From Nigeria to Sweden, Indonesia to Pennsylvania, our solidarity is international.
So far, 70 organizations from 6 continents have come together to partner up for a global mobilisation against gas and fracking – the Gasdown Frackdown.
Actions are planned across North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceana. We’ve got a demo in Nigeria, a webinar series in Pennsylvania, an anti-fracking carnival in the UK, and much more.
This number is growing, and it’s not too late for you to join.
We need to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and into a renewable energy system, but governments and banks are pumping money into the gas industry. The lifeline of the fossil fuel corporates. Gas is sold as a clean alternative, but leaks huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, into our atmosphere. The overall effect is no better for our climate than oil and coal – it’s just another fossil fuel that keeps the status quo of fossil business over people the same. The climate crisis has no time for false solutions.
Pipelines, terminals, and extraction sites destroy communities, livelihoods and our climate. They poison water, air and land. They threaten the health and safety of local people, and we won’t stand for it. Local democracy is ignored when governments and big business impose gas projects on communities. This is why we are connecting our local fights with the Gasdown-Frackdown.
The global movement against gas and fracking is determined, creative, and strong. We are growing. We share knowledge, skills and strategy across borders. And we are not just gas campaigners. Plastics campaigners work with anti-fracking activists to stop the petrochemical corporates who produce plastic from fracked gas. Agriculture campaigners recognize that gas is used to make industrial fertilizer. Coal campaigners know that more gas has no place in the coal phase out we demand. We recognize that the structurally oppressed are more likely to suffer from imposed infrastructure and from climate change.
We are rising for another future – NOT a new generation of fossil fuels.
Bali, Indonesia – Action at the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group
In Indonesia, toxic mud has been erupting from a gas drilling hole since May 2006, in Sidoarjo. 13 people died and 15 villages have been destroyed. Despite studies demonstrating the volcano was caused by the drilling, there is still controversy. However, we do know that the company (Lapindo) was ordered to pay compensation to the people displaced. Many are still fighting Lapindo for this compensation, and the government for their rights. This same company recently won government contracts to keep drilling in the surrounding areas.
This is just one of many new gas projects in the pipeline in Indonesia. Over contracts have been awarded for new gas exploration and extraction, some of which are for shale gas. Many pipelines have been approved, such as a pipeline from Kalimantan Island to Java Island, the Kalija Project, which would be approximately 1200km long. In solidarity with the people of Sidoarjo, and in resistance of the new gas projects planned, activists will do a GasdownFrackdown action at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
Benin, Nigeria – Marching for real solutions
The Action for Socio-Political and Economic Change group are organizing a Gasdown-Frackdown demonstration in Nigeria, in King’s Square, Benin. They will march down the streets of Benin with a message for the Nigerian government to stop the exploration of gas and focus on other sources of national income.
The same companies that allow devastating oil spills in Nigeria and refuse fair retribution are the ones profiting from gas. Shell, for example, signed a $300million deal to develop gas infrastructure around Lagos in 2017. In June of this year a deal was signed between Morocco and Nigeria for the completion of the 5000km West African Gas Pipeline. Forty African and European organisations had previously spoken out against its construction, warning of the devastating social and environmental effects. However, there are still various political hurdles for the countries to go through before plans can come into effect.
As in many other countries, the oil and gas industry makes a farce of local democracy. These companies have strong links with corrupt government forces, and have continued gas and oil exploration and extraction despite allegations of murder and political collusion. Very recently, the explosion of a gas tanker in the Nasawara region caused the death of 35 people and injured a hundred. Action for Socio-Political and Economic Change will send a message to the Nigerian government that gas is no solution.
Pennsylvania, USA – Advocacy Training
Pennsylvania is the fracking hotspot of the US. The state is covered with well pads, connected with streets big enough for heavy trucks, fracking wastewater disposal sites and other infrastructure needed to aggressively extract oil and gas from shale rock formations. As if this was not enough, the state also faces the threat of explosive pipelines such as Mariner East pipeline carrying natural gas liquids to the shore which are then transported to Europe to produce plastics.
Since gas became so cheap that justifying fracking new wells becomes increasingly difficult, in the west of the state, the Appalachian basin, billions are pumped into the building of pip
elines and petrochemical and plastics manufacturing complexes, and a large underground storage facility. Low income areas and communities of colour are disproportionately affected by these damning industries, leaving the state not only in a situation of irreversible destruction but also subject to blatant environmental injustice. Fortunately, Pennsylvanians fight back and mobilize against these destructions. On the day of the Global Gasdown-Frackdown, Physicians for Social Responsibility in Pennsylvania will organize events in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia which will also be livestreamed, informing professionally about useful tools to address the health impacts of unconventional gas extraction – register here!
These struggles are local, but the fight is global.
These are just a few of the many local communities fighting against the fracking industry. Though hundreds or thousands of miles from one another, our local fights are connected. Tremors and earthquakes from extractive practices can be felt everywhere from Groningen in the Netherlands, to the Niger Delta. Communities across the world have been suffering at the hands of the fossil fuel status quo for too long.
On October 13th we will be targeting all aspects of industry: the infrastructure, governments, the petrochemical companies that use fossil fuels for plastic and the banks that propel the fossil gas boom.
You can join us from wherever you are, doing an action of any kind. Whether it’s a banner drop or a street carnival, join us for a day of action on October 13th for the global GasdownFrackdown.
Find more info at https://gasdown-frackdown.org/