Ffos-y-Fran and Nant Llseg - the struggle to #keepitintheground

Ffos-y-Fran and Nant Llseg – the struggle to #keepitintheground

On the morning of 3rd May 2016 there was a successful occupation at the Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in South Wales by Reclaim the Power. This blog was written in the build up to that action. We’re heading for our tent in the incessant drizzle, weaving between clusters of newly sprouted tents and trying hard to...
Drawing Red Lines - from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

Drawing Red Lines – from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

I watched the twitter feed and followed the news early last December filled with a mixture of excitement at what unfolded in Paris and mild envy of companions who were immersed in the ebb and flow of events around COP 21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. As the reports of the...
“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” - notes from the BP AGM 2016

“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” – notes from the BP AGM 2016

Bob Dudley, Chief Executive, who appears tired, pale and jowly, looks up from his notes and addresses a set of questions that have been put to the Board. This particular set from delegates at the Annual General Meeting of BP, are grouped together under the bracket of ‘concerned with climate change’. He peers out at...
In Memory of Doreen Massey

In Memory of Doreen Massey

She was taken away in mid conversation. The last time I saw Doreen, we met at the usual place, Small & Beautiful in Kilburn at 6.30. Doreen liked to eat early and the restaurant was near her flat. We set off on a rolling, rollicking exchange during which we voyaged over Brexit, birdwatching, Corbyn, capitalism,...
2015 - The End of the Eternal Present

2015 – The End of the Eternal Present

Notes after a conversation with Doreen Massey, which took place ten days before the one-year anniversary of Syriza’s landslide victory of 25th January 2015. We were reflecting on the past year. What an extraordinary set of events has unfolded in those twelve months – the Syriza election, The Green Surge of last Winter, the transformational...
Possession - the Boxing Day Floods and the recommoning of the rivers

Possession – the Boxing Day Floods and the recommoning of the rivers

We wake in a B&B in Kilnsea, the last village before the shingle bar of Spurn Head that juts out from Holderness in East Yorkshire. All night a South Easterly wind of Force 6, gusting to Force 7, has buffeted the farmhouse. From the windows we can see white horses on the River Humber and...
We will Remember them - those who were hung and those who executed the hanging

We will Remember them – those who were hung and those who executed the hanging

Here again. Standing before the white Portland Stone cenotaph of the Shell Center. A crowd of fifty or more in silent attention as the names of the dead are read out: Saturday Dobee Nordu Eawo Daniel Gbooko Paul Levera Felix Nuate Baribor Bera Barinem Kiobel John Kpuinen Ken Saro-Wiwa The chief mourner is Lazarus Tamana,...
Head looking backward the bird flies forward - a night for Ken Saro-Wiwa in Peckham

Head looking backward the bird flies forward – a night for Ken Saro-Wiwa in Peckham

[In 7 days’ time it will be 10th November – the 20th anniversary of the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 Ogoni colleagues. This blog is a response to a powerful poetry event at Peckham Platform last Friday, inspired by the work and life of Ken Saro-Wiwa. Come to the events on Nov 10th –...
This Bitter Earth - rendering the invisible visible

This Bitter Earth – rendering the invisible visible

During my leave over the summer I was really glad to catch the performance Arctic Requiem outside the Shell Centre in August. Here’s a piece I wrote about it, prior to Shell’s decision to cease drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The rain lashes down. A strong south westerly drives it along the Thames, across Jubilee...
Beauty & Banality - the Shell Shareholder Presentation, London

Beauty & Banality – the Shell Shareholder Presentation, London

‘Without roses it cannot be done’. Joseph Beuys’ statement asserts the vital role of beauty in activism. Embodying that vision is the banner that was unveiled in front of the Shell Shareholder Presentation at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster London on Thursday 21st May. Made by Suzanne Dhaliwal and Amanda Cid of UK Tar Sands...
Stranding the Leviathan - a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

Stranding the Leviathan – a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

We are in the dim light and red velvet of the Circustheatre in Den Haag for the Shell AGM. Up on the podium are the assembled bishops of the company. Eight in the back row all non-executives. Five in the front row: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and two non-excutives. Behind...
The Management of Democracy - a report from the BP AGM 2015

The Management of Democracy – a report from the BP AGM 2015

The low hanger of the ExCeL building – the London Exhibition Centre – squats grey and devoid of windows on the northern quayside of the former Royal Victoria Dock which was closed and privatised in 1981. Despite having visited this hall for most of the BP Annual General Meetings of the past decade, the place...