Global Frackdown: World protests shale gas production
Numerous events are scheduled to take place mainly across the US and Europe with some rallies already having kicked off in the UK, Romania, France and Spain.
The global movement will be also joined by activists from
Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Indonesia. So far, a total 26
countries are listed to be taking part in the protest.
“Climate scientists warn that continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic climate change,” the Global Frackdown protest organizers said in press release.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the extraction of oil and gas by injecting water to break rock formations deep underground.
Fracking a single well can require between two and nine million gallons of water combined with sand and chemicals. Much of the used water returns to the earth’s surface, but contains radium and bromides - cancer-causing, radioactive substances. The toxic chemicals can then float into lakes and rivers or contaminate the ground.
On Saturday, Fracktivists in all participating countries will call on elected officials to open their eyes to the consequences of fracking, which they say is a risky technique. They will demand action to protect the public.
“It is critical that our elected officials hear the truth from their constituents,” the organizers said.
— FrackAction (@FrackAction) October 17, 2013
Anti-fracking protesters in Canada have held demonstrations over
the past week to protest shale gas exploration in the region.
Thursday’s protest descended into violence when an estimated 100 police officers sought to control Canadian activists, who began setting cars on fire.
At least 40 people were arrested for firearms violations, threats, intimidation, mischief, and violating a court-order injunction, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.
An online petition calling on the RCMP to pledge it will not use excessive force against peaceful protest, has been signed by over 21,000 people since its publication on Friday.
Recent demonstrations have also been held against US oil
giant Chevron in Romania, where around 200 villagers stayed
overnight at a fracking site equipped with food, warm clothes,
The company has since suspended its search for shale gas in the country.
On Friday more than 200 people marched nearly 3 km to the Shell offices located in the Foreshore are of Cape Town to protest hydraulic fracturing in South Africa.
Treasure Karoo Action Group chief executive Jonathan Deal told South Africa’s Independent Online the march was intended to show the government that people would not stand for the damage fracking would do to the environment.
The Treasure Karoo Action Group co-hosted the march with AfriForum and other NGOs.
“The people of South Africa need to understand the threat of fracking,” Deal said.
In one of its latest reports Environment America revealed that
bromide, when mixed with chlorine, produces chemicals that cause
cancer and increase the risk of reproductive or developmental
According to scientists, fracking generated 280 billion gallons of toxic waste during 2012 alone.
Despite warnings, the method has increased rapidly in the US in recent years, making it the worldwide leader in fracking.
The report also estimated that over 80,000 wells have been drilled or endorsed across 17 US states since 2005.
Criticism of fracking in the UK has grown rapidly since 2007,
when Cuadrilla Resources – an independent UK energy company
jointly owned by American, Australian, and local investors – was
awarded a license for shale gas exploration in Lancashire,
Critics say the British government is turning its head to the risks because of the money it brings with it.
British Prime Minister David Cameron recently insisted the country could benefit from 74,000 new jobs that would be supported “by a thriving shale gas industry in this country.”
UK firm IGas said that according to a June estimate, roughly 4,810 cubic kilometers of gas could lie in the areas licensed for exploration in northern England.
But despite promises of cash and energy, many people continue to
believe fracking carries more dangers than benefits.
“It’s time to expose the oil and gas industry’s desire to profit at the expense of our communities and our environment. It’s time to hold our elected officials accountable. It’s time for another Global Frackdown,” an anti-fracking activist said.
The October 19 protest will be the second worldwide Global Frackdown to take place. The first-ever protest was in September 2012 and brought together more than 200 community actions from over 20 countries.