Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A personal journey - from Click-tivist to Direct Activist

I just received one of those “2 years ago today” messages on facebook and have been reminded of the day on which I became an activist.

If you had told me two years ago that I would be planning a cycling trip to South Wales today, to take part in an illegal occupation of a coal mine, I would have said you’ve got the wrong girl. Yet today, I find myself in that very situation. I’ve just booked my ticket for the Time to Cycle bike ride, and I’m dusting down my tent preparing for the Reclaim the Power camp at Ffos-y-Fran, the largest opencast coal mine in the UK, at the end of this month.
I’d like to tell you how I got here today.

Back in 2014, I wasn’t interested in the coal industry, or climate change. I was in the midst of setting up my own café for which I’d been saving up for ten years. I was busy getting on with life and I didn’t think climate change was my problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew about climate change, but I thought it was a distant problem; not something that was going to affect me, and certainly not any time soon. What’s more I assumed someone else was looking out for my interests, making sure climate change wouldn’t ever be something I would have to worry about. That “someone else” being… David Cameron? Greenpeace? I didn’t really know, but I certainly didn’t think I had anything to do with it.

I did my bit: I always rode my bike instead of driving, I did my recycling like a good citizen and always re-used my plastic bags. Beyond that, climate change didn’t ever enter my mind, and didn’t affect my life in any way.

In doing some research for my café one day (in fact, exactly two years ago today) I came across a café in the United States which was selling itself as a “Zero Waste” café, and doing rather well out of it. So I looked into this idea, and stumbled upon this video, from the fantastic Story of Stuff website.

Please watch the video if you haven’t already. I was very naïve, and it opened my eyes.

This changed my life. I felt totally shocked after watching it and my whole world view was suddenly changed. I realised that not only was climate change already happening, and affecting people around the world, but the whole system, the whole economy, was not fit for purpose. It made sense to me, as a mathematician: you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet.

I wanted to do something, I wanted to make a difference. The first thing I did was vow never to buy a disposable plastic bottle of water ever again, and I posted the video on facebook. It was a small thing, but I thought when my friends saw it, they would feel the same way as I did and would want to join me. Weirdly it didn’t get any “likes” and only one comment.
Beyond that I didn’t really know what to do.

A month or so later, I received an email from I had been signed up to Avaaz for a while, and had signed and shared some petitions on facebook; I was a typical “click-tivist”. But this email was different.

It said “This is the most important campaign we’ve ever run,” and instead of asking me to sign a petition, it asked me to get up off my couch and march for the climate. Avaaz were planning the massive “People’s Climate March” to demonstrate widespread support for government action on climate change. It was scheduled for the day before world leaders were due to meet in New York for a United Nations summit on climate change.

I immediately thought “Yes, I can do that!” and clicked on the email. It took me to a site which then asked me “Would you be willing to help organise a march in your City?” I didn’t hesitate to click “yes” again. Then it asked me “Would you be willing to be the MAIN organiser of the march in your city, if there isn’t already someone doing it?”

Now, I had never even been on a protest march before, let alone organised one. But I did have experience of organising events – beer festivals and the like – so I thought, “How hard could it be?!” and clicked “yes” again.

That was how I ended up organising the People’s Climate March in Bristol in September 2014. Now some people think marching doesn’t achieve anything, but for me that was the perfect entry point into activism. Through that march, I met loads of local people and learned about lots of different campaign groups: Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth groups, the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement, and the People’s Assembly against Austerity to name but a few. But the one campaign which really resonated with me was the Fossil Free Divestment campaign.

The premise made sense to me: “If it is wrong to wreck the planet, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage”. In other words, we shouldn’t be investing money in the fossil fuel industry anymore, whether through our banks, pensions or local councils. I immediately pledged to move my own savings account from HSBC to Triodos Bank. That was really easy – too easy! - so I decided to organise a flashmob for global divestment day, to urge other people to move their money to banks which don’t invest in fossil fuels.

Then I joined this campaign - Fossil Free Bristol. They had just won a pledge from the Mayor, saying that Bristol City Council would never invest in fossil fuel companies, and I wanted to join them in calling on the council’s pension fund – the Avon Pension Fund - to divest as well.

After a couple of months, I could no longer concentrate on the day job. Climate change, and campaigning was taking up more and more space in my brain, and all I wanted to do was talk to all my colleagues and customers about it. They would smile and nod politely but generally didn’t want to hear about it.

So I quit my job. I decided that 2015 was too important a year in the fight against catastrophic climate change that I had to dedicate myself to the cause on a full time basis. I had some money saved up and calculated that I could survive without a pay check for about 12 months.

Why was 2015 so important? Well, at the end of last year, the UN met for the 21st year in a row, to discuss, the COP21 in Paris, what should be done about climate change. And for the 21st year in a row, they failed to come up with any concrete solutions.

You may have read headlines in December which made it sound like they reached a binding agreement. Like this one from the BBC website entitled “COP21 climate change summit reaches deal in Paris”. But if you read the articles, you’ll notice that the agreement is not entirely legally-binding, and there are very few specifics.

To me, the Paris Agreement is a bit like a morbidly obese patient “agreeing” with their doctor that they are going to work towards an agreed healthy weight, but not actually agreeing to change their diet or exercise regime at all.

Not reaching a legally binding agreement at COP21 was a red line for me. I decided months before that if they crossed that line, I was going to step up the pressure. And that’s where I find myself today.

Urgent action is required now because of the slow-reacting nature of the climate; the actions we take now will not have an effect for thirty of forty years. Our world governments don’t seem to be able to see beyond the next election, and are in the pockets of corporate lobbyists. Just look at the Tory Peer, Matt Ridley (and if you think I’m exaggerating about corporations trying to delay action on climate change, I recommend Merchants of Doubt).

So what good does it actually achieve, to shut down a coal mine for a day? Surely the mine will just resume work again the next day. Sure. The mining company, Miller Argent, will lose some money, yes, but it will be a drop in the ocean compared to their annual profits. And even if we did secure the end of coal mining in the UK, we are still burning coal in UK power stations, so we would just have to import coal from elsewhere, which would increase carbon emissions. Aren’t we just denying ordinary working people the opportunity to work?

Well, we’re not just protesting against this mine. Although we are showing solidarity for the local residents who oppose the new mine at Nant Llesg, this action is part of a world-wide month of action against fossil fuels. And by doing this, along with everything else we are doing, we want to show that we are strong enough, organised enough, and numerous enough to Reclaim the Power!

Often direct activists are sneered at, branded terrorists, looked down-upon by others, even by those fighting the same cause. In hindsight it is easy to look back and say that the ends justified the means, but at the time people are not always receptive to illegal, direct campaign tactics.

But look at any campaign that has achieved significant social change in the last few hundred years, and you will find evidence of people taking matters into their own hands. Today the Suffragettes are celebrated as heroes, their actions justified as necessary to get the attention they deserved. There is even a plaque commemorating Emily Wilding Davison in the House of Commons. But at the time they were dismissed as “not real women” because they weren’t sweet and gentle as women “should be”. And they were chastised for giving the suffragist movement (non-direct action) a bad name.

I guess I also feel that I’ve done almost everything else I can do, within the law, to try and stop climate change. I’ve changed my energy supplier. Stopped buying meat and dairy and anything in plastic packaging. I’ve stopped buying anything new (apart from bicycle inner tubes), and since the beginning of last year, vowed never to fly again. 

The Fossil Free Divestment campaign is growing at an exponential rate, and is no doubt having an effect on the way people view the fossil fuel industry. I do see evidence that there is change happening (see 10:10 if you don’t see it yourself), and I know that I have influenced countless friends to think about their own personal choices – to eat less meat, to fly less, to cut out plastic packaging – because they tell me all the time. But I still want to do more.

There’s also an element of FOMO - fear of missing out. I want to be there when it is announced that coal is no longer a viable fuel. I want to be there when the last mine closes and the last coal-fired power station demolished. I want to be able to say “I did that!” Women have a long history of changing the world through direct action, and I want to be a part of it.

Join me!

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored." (Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Round Four! Avon Pension Fund Committee Meeting, 18th March 2016

Clockwise from top: me (Jack), Simon, Dave, Holly. Elaine and Richard, feeling jubilant outside the Guildhall, after delivering our statements to the committee

Last Friday we attended our fourth Avon Pension Fund (APF) Committee Meeting. We weren’t available to attend the last meeting in December as many of us were in Paris, protesting against the lack of any binding emissions reduction targets throughout the 21 years of the UN’s “Conference of Parties” Summits.
At committee meetings, the public are allowed to speak, “make their views known” and present petitions.  All you have to do is let them know that you want to do so a minimum of 2 days prior to the event.  So we did!  It really is that simple!  One email to the committee clerk and then you can have your pop at attempting to influence the decisions of those in charge of the millions of pounds that belong to the pension fund's members.  Richard, Elaine and Holly planned to attend the meeting and give a joint statement from the Fossil Free Bristol group.  Holly wrote the bulk of our statement and put it up to the rest of the team to make amendments, of which there were only a few. Unfortunately I couldn’t go as I had to work…but then at the last minute my work was cancelled and I could attend!
So I went to meet Richard, Elaine and Holly at the café at Bristol Temple Meads station. I’m a bit of a newbie and this was the first time I’d met Richard and Elaine in person, so we did the usual introductions.  Everyone was very welcoming and appreciative of the time taken to come to the meeting.  Richard had already split the statement into 3 sections so that everyone had a part to deliver, so that left me with no option to speak (fine by me!!).  However, Richard then had the idea that he could give his part to me. As I was a fresh face, he thought that it would be good for the committee to see me speak as it would suggest that there is a larger group of concerned people.  So suddenly I went from not going, to delivering the opening paragraphs of our statement to the whole APF committee!  I wasn’t too scared by this prospect as I’ve spoken in public a few nerve-racking times before but…it is still nerve-racking.
Then we hop on the train to Bath and head over to the Guild Hall.  I’d never been before. It’s in the grand council chamber…blimey…I felt like I was about to speak in what appeared to be a mixture between a court room and the House of Lords!  Red marble pillars, gold framed paintings of people presumably long-dead, red velvet adorned cushions on dark wooden benches.  The chair and his two cronies (the clerk and someone else) were seated at the front on a wide wooden podium.  
Some members of Fossil Free B&NES (Bath & North East Somerset) were also present, so we had a quick chat with them before we had to be seated at one of the elaborate church pews towards the back of the room.  The committee sat on both sides of the room, facing inwards and the investment managers sat behind them with various graphs and data sets in front of them.  We were told that when we were asked to speak, we should walk over to a long table in the centre of the room and sit at the head of it so that we are facing the chair and with the committee on either side of us.
Before we sat down we grabbed a cup of tea and Richard and Holly chatted to Tony Bartlett (one of the investment managers of the fund). They found out that the Responsible Investment policy review, which we had been told that they were doing back in September last year, has not even been started yet!  We had hoped they would have nearly finished it by now, and so we were planning to present our petition at this meeting. We sat down and after a quick discussion, decided that we should delay handing in the petition, aim to get more signatures, and deliver it at a future meeting.
Then the committee meeting began.  The chair first called Lin Patterson from Fossil Free B&NES, who is also a local Councillor on B&NES council. She gave a very emotive statement about the moral importance of divestment; also calling on the committee's spiritual side.
Then we were up; the chair called my name, so I went and sat in the hot seat and turned on the microphone.  My section mentioned the COP21’s commitment to staying within 2 degrees Celsius warming and the fact that fossil fuel shares are in a bubble as their price is based on them burning ALL of their reserves, which they simply cannot do.  In the event when it is finally decided that no more fossil fuels will be burned, the shares will plummet and thus this makes the investments economically nonviable.
I was nervous but I tried to deliver the statement in the most vocally interesting way (not monotone) and I attempted to maintain a bit of eye contact.  This worked until I glanced back down at my sheet and I mis-read the sentence “Your members’ savings are at risk if you do not divest from fossil fuels”. Instead I stated “Your members’ savings are at risk”. Then I paused…I looked back down and read “If you do not divest from fossil fuels…” as if it were the beginning to a new sentence.  It was said in such a way that it needed a second part – what will happen if they do not divest from fossil fuels? My brain panicked…I had not prepared to ad lib!  I end up just saying “Yeah…well…”  This got a giggle from the committee as it seemed like it was done for dramatic effect.  I continued with the final paragraph and I was done! Phew! Just about managed it!  Hopefully they thought it was all part of the plan…!
Holly read out the second part of our statement about recent divestment commitments from other institutions. She mentioned South Yorkshire Pension Fund's and Haringey Council Pension Committee's recent divestment commitments, and Haringey Council's commitment to explore investing in low carbon technologies. Holly spoke very confidently and with little use of her notes, maintaining good eye contact.
Last to speak from our group was Elaine who read out the section of our statement that spoke about our petition.  This section highlighted that it is not just a mere few that urge the fund to divest in fossil fuels, but there are in fact many fund members and citizens that share our concern.  Again I was very impressed with the standard of public speaking by our team! Elaine spoke clearly and confidently with little use of her notes, and it was really starting to feel like we were making a strong message.
After this David and Simon from Fossil Free B&NES gave very good statements emphasising the financial reasons to divest and the absurdity of B&NES council's recent investments in flood defences, when the pension fund is effectively funding the floods!
This was the end of all the fossil fuel divestment statements.  At this point Cherry Beath, a Liberal Democrat Councillor on the commitee, asked if she could comment on the statements that had just been delivered.  There was a bit of to and fro between the Chair and Cllr Beath but Ms Beath pushed for this and insisted that she merely wanted to make a short comment.  The Chair sought advice from one of his peers, which turned out to be that the decision would be left to the Chair.  The Chair granted Cherry permission to make a comment.
I thought she was going to make a negative statement about needing to do what is most profitable for the fund members, or following their investment managers’ advice.  However it turned out I was wrong and Cllr Beath was very supportive, stating that she personally agreed with everything that had been said!  The others knew all along that Cllr Beath's comment would be positive as she had showed support in a previous meeting. The Chair responded, saying "Yes, I'm sure everyone in the room agrees" and then he referred to the review of the RI policy, saying "we look forward to hearing the results of that next year, or later this year".
This filled me with positivity!  It felt like the group was really getting somewhere with its efforts!  It seems that the issue will be considered when the Responsible Investment policy review takes place…whether they sway to the side of planet saving logic or to the investment managers’ false logic of short term gains, who knows!  One cannot only hope…but also keep pestering them at meetings!!
Jack Lloyd, Fossil Free Bristol. (read our full statement here)

In Other News...

Tate Modern finally breaks ties with BP!

It’s a great day for the climate movement as news breaks that BP’s controversial sponsorship of the Tate Modern is set to end this year!
The victory comes after years of pressure from artists, gallery-goers and activists to drop the toxic brand, with some of the most beautiful and creative interventions in recent years from art collective Liberate Tate.
BPTate-1455The in-situ oil spills, ‘gift’ installations of giant turbine blades, overnight inscriptions of climate messages across the gallery floor, live climate-mark tattooing and many other interventions have been an inspiration to dissenters around the world.
The trademark black veil and composure gave a fresh perspective of arts and activism, and ensured that oil sponsorship of the arts has been a live debate, forced squarely and consistently onto Tate’s agenda...Read more...

The government is meddling with pensions.

In November 2015, the government announced it was opening a consultation on potential changes to the way local government pension schemes operate in England and Wales.
This consultation closed in February. You might’ve seen petitions circulating on social media about these proposals, as well as lots of news articles speculating on the possible implications for the divestment movement.
But what do the proposals actually say, and what could the impacts be on our campaign for fossil fuel divestment? Read about it here...
Get Involved!
Sign and share our petition!

Come to our next meeting:
When: Thursday 7th April, 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Where: Roll For the Soul community bike cafe, in the upstairs room. 2 Quay Street, Bristol, BS1 2JL.

Find us on...

Monday, 28 September 2015

Avon Pension Fund Committee Meeting Sept 2015

This was to be our third full APF committee meeting. We were attending specifically to see how the scoping document for the RI policy would be received, as well as to ask a couple of questions in direct response to that document. This was the first time we had put together questions for the committee as in the past just reading out a statement seemed enough . So it was hard to know what to expect. Colleagues from Transition Bath and a Green Councillor in Bath had also put forward some questions and we knew that since our last visit to this committee Holly had been to the investment committee and Bristol Unison had written a request to the chair for the fund to divest from fossil fuels. So it was beginning to feel like pressure was building on APF and it would be clear to all that we weren’t going anywhere until this matter was resolved.

This committee meeting took place in the grand council chamber of the Guild Hall with its semi circular seating layout and ornate ceilings it did indeed feel like a grand setting.

Joel and I (Richard) were there to deliver our questions and also Virginia from Transition Bath was there observing. On arrival we were given a paper copy of the answers to our questions which came as a surprise as we thought they would be answered within the meeting. The answers were not really helpful other than to clarify that the policy development and workshops would exclude fund members and the public. Our question relating to restricting climate sensitive sectors had a blanket response referring to the fund complying with any regulatory requirements that emerge before the review is complete. Again our question relating to the length (time) of the review was responded to by saying they felt it was an appropriate timeframe.  Not daunted by this I read out the intro statement and Joel summarised our questions and their answers challenging them further on a number of points.

I (Joel) asked the chair if I could seek clarification on the brief (and in our view unsatisfactory) responses we had received.  I should have asked how long I had as I then stumbled over rephrasing the questions and trying to explain to the committee, in layperson's terms, how the downside risk of staying in very climate sensitive sectors was large over the next year but the chance of strong performance from fossil fuels was limited.  It ended up as a debate between Tony and I and he felt like a year for a review was fine but had no evidence - the only clear point I made was he relied on the RI policies of their managers but yet at least two of them have no policy at all.  On reflection I felt I spent all the time I had on trying to find out as much as I could about the fund rather than focusing on the questions we were asking.

Some snippets from the members of the committee. Cherry Beath (Bath Councillor on the Committee) stressed that this was an important  issue and needed the committees close attention. The chair requested that the committee should receive a report back after the Paris COP.

The committee then moved on to discuss Lin’s (Bath Councillor) questions and dealt with these by a quick show of hands as to how many had seen the UNPRI online videos of their recent conference (3-4) and how many had read the six principles of institutional investing (10 hands).

The committee next turned to the voting records of investment managers at AGMs.  Normally investors vote with management (the logic being why own a company unless you like what management are doing!) but sometimes they vote against.  The APF votes against a bit more than average which is good. Richard Orton (unison rep on the Committee) challenged by referring to thermal coal and felt that the investment managers were in the hands of the big companies like Rio Tinto  and nothing was changing. Steve Pearce (Bristol Councillor on the Committee) also echoed concerns using fossil fuel divestment as an example.  The committee were disappointed that the presentation was just about figures rather than wider engagement by investment managers - not saying the RI annual report is brilliant but some of them hadn’t read it all as it details the engagement done on behalf of the fund.

An item detailing the Government’s proposals to encourage pooled arrangements whereby pension funds joined together to reduce overheads and make economies of scale prompted a discussion. It was agreed that APF staff could continue to explore possible options. This could potentially have an impact on our campaign in that governance/decision making could be given to another pension committee.  Although it will take at least a few years to happen so definitely not a reason to stop our campaign.

Finally we came to the presentation of the report introducing the RI scoping document. Liz explained that the £25k costs of conducting the review had not been budgeted for. When challenged whether this was enough money she responded that Mercer already had experience in this area of work and were confident that they could produce what was required within the costs. Steve commented that given this then surely they should complete well within the 12 months.

When opened up to members a number of them were clearly in support of the concerns that we had raised over the year in relation to investment in fossil fuels and their impact on the climate.
·       Comments were made by Ann Beresford (independent member of the Committee), Steve Pearce , Cherry Beath and Richard Orton that fossil fuels are becoming increasingly unattractive investment saying that in 40/50 years time there will be very limited use of fossil fuels.  No one argued against the climate change being an important consideration.
·       Several of them commented that the representations that have been made should be included in the scoping document. One councillor felt that on the scoping document needed to reflect all issues not just those that shouted the loudest. After some further debate it was agreed that the need for the review to examine fossil fuel divestment issues would be covered in the minutes and not in the scoping document.
     The chair said that the review should include all the comments made by the public up until this meeting. This seemed to suggest that further representations to the committee on this matter would not be considered within the time frame of the review. This has led me to reflect that although we should have representation at future committees over the next 12 months there was no need for questions/ statements relating to fossil fuel divestment.
·        In closing remarks Tony said looking at Joel and I that he was sure that we would hold the committee to account regarding inclusion of issues relating to fossil fuels.
It felt like because of our persistence and determination over the last year we had given the committee members permission to raise their concerns about fossil fuels which may well have been overlooked. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we are building a productive relationship with members of the committee and our concerns are being taken seriously.

Richard & Joel

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Meeting with representatives of the 
Avon Pension Fund

L-R: Freddie Collins, Liz Woodyard, Tony Bartlett, me (Richard Lawrence), Elaine Ashley

I had been really looking forward to this meeting. If you had asked me 3 months ago to attend a meeting with Avon Pension Fund (APF) representatives I would have been concerned that my level of knowledge of pension funds would make such a meeting very one-sided. But with the support of's and Share Action's knowledge and advice I felt confident that we had some important points to make.

So finally there we were sat round the table with representatives (Liz Woodyard, Investment Manager and Tony Bartlett, Head of Business Finance and Pensions) from APF in their Keynsham office, to talk about divestment. We had been invited to meet Liz and Tony so that they could fully understand our concerns and to inform the decision making process on the development of the scoping document for the review of their Responsible Investment (RI) policy.

They were very friendly and open in their approach to the meeting. It was clear from the outset that this meeting was as much about them informing us of APF’s investment practices and restrictions, as it was about them listening to our arguments for divestment from fossil fuels and support of the transition to a low carbon economy.

There was a definite resistance to out-and-out divestment. But they acknowledged that the time had come for the fund to consider the carbon footprint of its investments, as well as building climate change risks and opportunities into the scope of their review. I was a little blinded by investment science in their reference to increased risks. And costs of particular investments were barred and at that stage we agreed to deliver.

Tipping points were mentioned in relation to investment in renewables as well as alternative criteria for investment decisions (low carbon funds). Unfortunately in their eyes these tipping points had not yet been reached. They were concerned that to date renewables have not achieved good growth and the tools for the investment industry to use to inform low carbon investments had still to be proven.

On a positive note we learnt that Mercer, the investment consultant that APF use, is going to be involved in the review process. We gave this the thumbs up as they have just published an excellent report on conducting a climate risk assessment. Liz was also aware of Aviva’s recent publications in response to climate change, and the Environment Agency’s (EA) RI and climate change strategies. Liz felt however that the EA had only taken this approach because of the nature of their work and reputational risk so not all their practices would be used.

We exchanged information explaining about's work worldwide and the soon-to-be-launched information relating to Local Authority pension funds in the UK where the level of fossil fuel investments would be published. We told them of other pension funds, both international and UK based, who had either divested from some fossil fuels or invested in renewables.

Liz told us of their use of Jupiter who invest in industries mitigating climate change. We expressed some surprise at this and thought APF could do more to manage their image by promoting positive stories. Liz and Tony told us about some of the challenges of managing the pension fund which included the sharp rise of liabilities within the fund, government pressure to reduce cost of the scheme, paying out more than they get in and the increasing gap between fund value and liabilities.

A rather disappointing exchange followed on member involvement in the up and coming review and it became clear that annual member meetings or widespread consultation was not going to happen. We expressed our disappointment.

I got the impression that Liz and Tony had accepted climate change was here and needed to be responded to, but they were uncertain as to how that would unfold during the process of the review and rewriting of the responsible investment policy. My hope is that the RI policy is framed in such a way as to make it unlikely that investment managers would invest in the fossil fuel industry in future.

The meeting has given us much to think about, not least the enormous responsibility carried by pension funds and the complex set of technical rules of best practice within which they operate. The big question is are these now still fit for purpose and able to respond appropriately to climate change risks? Or is there a need for a rethink and greater intervention to steer and guide investment decisions to support a new low carbon economy? I hope that over the future years our involvement and wider member support will help encourage APF to take the long term view and divest from fossil fuels and support the transition to a low carbon economy. Today felt like another positive step along that road but there is a long way to go.

Richard Lawrence 18.08.2015

In Other News...

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has just announced that it will be the first Australian state government to divest from fossil fuels.

The announcement comes after a two year community campaign that has seen health, faith, union and environment groups call on the Barr Government to divest from coal, oil and gas companies.

Read the full story here.

Get Involved!
Sign and share our petition!

Come to our next meeting: 
When: 5pm, Tuesday 1st September
Where: Arts House Cafe, Stokes Croft (downstairs), 108A Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RU

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Fossil Free Fun in the Sun!

Team #DIVEST at Fieldview Festival

We've just come back from Field View Festival in Wiltshire, where we have been asking people "What future are YOU funding?".

The weather was lush, as you can see from these pictures.

The festival chooses a different campaign to support every year, and this year they chose DIVESTMENT! 

They let us speak to the crowd about our campaign...

We found some new supporters for both ours and for the Guardian's #KeepItInTheGround campaign...

We were joined by Fionn from Move Your Money and the Divest London Team

Fionn from Move Your Money
Charlie, Sophie and David from Divest London

The dress code was Club Tropicana. Some people took it very seriously...

This guy was on his stag do

We tagged lots of punters with #DIVEST.

And lots of people enjoyed posing with our divestment penguin...

HUGE thanks to Fiona, Ruth, James and all the Field View Festival team for having us, and we thoroughly recommend you come along and see for yourself how great it is next year!

James showing his support with his guns

Fiona, feeling the Divestment Power