Crude Awakening info update

12 Sept 2010


A mass action to switch off oil

Saturday, 16 October 2010, Central London

Have you been thinking it's about time a whole load of people got together to take mass action against oil in central London? We thought so. And so it followed that the Crude Awakening was launched. The mobilization is now in full swing and everyone is invited to help publicize and prepare. There is loads to do….please have a read through this email and get involved!

The email is in three parts:

Upcoming events and how to get involved
Frequently asked questions
The call out - please copy and paste and help this get all over the Internet!

1. How to get involved and build up events you are all invited to.

Events already planned are listed bellow:

In London……

17th September, networking meeting at 6pm just inside the entrance to the Brunei Gallery at SOAS, a meeting for people interested in helping to do outreach in the London area the Climate Camp outreach group are meeting.

There is going to be a London coordinating and planning meeting for the Crude Awakening very soon, and the details will be announced shortly.

Thursday 23rd September at 7.30pm, Climate Action Film Night, London Action Resource Centre, Whitechapel (for address see

An evening of films and discussion about climate activism and the oil industry, hosted by London Rising Tide.

A screening of two short films of recent actions against BP and Shell by Rising Tide and friends, plus Petropolis, a visually stunning and disturbing documentary about the Canadian Tar Sands. Followed by a brainstorming session on taking direct action against the oil industry in London - including all the latest info on the Crude Awakening, an oily mass action happening on Saturday 16th October. For anyone who believes in climate justice and wants to help make it happen; anyone hacked off with the greed and irresponsibility of oil giants like BP; anyone back from the Climate Camp and looking to get involved locally... everyone welcome....and there'll be cake!

The Crude Awakening London Rabble Rouser – a mass outdoor team game, warming us up for the big day– date, place and time to be announced.

Saturday 2nd October. MOLASAPULTPARTY FUNDRAISER .... Venue TBC, more details to follow shortly

Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd October Stilt making workshop for the stilt block on the mass action!....
This time we're thinking big, we're thinking high, we're thinking tall.... and we're going as a Stilt Bloc.

Yep, thats right! On stilts!

So in order for this to happen we're having a skill share weekend in London to build stilts and learn how to walk on them. The weekend is Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd October, 10am to 6pm.

And even if you don't want to be up high, each stilt walker will need a buddy staying on the ground so there's a place for everyone, young and old, big or small, high or low...... we need you at this weekend too!!!

Its all free and lunch is included....

We need RSVPs so we know numbers. Email:

Oh and its MEXICAN DAY OF THE DEAD theme.....

In Manchester….

Sat 9th Oct - Mass Action training

Tue 12th Oct - Publicly announced rouser for CJA international day of action

Crude Awakening mobilisation

We hope that there will be loads more to follow but this is what is lined up so far. If you are planning a build up event let us know so we can advertise it please.

There is a huge amount to do to mobilize quickly for an event this big. Maybe you could organise a film showing or talk (we can probably send a speaker if you email us). You could put on an affinity group or action training workshop, or host a fundraiser. You could book a coach and fill it. You could run a workshop so people can build practical stuff , for example a load of disposable bikes to bring along (email us to let us know if you do make lots of useful stuff). You could have a stall and hand out flyers at your freshers fair (again email for materials). You could make a stencil and graffiti advertise for it all across your city/ region. Unless everyone gets involved there is a real danger we won’t get the numbers we need.
The Crude Awakening is now on crabgrass! Join it, join a working group and lets get planning! (crabgrass is a little bit like facebook for activists and is a way of organising on line). And sign up for more information by email and text alerts on the website. Our facebook page is a little slow to get off the ground but it will soon be buzzing.

Please also raise The Crude Awakening as an agenda point at the next organising meeting at your Social Centre/ Friends of the Earth Group/ Union/ Climate Camp neighbourhood/ Housing Coop etc. Get people talking and excited and committed to the idea that they are going! If you are not already in a group or affinity group you are of course still totally welcome. You will probably want to make contact with some like minded folk to talk things through and make some plans before the big day. For example you could go to or and find your local active group, or email us and we can try to signpost you on. At the least try to get a couple of mates to come with you, so that you have some support as a group of friends (known by activists as an affinity group).

2. Frequently asked questions

Q. Neither the website nor the flyer gives much info. What is going on?

A. As you have probably twigged there is also a deliberate sense of mystery around the action. So often with recent mass actions we have said exactly where we are going to go, and the police have had as much time to prepare as us, making things much more difficult for people who want to be involved in mass and effective direct action . With this project we are experimenting a little bit. The 10 targets are left unspecified, giving the action more chance of being successful. But at the same time we can openly advertise that we all need to be in Central London so we can get loads of people together at the same place at the same time for the mass action. And those people need to be ready to take action and to have fun. This is not a march and it’s not a camp. This is an action that needs preparation and we can all be involved in most of that preparation….although the targets will be a surprise until much later.

We can’t be sure that this mix of secret and public planning will work, but we can give it a go, have some fun and maybe make some progress…..but maybe, just maybe we have got it totally nailed and this will be the best mass action in London ever! If you don’t show up there it will be difficult for you to know. Our advice is don’t miss it ;)

Q. So what do I need to do to prepare?

A. People need to be ready to move, and to stand their ground. Don’t bring with you anything that you can’t easily walk with or get on a tube with. But do bring with you stuff that will help you and your affinity group hold a space in what ever way you feel you want to. Whether you want to bring armtubes, disposable bikes or a huge slow moving metal and wooden tower with a papier-mâché rhino head (that can fit on and off a tube!?); diversity of tactics and affinity group planning are key to this working. People can also prepare stuff to make this action look beautiful; puppets, masks, banners, a portable molasses fondue……you get the idea.

Q. Why Oil?

A. For a whole host of reasons. Here are just a few…..
Because oil companies search for new oil reserves to make themselves richer while our climate spins into crisis.
Because the UK government starts wars for oil.
Because of human rights abuses and murder in West Africa.
Because of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Because of the destruction of wilderness in the Arctic and the coast of Rosport in Ireland.
Because of UK public money being used by bailed out banks to fund new oil projects.
Because London is brimming with oil money, oil sponsorship and oil companies.
Because global energy resources are the peoples commons.
Because oil companies and the filthy rich people who profit from them have no place in a sustainable future.
Because Copenhagen failed and now it’s down to us.
Because oil has had it’s day and it’s time we pulled the plug.

Hope that that made things a little clearer. And more specific information will be sent out soon. If you are still struggling with the idea, it is a bit like the Great Climate Swoop of 2009, except where we are going is kept secret. Remember, you are being asked to come and move around London, so stay mobile, be creative, be prepated and be ready to stand your ground. So talk in your affinity group about the ways in which you are going to be able to hold a space and equipment and materials that you might want to bring along to help you. The action is open, and will be shaped by the people who are there. Only the targets and how we are getting to them are secret.

3. The call out – please copy and paste and help get this all over the Internet!


A mass action to switch off oil

Saturday, 16 October 2010, Central London

Floods in Pakistan, drought in Russia, huge glaciers breaking up in Greenland...

Our climate system is rapidly sliding into crisis, as oil companies destroy people's lives and the environment to keep sucking up their profits.

Oil saturates every aspect of our lives. Oil profits lubricate the financial markets and its sponsorship clings like a bad smell to our cultural institutions. It flows through pipelines to the pumps, airports and factories of our cities.

The failure of the UN COP15 process showed us – if there was ever any doubt – that government and industry can’t tackle climate change. It’s up to us and it’s time to up the ante.

As a movement, our actions against coal and aviation have made a real difference. Now oil’s time is up.

Together, on October 16, let's give the oil industry a Crude Awakening.

Meet in central London. Be ready to move. Be ready to stay and stand your ground.

Be creative. Be prepared. Be there.

Find out more, get involved and sign up for text alerts at
Twitter: @crudeawake

Part of the CJA global week of action for climate justice
Supported by: Space Hijackers, Climate Camp, Plane Stupid, Rising Tide, Liberate Tate, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, UK Tar Sands Network

Hope to see you on the streets,
Crude Awakening