Joe's blog

Climate 9 video series: 'Mobilising support'

This weeks video is the final in the series - watch above or click here for 'Mobilising Support' 

Thank you for all the amazing support, networking and requests for further action trainings - the spirit of Climate9 lives on in all the incredible actions and movements spiralling out there on the streets to change the future for the better once and for all!

Over the past 5 weeks we brought you campaigning Video (1) 'Introduction to the Climate9 and (2) 'Fighting the Law', (3) 'Building A Campaign That Works!', (4) 'Organising the Press' and today's 'Mobilising Support'. If you want to know how to mobilise a diverse range of environmental, social, racial, gender and economic justice movements for climate action then please watch.

The full series can be found on our website via this link:

Climate 9 video series: 'Organising the press'

This weeks video is the fourth in the series. If you want to know how to harness the press in all it's forms, watch this video!

We will be releasing the last video of the series next Wednesday so stay tuned for 'Mobilising Support!'. All the videos can be found together by following this link.

Plane Stupid UK meets Plane Stupid Germany

It was always going to be a match made in heaven as on the weekend activists from Plane Stupid met for the first time with campaigners from Plane Stupid Germany at the first ever International Airport Residents Conference held in Munich.

The stories were similar. Munich Airport wants a third runway but are being met with fierce resistance. Like Sipson in West London, Attaching, the location of the conference just outside Munich, is facing the demolition of people's homes and community to make way for another runway.

250 people who attended the conference, mostly locals, heard stories about the impacts of aviation on people's everyday lives. The stories from all over Europe were different, but each time there were many similarities. The noise impacts are always horrific, air pollution rates are out of control and the most worrying reality of all this planned airport expansion is that we're surely left with no chance of preventing the worst affects of climate change.

However, resistance is rife. From Nantes to London, Munich, Berlin, Leipzig, Austria, Brussels and in Frankfurt where over 1500 people are occupying the airports terminal every Monday, ordinary people are fighting back all over Europe.

The campaign in Munich in particular has a great chance of success and John Stewart's (Chair of Airport Watch & HACAN) talk at the conference on 'how the Heathrow campaign was won' offered much inspiration.

Last year, in an almost copycat protest to when Plane Stupid members famously got on top of the roof of Parliament, activists from Plane Stupid Germany organised a banner drop at their Town Hall. And as we have in Sipson, activists have now built great relationships with the community around the airport who are faced with losing there homes. At a recent region wide referendum, the votes counted showed that most people now oppose a third runway at Munich, a result that the Plane Stupid Germany activists can take much responsibility for.

The second day of the conference was a campaigning session where we made a presentation on the history, justification and previous examples of direct action taken by ourselves. The German activists and residents were left inspired, and although the majority of them are a lot older than we are – to our amusement we must add, if the government don't scrap the third runway plans soon - I wouldn't be surprised if we see a member of Plane Stupid Germany on the newspaper front pages super-glued to a politician in the near future.  

Climate 9 video series: 'Building a campaign that works'

This weeks video is the third in the series. Following on from Vlog1 'Introduction to the Climate9 and Vlog2 'Fighting the Law' we have 'Building A Campaign That Works!' - which focuses on the initial steps in the campaign to take climate criminals to the courtroom.

You also get to meet lots of the parents in this episode which offers an interesting insight into the activists family life. We will be releasing the last two of the five part series on the next two following Wednesdays - next week stay tuned for 'Organising the Press' which will be aimed at all of the media heads out there.

If you have any requests, interview / article ideas or would like to donate a few pennies for the film production costs please email press[at]

Climate 9 video series: 'Fighting the law'

As we mentioned last Wednesday, in light of the interest raised by the Climate9, the group’s defence committee have produced 5 short films. This weeks video is the second in the series.

Following on from The 'Introduction to the Climate 9' video is FIGHTING THE LAW - which focuses on the initial steps in the campaign to take climate criminals to the courtroom. If you want to know how to harness and build a strong team of lawyers watch this video. 

This resulted in the first climate change jury trial to take place in Scotland and the biggest in the UK since the failure of the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen. The trial brought global public attention to the need for action in order to prevent runaway climate change.

We will be releasing the next three on every following Wednesday - next week stay tuned for 'BUILDING A CAMPAIGN THAT WORKS!'.

‘How ordinary people take on the state for environmental justice’ Powerful videos released from the Climate 9

You may remember the Climate9 trial that took place at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in 2010. The trial of the nine young activists, who played golf on the runway of Aberdeen Airport and in the process stopped hundreds of tonnes of carbon emissions being emitted as they shut down the airport made international headlines.

This resulted in the first climate change jury trial to take place in Scotland and the biggest in the UK since the failure of the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen. The trial brought global public attention to the need for action in order to prevent runaway climate change.

In light of the interest raised by the Climate9, the group’s defence committee have produced 5 short films. The online films - 'How Ordinary People Take on the State for Environmental Justice' – powerfully document the way nine ordinary people fighting for environmental justice challenged the legal system. The films are intended to be used as learning tools for activists, individuals and groups. 

The 'Introduction to the Climate 9' video above is the first in the series and we will be releasing the next four on every following Wednesday - next week stay tuned for 'FIGHTING THE LAW'.

The Climate9 received support from diverse organisations, including leading anti-racist groups (The Monitoring Group), pioneering environmental justice groups (Capacity Global), world leaders in community environmental governance (The Gaia Foundation), top spiritual bodies (The Muslim Council of Scotland) churches, politicians (Caroline Lucas), NGOs (Friends of the Earth Scotland and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland), musicians (Linton Kwesi Johnson), journalists (John Pilger) and many many more.

Tilly Gifford, member of the Climate9, said: 

"We protested about aviation, the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions in the UK, but at the heart of the trial was our fundamental right to protest. These videos are intended not just as a record of what we did but as an aid to other activists."

The conviction related to a direct action taken in March 2009, when the Climate 9 shut down Aberdeen airport and directly stopped 107 tonnes of Carbon emissions from contributing to man-made climate change. They played golf in a cage on the taxiway to highlight the fact that the airport's expansion will also pave the way for Donald Trump's contentious golf course for the super rich at the Balmedie Estate.

Following a two week long trial in August 2010 all nine defendants were convicted of breach of the peace for their role in the protest. However, in the appeal and to this day, all the Climate9 activists firmly believe that the action they took was justified, proportionate and necessary in the face of catastrophic climate change.

Plane Stupid, who were involved in the Aberdeen protest, are open to suggestions and welcome invitations for how we can share this story and help catalyse other communities challenging the state and the law. Please get in touch via if you have any suggestions.

Criminal legal aid cuts threaten right to protest

A major threat to political protests of all kinds is currently being consulted on by the government and hardly anyone knows anything about it.

Under new proposals to cut legal aid further, criminal legal aid will become pretty much non-existent. What the proposals mean is that criminal suspects will lose their rights to choose or dismiss a solicitor, and the number of accredited legal aid firms will drop from 1,600 to less than 400 – raising the inevitable outcome of hundreds of small high street firms being replaced by huge contractors like G4S and Eddie Stobart.

The government have labelled this process by the memorable name of 'competitive tendering'. In other words, privatisation by offering contracts to whoever can offer the cheapest rate, ie G4S and co. You would be better off representing yourself then being represented by G4S!

Nearly every lawyer in the country, except those working for companies such as G4S, have come out strongly against the proposals including The Law Society and The Criminal Bar Association. However, most people aren't taking any notice. The lawyers need supporting otherwise by the end of the year the make up and possibility for protests in this country will be seriously undermined.

Alfie Meadows, beaten up by the Police at a student protest would not have been acquitted without criminal legal aid. For Plane Stupid - many of us would probably be in jail by now without proper legal representation.

On Wednesday a demonstration will take place outside Parliament at Old Palace Yard from 10.30am. We urge you to go down there and make your voice heard.

To keep up to date with all the developments and resistance to the plans please visit:

Reclaim the power

Join No Dash for Gas for a 4 day camp and protest at West Burton power station.
17th-20th August 2013

Big decisions are being made now about how we're going to power the UK. The government's policy of increasing our reliance on gas is pushing millions into fuel poverty. This - coupled with ruthless cuts to essential services - leaves many with an impossible choice between heating and eating.

And the same policy guarantees that we'll miss even our modest carbon reduction targets. Both the financial and the climate crises are related to the pursuit of profit above all else, in the interests of the few and at the expense of the many.

We need a win. And one win we need is a secure future for generations to come, where profits don't trump the public interest and where we have safe, clean energy to meet our needs. Be part of creating something BIG this summer, get involved now and Reclaim The Power. 

We can fight back, as the student, trade union, women's, disabled rights and anti-cuts movements have shown us. There has never been a more critical time to take action. The solutions are there to be grasped.

Last October, 21 environmental activists shut down EDF's West Burton power station for a week in protest at the government's Dash for Gas. West Burton is the first of up to 40 new gas fired power stations being planned. With your help, including a solidarity petition signed by 64,000 people - they fought off EDF's attempt to sue them for £5 million.

This summer, inspired by their action, we are building a wide coalition of groups and individuals who will be coming together to Reclaim the Power. We’ll plan together. We’ll put forward solutions. We’ll cross the border from anger to action.

It was people power that stopped new coal and stalled plans for a third runway at Heathrow, that made bankers' greed and tax avoidance toxic and that is now fighting austerity attacks on workers, women, pensioners and the disabled. Together, we will stop the dash for gas.

Want to be part of creating Reclaim The Power? Wondering where we'll be, how you can get there or what you need to bring? More info to come soon, keep up to date at:  @nodashforgas.