The International Rising Tide network and its allies called for a day of action against the fossil fuel industry on April 1st 2008 - FOSSIL FOOLS DAY! We've heard about lots of great actions so we thought we'd post a bit of a summary...
Thousands of people around the world took direct action against the fools at the head of the fossil fuels empire. From Scotland to Auckland unconnected individuals and climate action groups pulled pranks on petroleum companies, coal mines, gas stations, airlines, power stations, car manufacturers, timber companies, politicians, banking executives and greenwashing public relations firms trying to turn climate catastrophe into a marketing opportunity.
Here's just some of the shenanigans the merry pranksters got up to:
Air New Zealand was presented with a 'Fossil Fools' award for corporate greenwash in response to their carbon offsetting program, promotion of biofuels and claims of environmental responsibility at a time when air travel is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide in the world. Here's a video and more coverage of the Auckland action on Indymedia.
A peaceful Fossil Fools day rally was held whereby Greenpeace's best buddies (the Christchurch police) violently arrested three protesters in what was described by an eye witness as "Blatant police harassment, prosecution of activists, with no possible justification for arrests and brutality.".
Protesters Shut Opencast Coal Mine Direct action exposes 'black hole' in climate change policy. Several groups of protesters have chained themselves to large excavation machinery, while another group has blockaded one of the main entrances to the site. If it is allowed to go ahead, Ffos-y-Fran Ffos-y-Fran (pronounced forss-uh-vran) will be one of the largest coal mines in the history of Wales.
Durban, South Africa
In Durban, petrol giant Engen became the focal point for residents who have long focused their anger at the refinery, holding it responsible for causing various lung diseases among the community. The protesters laid floral wreaths signifying deaths in this community due to lung infections.
Over 25 people dressed as "Billionaires for Dirty Energy" blockaded the main entrance of Citibank's Upper East Side headquarters in New York City. Protesting Citi's role at the lead financier to the dirty coal industry.
Residents locked themselves to bulldozers to stop the construction of Duke Energy's massive Cliffside coal-fired power plant being built 50 miles west of Charlotte, NC.
Four activists locked themselves to the front entrance of the Bank of America branch in Copley Square protesting the bank's funding of coal and energy companies who are among the worst contributors to climate change, and directly responsible for innumerable human rights abuses in communities where coal is extracted and burned.
the Edinburgh battalion of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) paid a visit to Sainsbury's and Tesco to highlight the absurdity of Food Miles, as part of "International Fossil Fools Day". The red-nosed army marched into the new Sainsbury's on Middle Meadow Walk, where they acted out the carbon intensive process of transporting food from farmer to plate. The clowns then dispersed throughout the store in search of an elusive 'Scottish banana', encouraging fellow shoppers to find (if they could) any produce in the store which was actually from Scotland.
UK activists blockaded the UK's largest off shore gas terminal at Bacton in Norfolk. 40% of the UK's domestic gas comes ashore here.
Protesters blockaded the offices of E-on, the company which is attempting to build the first new coal fired power station in the UK in 50 years, at Kingsnorth in Kent . People covered in green paint to represent E-on's greenwash, locked onto the front entrance to E-on's office and stood in front of other entrances preventing E-on workers from getting to work.
A group of people from Rising Tide Newcastle went to a large indoor shopping mall armed with a fist full of leaflets, two bags full of coal, and a large colourful banner which asked the question "How does buying stuff fuel climate change?" and directing the reader to a website for the answer. While a few of the people headed up to the roof of the building with the banner, the rest of the group walked towards the K-mart in order to swap their bags of coal for some cheap consumer products (thereby cutting out the middle man).
Fossil fools day is about de-centralised action where everyone and anyone is encouraged to get out there and pull a prank.
It's about people power whereby people take action themselves rather than leaving it up to politicians, policy makers, company's and markets to solve the problem for them.
Its about social justice in the sense that climate change is a deep rooted symptom of a socially, economically and environmentally unjust world.
Its about dealing with the root causes of climate change.
It's a beautiful thing.
For all international reports and updates go to