Oxford Meeting 2010-03-16

TVCA Oxford meeting on 16 Mar 2010


Fortnight of Shame

The Fortnight of Shame is a 2-week period of UK-wide direct action against BP, to try and pressure them into withdrawing from their proposed “Sunrise” project in the Canadian Tar Sands. TVCA committed to a 4-stage plan to enact the FoS on a local level. The Fortnight runs from April 1st to 15th (the date of BP’s AGM in London).

Fortnight of Shame starts 3 weeks on Thursday

Help out planning in the Cragbrass committee.


Brainstorming actions.


Available (hopefully), but need distributing. Ideas where and when we could do this?

Event ideas

Brainstorm on possible events. Ideas:

  • Fundraiser
  • Films

Process questions

Process has sent out some questions for local groups.

Feedback from strategy day

Last Sunday’s strategy day was excellent; read the minutes on Crabgrass.

Tar Sands strategy proposal

Tar Sands proposal.

Community Engagement proposal

Community engagement proposal. Also read the draft strategy diagram.

Local Action Proposal

To do some research!

Communicating as TVCA

Comms group feedback

Feedback from comms group meeting last Wednesday.

Group outreach

As part of the Fortnight of Shame and also TVCA’s potential community engagement strategy, we’ll be contacting a large number of local groups. Some have already been contacted (from the list on Crabgrass), but there are various problems with how this has been done:

  • Sending from a personal e-mail account has meant that there is no public record of what was sent, when, or to whom
    • The “CONTACTED” notice solves the final problem, but not the other two
  • Sending from a personal e-mail account means that the group as a whole does not have an overview of who has replied, and cannot take on sending replies themselves
  • Having a named point of contact for other groups is good, but this could have been accomplished easily enough whilst using our existing comms infrastructure
  • There was no group agreement on how to contact other local groups — the message apparently sent has an exclusive focus on Tar Sands and the Fortnight of Shame
    • The community engagement working group had its own plans for a region-wide email that could potentially have been sent out today, but will now have to be delayed or cancelled to avoid “spamming” groups.

PROPOSAL: To create a set of guidelines for (mass?) contact on behalf of TVCA

Use the “official” e-mail account (tvca(-oxford?)riseup.net or thamesvalleyclimatecamp.org.uk as appropriate) wherever possible; in practise, this means that messages should be:

  • given to the comms group for relaying; or
  • emailed to the “official” addresses for relaying; or
  • emailed directly from the “official” addresses if possible;

unless the message is urgent.


  • Sustainable Wallingford meeting this Thursday


Fortnight of Shame

The plan

  • Plan is outlined. See Outline of Plan
  • Temperature check for energy in organising: Lots of energy!
  • Break into small groups to discuss ideas for TARmeggeddon Day of Action, 10th April, Cornmarket.
  • Ideas include: Reconstruction of pipelines/tailing ponds, involve kids, theatre, poetry/performance/workshops/music, banners, large photos of damage/land to be destroyed, open mike, Where Next? meeting, taking space genuinely (tripods, etc), messages to BP and indigenous communities (recorded/written), Indigenous guests, Food/fundraising, Local media.
  • *AP: CARL to book room/announce on list.

Further discussion

  • What about fundraising?
  • Could we do a fundraiser gig as part of the Fortnight of Shame?
  • OR do it with food at TARmeggeddon?
  • Let’s think of wide range of ideas to generate money.
  • Breach of the Peace sometimes keen to busk.
  • Budget: bring to meeting at later stage in planning. Although Fortnight of Shame needs to fundraise itself.

Strategy Day follow up

Community Engagement group

  • Presentation of work done on day.

Initial thoughts:

  • Inaccurate t talk about Community Engagement: there’s more than one community.
  • Tension between getting people involved and solidarity.
  • Are we trying to do too much/be all things. Focus on what we do best.
  • We should target our outreach at Green Community.
  • Is it our role to engage the community?
  • Response: there’s a lot of energy for doing so.

Synthesis of views heard:

  • Seems there are lots of concerns
  • Needs more work.

Why we want to do it (from Working Group):

  • Support other groups and campaigns
  • Address concerns about TVCA’s diversity

What marks an achievement?:

  • Being asked by another group to help with their campaign.

Actions that will help us get there:

  • Anti-police marches
  • Mass attendance at TARmeggeddon
  • Have genuinely diverse action.
  • This is just a taster of ideas: by no means comprehensive!


  • Because we haven’t agreed what TVCA is, we effectively prostitute ourselves. We need framework.
  • Need to avoid being rent-a-mob.
  • We need our thoughts streamlined into a strategy.
  • Do we have capacity? Wide network of individuals.
  • What are the overarching aims?
  • We shouldn’t jump into forming a network not ready to form.

Moving forward:

  • Set date for Community Engagement Meeting.
  • Meeting needs to be set at next TVCA meeting.

Local Action group

Feedback from working group:

  • Do some research and then plan campaign.
  • Fix deadline for research: have meeting where people present research.


  • May 1st: Possible date for big ‘show and tell’ of research.
  • Who would like to do research?
  • Let’s set a presentation evening for all the best things we can campaign on.
  • Is there any organisation for who researches what?
  • Let’s say May 1st as date for now, and then we can review later.
  • Everyone can get on with research in the meantime.
  • There’s no point talking about this any further till after the research has been done.

Tar Sands working group

  • We want to propose committing to it long term.
    • Concern: this is a big decision. Let’s publicise this proposal and discuss later.
  • The proposal is: We commit to a year long strategy of trying to get BP to pull out of Tar Sands.
  • Present stepping stone thing document this meeting.

Comms group feedback

  • Minutes of meeting are on crabgrass
  • Get in touch with UK web team to change email address to TVCA NOT Oxford.
  • Crabgrass discussion taking place.
  • Email list: tensions between high and low volume.
  • From now on current list will be High Volume, and a new moderated newsletter will be set up.

Other comms stuff

  • There’s guidelines on how to use Crabgrass.
  • Setting up a video channel on how to use crabgrass.

Group Outreach Guidelines

  • Propose guidelines are put up on crabgrass, which can be amended, as to how we communicate on behalf of TVCA (which email accounts etc)
  • Enthusiasm for idea. No need for consensus, as it is only guidelines and not rules.
  • Some concerns: doesn’t see where this has emerged from.
  • Response: It is pre-empting problems.
  • Don’t like agreeing even guidelines if no problem exists.

Friends of Earth visit feedback

  • Rebecca Anne Quinn and Jon went to Friends of the Earth to talk Tar Sands and Fortnight of Shame and TVCA.
  • Went very well.
  • Friends of the Earth keen to use OARC.


  • Process questions: read out and will be discussed next time.
  • Need to discuss the drinking question at some point.
  • Keyholder for next meeting: Rebecca

With the process questions, we probably won’t have time to discuss this in full (and a response isn’t asked for urgently), so this might be better as a short introduction to a longer discussion on Crabgrass or next meeting.