Monday saw a huge day of international, coordinated action against the fossil fuel industry and corporations fuelling the climate crisis — from the UK where grassroots activist network Reclaim the Power launched a record-breaking 18 creative actions in a day to big events in Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Germany.

Reclaim the Power Round-up: United Kingdom

Blockades, shutdowns, lock-ons, love-ins, fracking tripod rigs and one very cheeky protest…..Reclaim the Power’s day of action against the fossil fuel industry saw 18 different actions connecting the dots between big energy firms, government ministers, public relations companies, oil arts sponsorship and the fracking industry.

Here are a few of my personal favourites:

9.08am: Delegates at World Coal Association conference locked out of ‘clean coal’ conference by (ineffective) coal cleaners

World Coal asspciation CCS conference

Reclaim the Power activists doing a shoddy job of cleaning up coal outside the Institute of Directors, London

Conference delegates at a World Coal Assocation event found all five entrances to the exclusive Institute of Directors blocked this morning. (Photo by Karl Matthiesen)
Conference delegates at a World Coal Association event found all five entrances to the exclusive Institute of Directors blocked this morning. (Photo by Karl Matthiesen)

9.09am “Wind not gas” protest at Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

Cheeky (literally!) protesters highlighted the continued fossil fuel bias within government by blockading the steps of DECC.

Protester Rowan Tilly explained, “Against the advice of their own Committee on Climate Change, the government has approved the construction of up to 30 new gas-fired power stations, and intends to go ‘all out’ for shale gas – with up to two thirds of the UK licensed for fracking. This new dash for gas is recklessly at odds with our national and international obligations on climate change and must be resisted, for both the sake of ourselves and future generations.

Wind not Gas cheeky protest

A message that’s hard to ignore for the UK’s new Energy and Climate Change secretary, Amber Rudd.

10.30am – Big Six Love-in and Lock-on in Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency

11am: The Bill of Wrongs at British Gas HQ near Oxford

Shivering grandmas gathered outside the headquarters of British Gas in Oxford to highlight the human cost of fuel poverty and the practices of the UK’s ‘Big 6′ energy companies.

grannies at british gas
Environmental activists, dressed as shivering grannies, hand delivered to British Gas Headquarters a “Bill” for funeral costs for the thousands of customers who died from fuel poverty last year.

12.30pm: Fracking rig appears outside London City Hall

A group of activists erected a 30 foot tripod in front of City Hall and superglued themselves to the building, protesting against Boris Johnson’s recent dismissal of the Divest London and London Assembly call to divest their £4.8bn pension fund from oil, coal and gas and his supportive stance on fracking and shale gas extraction.


London Mayor Boris Johnson has said we should ‘leave no stone unturned’ in fracking the land. So activists set up a ‘fracking rig’ outside London City Hall

1pm:  Shell rebrands Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ painting at the National Gallery


30 campaigners occupied the room containing Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in the National Gallery. They staged a surprise protest performance criticising the Gallery’s proposed privatisation plans, and its controversial funding relationship with the oil company Shell.

2.30pm – Occupation of Imperial College’s Department of Mining

Student activists occupied and staged a performance at the Department of Mining, Imperial College London University on Exhibition Road to protest against the University accepting millions of pounds from the fossil fuel industry, more than any other university in the UK, in order to fund research projects


European day of action

It wasn’t just the Brits getting out on the streets to demand climate action – here’s a selection of creative actions that took place all over by divestment and climate groups and individuals.



Meanwhile in Heidelberg, Germany the Fossil Free group stage a #GlobalPowerNap action:

globalpowernap collage fb

And the local group in Geneva, Switzerland organised a climate event attended by over 300 people.  Several of them took to the cold water to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis and call for a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy. climate activists SOS in sea


Did you take part in the global day of action over the weekend?  Send in your stories and photos.

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