The thing that’s really struck me about this Climate Camp at Heathrow is the paranoia and control freakery around the press. As The Guardian’s Helen Pidd says: “For a gathering founded on anarchist principles, the Camp for Climate Action doesn’t half have a lot of rules.”
Indeed. Here’s her report of her visit to the camp yesterday that has more than a passing resemblance to one of those stage managed tours organised by the Soviet authorities for Western journalists to Ukranian tractor plants in order that they could witness first-hand the glorious achievements of communism for themselves:
The activists here have allocated one hour a day when journalists are allowed on site, accompanied by a media-literate camper; yesterday the Guardian was introduced to Hamish Campbell, a 42-year-old film-maker. He explained why even anarchists follow rules sometimes, and showed us the site’s own wind turbine and solar panels.
We lost Hamish after getting distracted by the stereo system in the West Midlands social tent, where a cheeky song called Revolution for Sale by a band named The Propaganda and Information Network was banging out of the speakers.
We got told off, and after promising to behave gained a new companion, a care worker called Jessica Alba. She was not fazed by the prospect of a week without showers and was keen to point out the damaging effects of most chemical-laden cosmetics.
Welcome to a future of low-impact Stalinism.
Meanwhile the campers have now set up their own Indymedia Centre at Heathrow to provide their own spin on events. So far the output seems to be limited to constant whinging about the coppers interspersed with stirring tales straight out of the boy scout summer camp about the joys of mutual cooperation and jolly japes courtesy of the on-site clowns.