The Kyoto Rally

The Kyoto Rally was the biggest demo in Britain directly responding to the dumping of the Kyoto treaty by American President, George. W. Bush, in Spring 2001.

PREPARATIONS

Image Getting ready in the morning: What's all this junk in this van? Its far too early in the morning. I'm not really doing this am I? This is not real surely? And is anybody going to turn up anyway?
Image Blimey, this thing really does fit together! Mike Roberts and Vince Stops assemble our (globe-in-a) greenhouse - as flawlessly constructed by Mike, carpenter extraordinaire. The "Globe-in-a-Greenhouse" is to be our giant symbol of the global warming crisis we all face. But Mike hadnt' got round to painting it yet.
Image We set up outside the park : the embassy police say why not set up in the park ? We move into the Park. The Park Police say dont set up in the park. We move out of the Park....the embassy police say...meanwhile the Met police say...etc....etc...

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THE RALLY

Image Hurrah! The crowds have arrived. Though all herded into a narrow space behind barriers.

Whats's Uncle Sam saying into that microphone?
Image Here's that "Globe-in-a-Greenhouse" complete, that is actually with the inflated globe inside it. Meanwhile, in front of it, L to R : Uncle Sam as Grim Reaper (Andrew Lockley), George "Dubya" (Steve Hounsham), Statue of Liberty as global polluter (Auriel Glanville), Uncle Sam (Phil Thornhill).
Image Looks like Southwark Friends of the Earth, here - amongst others. Yes, there were Friends of the Earth people, SWP people, Globalise people, GreenParty people, Greenpeace People, People and Planet people, Save Our World people - and even people people!
Image And here is a Bangladeshi contingent! Bangladesh is one of the countries most threatened by climate change: the low lying cyclone-vunerable Ganges delta could be devestated like never before with terrible consequences for millions. Murad Qureshi (see photo below), spoke on behalf of the Bangladeshi community.

THE SPEAKERS

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Nigel Griffiths, MP (Labour, Edinburgh South) speaking at the Kyoto Rally and being filmed by a CBS cameraman. Footage from the rally appeared on American TV (CBS news) about one month later, thereby ensuring that we reached our ideal audience and got the message to those who most need to hear it.

Image Here he is in close-up: Nigel Griffiths MP, Labour, Edinburgh South. Our demo got a mention in Parliament, the week before!
Image Charles Secrett, top man in Friends of the Earth.
Image Darren Johnson, Green Party GLA (Greater London Authority) member. "Not only has Bush flagrantly breached international treaties.....he doesnt even have a majority mandate at home ..etc...etc..."
Image Murad Qureshi, Westminster councillor and representative of the Bangladeshi community : see photo of Bangladeshis at the rally, above.

 

HANDS AROUND THE EMBASSY

 Image After the speeches we were able to swarm out from behind the barriers and establish a long cordon, holding hands all around the sizable embassy building.

 

THE MARCH

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Image Next everyone formed up and the march started off. Most people had already dissapeared from in front of the embassy when a sound was heard from the other side of the square. Is it... yes, it is! It's the samba band! Stop for the samba band! The band is hurried through to the front of the march and leads us all triumphantly through the streets.

ImageEveryone enjoys marching - or samba-dancing - through the streets.

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AT THE MALDIVES ISLANDS HIGH COMMISSION

Image We finished up at the Maldives Islands High Commission, Marylebone. This was to symbolise the victims of US climate policy: the low lying Maldives islands are threatened with complete submergence from the sea level rise that could be caused by climate change.
Image Roger Higman, chief climate-person at Friends of the Earth, gives a final talk on how developing countries get a bad deal at climate negotiations. That's Vincent Stops, who had a major role in organising the whole thing, with the megaphone.

IT'S ALL OVER

Image Here's some of the demonstrators relaxing at a cafe after the event. What's that Uncle Sam doing there ? You'd have thought he'd have been lynched by now.