Stories

Read stories from frontline communities fighting gas below. 

Many communities are impacted by the consequences of gas extraction in their areas: pollution of their soils and drinking water, earthquakes, industry-related accidents, corruption, repression, …  – in short: many human rights are violated while profit trumps people and planet.

The stories of these communities need to be told and heard. We hope this platform can be one of the ways through which their stories are shared. Read below stories from gas resistance.

If after reading (one of) these stories, you would like to get involved in the gas fight: welcome!

Here are some ideas of what you could do next.


Stories :

The Movimiento NoTAP in Italy published this strong message on their page :  

The TAP project is not just a local issue; it has implications that go far beyond the territory of the province of Lecce, and even beyond the countries it crosses, because it contributes to strengthen an energy system based on the exploitation of fossil fuels, which in turn has serious consequences for climate change, that dramatically affects our planet.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is part of the “Southern Gas Corridor” — a chain of proposed mega-pipelines that would pump billions of cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan to Europe every year. The construction of TAP would destroy Europe’s climate goals, increase energy dependence from an oppressive and dictatorial political regime such as Azerbaijan, divert billions in funding away from renewable energy, and have unacceptable impacts on the communities on its path.

Instead of rapidly reducing emissions, as required by the Paris Agreement, TAP would lock Europe into fossil fuels for decades.

In Europe there are many companies involved in the construction of the pipeline, as well as banks that will finance the project, and without whose financial support the TAP could not be realized.

In the light of this, it is important that European get involved first hard in deciding the energy future of the continent and become aware of the urgent need to oppose the construction of the TAP and of any other fossil fuel projects.


Anna shares her experience at the Rolling Resistance against fracked gas in the UK :

“This July the Rolling Resistance kicked off in Lancashire, UK with disruptive action against Cuadrilla and the fracking industry every-single-working-day!

Lancashire is the flagship fracking site for Cuadrilla in the UK and company hope to make the pad the biggest in Europe. The local community have been resisting fracking for 6 years and there has been direct action from protection camps since January of this year. In July, national direct action network Reclaim the Power joined forces with these communities to increase the pressure.

There were actions at the site entrance almost every day, despite increased presence of security and police brutality. The month saw 96 arrests, an incredible 4 day and night truck-surf, brand new affinity groups forming and mass family friendly demonstrations at the site every Friday to shut it down. There was also a month long camp set up to complement existing protection camps which has since been taken over as an ongoing space by local residents.

The month has drawn hundreds of people to the Preston New Road site, many of them taking direct action for the first time.  Media coverage of the actions has spread the word about Cuadrilla’s attempt to ignore local opposition far and wide. International audiences are now more aware of the incredible fight people in Lancashire, and all of us supporting them, are putting up to stop fracking taking place.

The Rolling Resistance has awakened an even stronger and more determined community of resistance to fracking: not here, not anywhere. The figures speak for themselves: government data out last week showed public support for fracking in the UK at record low, with just 16% in favour of drilling for shale gas. Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of people in the UK support renewables. Seems like the government and the fracking industry are having trouble with simple maths if they’re serious about trying to carry on…

It’s been an incredible month. There’s been triumph, lots of laughter, tears, newfound friendships and some serious bravery on show. This is by no means the end. We won’t stop resisting fracking. Until. We. Win.”

For more information, see Reclaim The Power’s website.

 


Mexico resists dangerous pipeline project around the Popocatepetl Volcano. (Climate Strike Defenders of Mother Earth Campaign)

Julian shares his views and victories on the fight against gas in Mexico :

“Pipeline is stopped by indigenous communities of Puebla

Mexico is currently traversing an era of revamped extractivist expansion which is clawing to reach the last corners of available resources.  It seems that the cities, as becons and centres for the reproduction of capitalist consumption, have reached new limits. They require that capital expands and controls new horizons to satisfy their tremendous levels of growth and consumption. Today, product manufacturing and the capitalist lifestyle are cantered in urban areas, while sustained through the resources extracted from the “resource rich” rural areas of the country, this general tendency is no different if we look at the country fifty years back…However, the difference is that, today Mexico City (as prominent example) has seen severe water shortages and their waste systems  surpassed to unmanageable proportions years ago, amongst other problems.

We are drowning in the deepest wave of privatization, the structural reforms of Peña Nietos government have opened privatization to unprecedented levels. They have given up the energy sector which was the last bastion of the economy held by the state, destined for public benefit. This has also opened new markets for foreign capital, such as fracking. These reforms came with a renewed plans for what are called “Special Economic Zones”, these are areas that have been destined for megaproject development (mining, fracking, large energy projects, pipelines, etc). The special economic zones sit in the poorest states of the country, in areas which have a rich natural heritage and are inhabited primordially by indigenous or campesino communities, many have been at the forefront of resistance in holding back neoliberal expansion in defence of territory  and the biocultural heritage.

In addition to the aggressive privatizing policies, the battle for control over natural resources goes beyond the government, large Mexican capital and foreign capital; today the eyes of the narco have landed on natural recourses which represent a mayor bounty, perhaps even bigger than trafficking drugs, people and organs… witness to this are communities in Guerrero with mining as well as in Veracruz, Michoacan and many other states of the country. The narco controls resources and strikes deals with companies and government, besides they also serve as part of the extractive operation as protection and agents for the eradication of dissent in communities where megaprojects are taking place.

In this bleak context we have had some victories in the struggles against megaprojects: in 2011, in eastern Morelos, began an imposed project for a gas fuelled thermoelectric facility (combined cycle power plant) in the town of Huexca. The project involves two thermoelectric facilities inside Huexca, a gas pipeline that runs from  the state of Tlaxcala to Huexca and the redirecting of the Cuautla river (which supplies a major agricultural region) for the cooling systems of the facility.  The pipeline is planned to run 9,100 million litres of gas daily.

The project was an imposition, there was no consent from the various affected communities and the government’s response to dissent has been repression, persecution and non-dialogue. However, the project is private: it belongs to the Italian company Bonatti, Spanish companies Elecnor, Enagas y Abengoa and the Federal Electric Comission (CFE).

In May of 2017, after 2 years and 5 months of legal battle against the gas pipeline for the thermoelectric facility of Huexca, the judge delivered a court ruling in favour of the plaintiffs, four Nahua communities of the Atlixco municipality, in the state of Puebla: San Jeronimo Calera, Santa Lucia Cosamaloapan, San Isidro Huilotepec and San José El Recreo.

The ruling orders the need for public consultations in the 60 communities that are affected along the gas pipeline in the States of Tlaxcala, Morelos and Puebla. This is a strong outcome because it will be very hard to coerce or co-opt so many communities, and there have to be certain limits for the redirecting of the pipeline to be within budget.

This outcome comes alongside the reaffirmation of the autonomous communal government of the community of Amilcingo, a campesino declared Zapatista community through which the pipeline crosses. Which is a leading regional example in defying the state through collectivity and self governance.

The pipeline outcome is a victory for the Front of Pueblos in Defence of Water and Land, and the communities in resistance throughout Mexico, it sets a powerful legal precedent. This does not mean the whole project is fully stopped but is a strong obstacle for its completion. I consider that from this winning position the movement needs to organize and fight forward rather than pause.”

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