Speaker Tour 2009

See also original posting from November 2009.

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Heather Milton Lightening and Melina Laboucan-Massimo spent from 13th to 22nd November traveling all over the country to build the UK movement to shut down the Tar Sands. They were interviewed by the Financial Times, spoke to a packed auditorium at the Bristol Arnolfini organised by Platform, sold out the Oxford venue for the New Internationalist speaker event, and Heather found time in between to hop over to Ireland to link up with the Rossport Solidarity Campaign.

Next, they addressed MPs in Parliament – and Simon Hughes (Lib Dem Spokesman for Energy and Climate Change) pledged to make this a major issue for his party. RBS (the world’s 11th biggest investor in the Tar Sands, using OUR money) were clearly rattled – so much so, they turned up at the Parliamentary meeting in person to invite Eriel, Heather and Melina to have a meeting with them! They were probably hoping to head off our plans to have a protest outside their London HQ that afternoon.

It didn’t work.

We still had the protest – a noisy die-in with People & Planet students right outside their front door. Then the three women, plus Kevin from Platform, swanned into the building to challenge them face to face on their dodgy investment practices. Meanwhile, simultaneous protests by P&P groups had taken place outside RBS’s Scotland HQ and outside RBS offices in three other Scottish cities!!!

That evening the gang spoke at two separate events in London, and spent the next day in meetings with Greenpeace and doing interviews, before speaking on a Climate Justice panel at SOAS. Except for super-Heather (does she ever stop?) who nipped over to Copenhagen to make some plans for some conference or other that’s apparently coming up over there quite soon.

Then it was Thursday, and Eriel and Melina (accompanied by Sue, their fiendishly efficient tour manager), chugged up to Wales, to the Centre for Alternative Technology. They spoke at a community meeting in Machynlleth, had an inspiring tour round CAT and took tea and cake with the Great Monbiot himself.

Final stop was Manchester, where Heather rejoined the gang, and they pretty much took over Shared Planet, People & Planet’s national conference – delivering the keynote speech, a workshop, a screening of H2Oil and a Climate Justice panel discussion.

The grand finale took place on Sunday evening in Manchester’s Dancehall Theatre, at a screening of H2Oil organised by Leonie from Ethical Consumer. Then we sobbed our goodbyes, and bid them farewell.

Guardian piece by Eriel

No Responses to “Speaker Tour 2009”

Your Name: (Required)

Email Address: (Required)


Your Comments: