Earth Strike North of the River
In December 2020 Luke Murphy of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said ‘As host of COP26 we have the opportunity to lead by example by committing to keep fossil fuels in the ground’.
That is exactly what a group of local people who live close to the City of London thought in 2019 after joining in a year of protest action with Earth Strike on the streets. Knowing that many of the British companies, banks and investment funds that dominate the global fossil fuel market and extractive industries host headquarters right on our doorstep we decided to make London their hostile location. We met to discuss and research the leading corporations in the city and find out how their operations were affecting climate change and the people of the world. We soon learned that there was a long history of concern about most of the big corporations from a variety of human rights groups and environmental protestors over the years. As a result, there is a mass of information about most multinationals and their destructive global impact available on the internet. In addition, there are almost continuous reports on current outrages in the news: the use of child labour in DR Congo, the destruction of the Amazon, pollution of watercourses in Flint, USA and the publicity given by David Attenborough’s television series Life on Earth to the massive increase of plastic in the oceans.
Earth Strike – North of the River meetings decided that our task is to turn these facts into actions and organise together for lively, visual, noisy and regular protest demonstrations in our city. We started with a poster campaign ‘We Are Watching You’ and a group of cyclists left this message outside a number of head offices. At the end of February, we held a large protest outside of Glencore, the mining conglomerate, in June outside of Unilever, which controls most of the world’s palm oil production, in September outside of Blackrock the financiers of repression and the arms trade and in June 2021 we will be outside of Rio Tinto Zinc.