Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Update: Belarus Free Theatre

Following on from my previous post about the Belarus Free Theatre public campaign stunt in support of activists against new nuclear power stations in Belarus and fracking in the UK, myself and my colleague took part in the 'Red Line' protest, drawing a 300 meter symbolic line in Edinburgh's Meadow's Middle Meadow Walk against dirty energy and standing in solidarity with activists and communities directly affected.

They also made a wee video about it below (spot me in the bright yellow jacket!)

 Find out more about the Belarus Free Theatre Red Forest Campaign by clicking here

Unfurling the red line
My colleague holding the red line
Beneath the red line
Frack-free water - soon a thing of the past?
Red Line
Job done - rolling up the Red Line

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Re-posting: Belarus Free Theatre

My name is Chris Garrard and I am part of the campaigns team at Belarus Free Theatre. Described by Time Out as the ‘bravest theatre company in the world’, we are a theatre company like no other – with one foot in a dictatorship, the other in a democracy. Banned from performing in Belarus by the dictatorship, the company performs innovative new shows in the UK that highlight human rights abuses and injustices, while also performing underground in Belarus.

We will be performing as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this month and, during our time in Edinburgh, will be holding a public campaign stunt in support of activists who have been intimidated and arrested for challenging dangerous energy projects in Belarus and the UK. On Friday 22nd August at 2pm, we will be unfurling a 250 metre red banner across The Meadows in Edinburgh, creating a symbolic “red line” against these dangerous forms of energy, which have been imposed undemocratically. We will be standing in solidarity with activists in Belarus who have faced harassment and arrest for opposing a new nuclear plant, and those in the UK opposing fracking at protection camps and elsewhere. We created this 'red line' across London's Millennium Bridge a month ago, which you can see below.

We are currently reaching out to groups in Edinburgh and the surrounding area who may be supportive and would be willing to join us for this stunt.

We want to recruit a key team who can help unfurl the banner and distribute flyers, and we are also hoping to be joined by supportive performers from the festival. I would be very grateful if you were able to pass this invitation on to your members or anyone you feel may like to be involved, along with the following link to the Facebook event:

The stunt has been approved and granted by permission by Edinburgh City Council.

If you have any thoughts or questions, do feel free to get in touch.
Kind regards,
Chris Garrard
Belarus Free Theatre Campaigns

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Save the Arctic LEGO!

Earlier on in this blog, I re-posted Greenpeace's action to ask LEGO to  end its partnership with Shell. You can read the original blog post here for more information and to sign the petition as well as see the previously banned video as well.

The update now is that LEGO's UK head office in Slough refused to accept the petition which over 600,000 people signed. LEGO is still helping clean up Shell’s image. Shell’s been engulfed in bad PR for the last few years and this deal with LEGO helps to repair that damage. It’s positive PR that helps Shell look like a responsible company who can be trusted to drill in extreme environments like the Arctic. Therefore Greenpeace are asking everyone to take it to the next level by getting creative and staging your own mini-protest using LEGOs

If you have you're own LEGOs, get protesting (have a look at my mini protest below with my eclectic collection of LEGOs) but if not fear not as Greenpeace has hundreds of second-hand mini-figure activists ready for action!  Many of them have already been on protests like these: www.greenpeace.org.uk/legogallery

To stage your own mini-protest, here’s what you need to do:
  • Use whatever LEGO figures you have in the most creative, funny or just plain out-there ways. If you need a LEGO figure, Text ACTIVIST to 70007 to donate £3 to Greenpeace and we’ll send you a mini activist to say thanks.
  • Take a photo of your direct action in full swing and add it to your Facebook or Twitter account with the hashtag #BlockShell. Remember to tag @Lego_Group in your tweet, and you could take your protest direct to LEGO by posting your photo on their Facebook page
  • Greenpeace will add the best ones to their Facebook gallery and make sure LEGO sees them.
Seeing thousands of mini-protests made by all of us will show LEGO that it’s their customers who want them to drop Shell, and keep oil companies off our children's toy sets and out of the Arctic. Be part of it.

Below is my mini-protest in front of Edinburgh's iconic Arthur's Seat.