no doubt that it is the UK goverment's Home Office that is guilty of terrorising.
In a statement, the Stansted 15 said:
“These terror convictions and the ten-week trial that led to them are an injustice that has profound implications for our lives. The convictions will drastically limit our ability to work, travel and take part in everyday life. Yet, people seeking asylum in this country face worse than this: they are placed in destitution and their lives in limbo, by the Home Office’s vicious system every single day. When a country uses draconian terror legislation against people for peaceful protest, snatches others from their homes in dawn raids, incarcerates them without time limit and forces them onto planes in the middle of the night, due to take them to places where their lives might be at risk, something is very seriously wrong. Every single one of us should be very worried about our democracy and our future. We demand that these convictions are quashed, and that the Government dismantles the vicious, barely legal, immigration system that destroys so many people’s lives.”
Please defend the right to protest and sign this petition:- https://www.change.org/p/home-office-end-the-hostile-environment-and-de…
On 10th December the 15 were found guilty of a terrorism "aviation offence", namely that they "placed the safety of an airport in a likelihood of danger". This outrageous verdict attempts to suggest there is a link between non-violent protest and terrorism. They will be sentenced on Wednesday February 6th, 2019 between 8:30 am - 4pm at Chelmsford Court, New Street, Chelmsford, Essex, UK and many people will gather outside in solidarity. There seems to be no doubt that it is the UK goverment's Home Office that is guilty of terrorising. https://www.facebook.com/events/735004523524622/
Many Solidarity Rallies have been held in the UK since the verdict https://www.facebook.com/EDeportations/
Last year those 15 people grounded a deportation charter flight for 10 hours to prevent it taking off. The action was taken by our comrades at End Deportations, Plane Stupid and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) and aimed to show links between climate change, colonialism, homophobia and the border regime. The individuals responsible for this non-violent direct action were charged with terrrorism-related offences that could result in life imprisonment. There seems to be no doubt that it is the goverment's Home Office that is guilty of terrorising.
In November we issued this Statement to say we stand with them in Solidarity .
"In line with our Rising Tide International Political Statement and also as Members of Stay Grounded, Rising Tide UK stands in solidarity with the Stansted 15. The 15 are nearing the end of a gruelling 8-week trial in Chelmsford, having taken nonviolent direct action to stop a deportation charter flight to Nigeria from taking off in March 2017. For this action, which highlighted a brutal and little-known aspect of the UK's border regime, they are facing charges of terrorism which could result in life imprisonment.
Deportation charter flights are a particularly horrific aspect of the UK's hostile environment for migrants, which also includes immigration detention centres, raids, signing at the police station and keeping people in a limbo of uncertainty over their future – often for years. People deported on these flights are snatched from their communities and families - without due process and without time to challenge the deportation through legal means. According to Corporate Watch:
"Up to 2,000 people a year are loaded onto these secretive night flights, often shackled in “waist restraint belts” or “leg restraints”. Deportees are manhandled by private security “escorts” (working for Mitie) onto aircraft hired from charter companies.".
The Home Office wants to get its money's worth out of each charter flight, so people are racially targetted to fill a flight; and more people are booked onto a flight than can fit, in case anyone manages to secure a last-minute injunction on their deportation, adding to the uncertainty and trauma people are already experiencing at the hands of the UK border regime.
The Stansted 15 were acting to prevent this form of state terrorism. Their Action has brought much-needed attention to the border regime and has resulted in at least one person who was on that flight receiving "leave to remain" in the UK. Eleven more people are still here and waiting for their claims to be processed – a chance that would have been taken away from them had this Action not happened. Some of the people on this flight were facing persecution and death if deported, some were victims of trafficking and many had ongoing asylum claims in the UK.
We see the impacts of the UK's hostile environment in our communities every day and it is only when people come together to challenge it that we feel the cracks opening in this unjust system. The Stansted 15's action was incredibly important, not only for the people on the 'plane, who were able continue with their asylum claims but also for what it represented and the ideas and conversations that have come out of it. People can stop charter flights from taking off; we can dismantle the hostile environment and treat refugees and asylum seekers with the respect and dignity they deserve. This wasn't terrorism, it was a practical display of solidarity with people going through the immigration process and a reminder to us all that we can and should be building a fairer world.".
They are still short in their crowdfunder appeal : https://chuffed.org/project/end-deportations-charter-flight-action-tria…
Climate activists BristolRisingTide hung a nine-metre banner from the atrium of the Environment Agency in Bristol in a protest against fracking. The 50-strong group accused the regulator of facilitating fracking by granting environmental permits to shale gas companies. The Environment Agency’s offices had been open for the Bristol Open Doors Day, an event offering free tours of the city’s landmark buildings. Laurie Underwood, from the group, said:-
“On the one hand, the Environment Agency is preparing the country for adapting to the impacts of climate change but on the other, it is dishing out permits for onshore oil and gas drilling which will exacerbate the climate crisis....we call on the Environment Agency and its workers to take a tougher stance against a reckless fracking industry which threatens our air quality, our water quality and our climate.”.
The group pointed out that the Forestry Commission, another agency which comes under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, decided recently not to renew the lease on an exploratory drilling site near Leith Hill in Surrey. The decision was based on the risk of damage to nearby ancient woodland. Laurie Underwood called on the Environment Agency to be:-
“more pro-active in speaking out against the environmental impacts of new, unwanted fossil fuel extraction.....they should follow the Forestry Commission’s lead and tell the government that licensing fracking isn’t compatible with its environmental mission. Stop the fracking permits. Stop approving climate change.”.
For immediate release: 13 July 2017
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Photos available via Reclaim the Power Flickr
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Today Protesters have blockaded the entrance to PR Marriott, a company providing the drilling rig for Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road. The drilling rig is expected to be transported from PR Marriott’s storage yard near Chesterfield any day now.
This morning 11 people entered the site of the proposed Helius wood fired Biomass Power Plant, spelling out the message ‘no biomess’ in body paint on their naked torsos. The Pro renewable energy campaigners from Bristol Rising Tide breached Port security at 9.50 am on land next to St Andrews Road Station.
For some great pictures of the action, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/123175252@N04/
(If the link doesn't work straight off, try copying and pasting it to your browser)
Jo Edwards explained:
South West Extreme Energy Gathering, 30th March 2013, 10 – 4pm
A gathering is taking place at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft in Bristol to bring together people interested in or active around resisting extreme energy developments in the South West.
The day will be an opportunity to:
*Find out about different campaigns in the South West
*Understand the concept of Extreme Energy & connect local campaigns to the bigger picture
*Build relationships & solidarity between groups
*Share strategies and skills
The event takes place a month before the national Extreme Energy Gathering that is taking place in Manchester 26-28th April.
What is Extreme Energy?