6TH OF APRIL 2014 – NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST EXPLORATION/EXPLOATATION OF SHALE GAS BY HYDRAULIC FRACTURING
On 6th of April 2014, will take place simultaneously, in over 60 localities from Romania and many cities abroad, meetings and marches against ”fracking”. We will all take to the streets, villagers and city people, citizens from different ethnic groups and of different convictions, from inside and outside the country, together to protect our land, our water and air.
We ask the Parliament and the Government:
1. To legally ban hydraulic fracturing used in the exploration and exploitation of the unconventional hydrocarbons, including shale gas;
2. To cancel Government’s Resolutions (GR) which illegally approved the agreements for exploration-exploitation-development for shale gas;
3. To respect the will of the local communities and to make more transparent the process of decision making;
The protests against hydraulic fracturing have entered into a new phase. While in the village of Pungesti they prepare for the first drilling, other areas have also been leased for exploration-development-exploitation of shale gas. The hydraulic fracturing method, in its most aggressive form, starts to be secretly implemented in the classic oil and gas exploitations, to increase the productivity, but also in the explorations from the Black Sea, without any impact assessment study being made, regarding the effects of these actions on the human health and the environment.
The frenzy of the resource extraction dooms Romania to an irreversible pollution, and authorities, instead of fulfilling their duties, are rather accomplices to that. The interests of companies like Chevron, Gazprom and OMV Petrom are in the first line, and the citizens are the only ones who can sound the alarm for protecting the environment, but also for respecting the democratic principles and human rights.
The technology of fracturing has been banned in many localities and counties from 18 states of USA and in European countries like France and Bulgaria, and in Romania, the protests started two years ago (http://stopfracturare.ro/ultima-ora – RO). But governors ignore the will of the people, continuing their steps for authorizing and starting the projects of exploration-exploitation, in a non-transparent way, while lacking a legal frame to regulate the extraction of shale gas, an unconventional resource that is not mentioned in the Oil Law (nr.238/2004). In this situation, the GR to approve the Oil Agreements are void. Meanwhile, in spite of the report published by the People’s Advocate, which appreciates as disproportionate the measures taken by Minister on Interior in Pungesti, the activities of Chevron continue, under the guarding of the Romanian Gendarmerie and the frightened eyes of the villagers.
Almost 100 NGO-ss and informal groups participate in organizing The National Day of Fight Against Hydraulic Fracturing, among which 70 NGO-s gathered in the Environment Coalition, Pungesti Resistance Movement, Romania Without Them Association, Uniti Salvam Community, Civic Academy from Bihor, Alive Romania Association, Association of Women from Universities, Association of Abused People from Romania, DobroGeea, National Resistance Movement, Civic Intervention Center, and also mayors and priests from the areas affected by the activities of exploration and exploitation of shale gas.
There have been launched over 10 actions in court, some of them still ongoing, with the help of pro-bono lawyers and many NGO-ss. Also, over ten scientific reports, that prove the impact of hydraulic fracturing have been collected and translated by volunteers (http://stopfracturare.ro/dovezi-stiintifice – RO). The mobilization of the citizens makes a big contrast with the risible of the actual electoral political circus, the only notable activity of the political class.
Contact: George Epurescu 0742689126, Maria Olteanu 0723129080, Dan Trifu 0722227780
FATHER OF A CHILD DEAD NEXT TO AN OIL RIG OF OMV PETROM BEATEN UP BY THE ROMANIAN RIOT POLICE, TO MAKE HIM DROP LAWSUIT AGAINST OMV PETROM
Father of a child dead next to an oil rig of OMV Petrom beaten up by the Romanian riot police, to intimidate him
This is what is happening in Romania!
Please share this! An incredible story for 21st century European Union, a big disgrace. Oil and Gas companies killing democracy in Romania again.
Some weeks ago, a 9 years old child died intoxicated with gas next to a unprotected rig, when coming back from school. The unprotected rig belongs to the Austrian company OMV, who has bought the biggest Romanian oil and gas corporation in a rip-off “privatization”.
As soon as his family decided to start a trial against OMV-Petrom, suing them for not having protected the rig accordning to the law, they started encountering various obstacles: Marian’s father was interrogated by the police because he took photos while Petrom workers were installing an ILLEGAL protection fence; then he was threatened by the mayor (you can see articles from the local press http://www.observatorulph.ro/eveniment/37533-tatal-copilului-mort-la-aricesti-gonit-de-la-sonda-cu-politia) ;
Now, OMV-Petrom wants to fule suit against Mr. Furcelea, the father of the deceased child, by using the County Direction for Child Protection, to prove that parents are responsible for his death because they were not accompanying him on his way back from school; now everything is going crazy. You can imagine that if this huge company with the biggest return in Romania for the past 5 years is opened, this poor man has no chance to win!
Father, beaten by the riot police thugs
Yesterday afternoon, a car of the riot police came to Furcelea family’s house saying they have to accompany Mr. Furcelea to the County Direction for Child Protection. He never thought of what was going to happen.
Once arrived at Child Protection, a part of the riot police officers left in the car decided (or were ordered) to apply him a good correction. He was punched and kicked and he was sprayed with paralysing spray in his eyes, while he was threatened that if he speaks or post anything else they will take care of it.
Moreover, they hacked into his phone, saying: “from now on we will know everything you say and to whom you’re talking”. This is how the riot police is working in Romania at the orders of the commanding heights, who are very much the result of the revolving doors between politics and the oil and gas industry (NOTE that one manager with OMV Petrom was nominated as the new Energy Minister in Romania some 3 weeks ago, a very scandalous move, against which the citizens reacted).
Now Mr. Furcelea is scared, they tried to intimidate him as well as they could and today he was even thinking of dropping the case, just out of fear not to be killed. Even the Foresic doctors, who refuse to issue him a legal document proving he was beaten up – he is laying in hospital, he can barely speak – told him to feel “lucky” he was just beaten up…
Shame on you, Romanian riot police!!! Shame on you, Romanian govenrment! Shame on You, OMV Petrom, treating Romanians like animals.
We hope from all our hearts that this grieved person will stay strong and we will help him take all necessary actions to stop this corporation that makes the law in our country.
Hopefully he will go and get a medical certificate stating that he was hit, although these guys know how to apply the hits so that the the blows not to be visible.
Mr. Furcelea has already spoken to a lawyer, the things are going forward , but we need an expert in petroleum gas – I am calling on you to help us in finding an expert, fair person and eager to help this man in struggling with corporate monsters.
b) Euro: Razvan Marius, IBAN: RO31BACX0000000679700002 SWIFT: BACXROBU
c) paypal : email@example.com or
d) Money Gram or Western : Hetti Benedek: firstname.lastname@example.org
But resistance and awareness on this case are growing!
We, a group of dedicated citizens fighting the abuses of the Romanian state and of the corporations won’t give up, we will do all we can to fight for the right cause. This Sunday we are protesting against this obvious injustice: https://www.facebook.com/events/675571975821931/context=create&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=49
P.S: The rig wher the child dies was a conventional rig, but OMV petrom is the first company who started fracking Romania in secret.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT URGENTLY NEEDED!
Please help us!!! What can you do:
1. Spread the word in the world!!! (media, NGOs specialised in HR, environmental protection and citizens groups fighting fossile fuels and extractivism, alltogether)
2. Please help us find international lawyers (specialised in Human Rughts) working pro bono on this case! There are barely any Romanian lawyers who would stand against this giant!
3. Letters of complaint.
You can also write a letter of complaint addressed to the Romanian Minister of Interior, in charge of the Riot Police and to the OMV Petrom headwuarters in Vienna.
Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs – email@example.com
OMV headquarters in Vienna – firstname.lastname@example.org
Petrom headwuarters Bucharest – email@example.com
4. Financial support:
Also, funding is needed for this poor family to be able to bear the costs, paying lawyer, the necessary paperwork and so on. We already sent a modest amount collected from donations (some 110 Euro) and on Monday more donations will be withdrawn from paypal.
The accounts where you can donate are:
a) in RON (Romanian money): Peacocks Razvan Marius IBAN: RO85BACX0000000679700000, SWIFT: BACXROBU
b) Euro: Peacocks Razvan Marius IBAN: RO31BACX0000000679700002, SWIFT: BACXROBU, with Tiriac Bank
c) paypal : firstname.lastname@example.org
d) or MoneyGram or Western: Hettie Benedek, Romania (Please inform if you sent her money on: email@example.com)
We’ll post here how the money are being managed: https://www.facebook.com/notes/hetti-benedek/donaţii-şi -cheltuieli/645908628777842 ).
For those interested in the details of this process, please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ( we do not want to make all the steps public for various reasons that you can figure out yourselves)
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT!
Yesterday, a group of Romanians gathered at the UK Embassy in Bucharest to protest against the atrocities of the Manchester Police against the protectors. We were escorted by a large number of riot policemen and disturbed by a violent lady who had mental problems or was just pretending just to disturb our protest (one of our colleagues saw the riot policeman making signs to the “peacemaker” from the riot policeman behind to let her keep spoiling our moment (we could barely deliver our message).
Simultaneously, another protest took place in Pungesti, also in solidarity with the Barton Moss community, whose pain they are the first to understand. https://www.facebook.com/events/606075999468962/permalink/606669862742909/
At the same time, a group of the Rosia Montana London traveled to Barton Moss to show solidarity and they were overwhelmed by what they have seen there.
Here some pictures from the action:
The text of the letter that was read out and that will be sent to the UK Embassy in UK.
“We gathered here to spontaneously protest against the brutality of the Manchester police against the citizens of Barton Moss, who have been peacefully protesting against fracking in their community, which has been approved by the local council without any consultation and consent of the community.
We protest against the excessive brutality used against peaceful protesters, old men, children, pregnant women. What has been going on for months now and especially lately in Barton Moss is an incredible disgrace for the British and European democracy, who are fussing around the world as being models to be imposed to other nations around the world. Is this the democracy Europe and the UK want to impose to other countries? Shame, shame, shame on you Cameron and British government, together with the British monarchy, who is not doing anything to prevent this incredible situation. Barton Moss is showing us that the British and European democracy have been knelt down. And this is done by fracking, frackers, police and a government, where the practice of the revolving doors between politics and the oil and gas industry is common practice.
We protest against the use of excessive force of the police against peaceful citizens acting in self-defence (as the court has ruled in the case of the Balcombe protesters), thus defending their water, air, land and health, their LIFE, in fact. We protest against the police being transformed into a security company defending the interests of a private company. The police should be there to defend its citizens against this organized crime that is represented by fracking, not to defend the criminals against the ones that they should be defending, actually those paying their salaries! This is a very dangerous development for the European and British democracy!
We denounce the fracturing of the very basis of democratic values due to the arrival of (high volume) fracking in Europe, this extreme technology to extract unconventional fuels. We are protesting in solidarity with all the communities under assault by oil and gas (and in general, in the extractive industry), helped by the police and militarized forces, up to the point of calling the martial state for entire regions. We protest against the capturing of the state (and of the EU institutions) by the aggressive lobby of the industry, that has reached up tot the most important positions in various countries where fracking is pursued, notably UK an Romania, where the new Energy Minister is a former manager of the biggest oil and gas company in the country, OMV Petrom.
We protest against projects using high volume fracking in the UK, in Romania, in Europe and in the whole world! Solidarity with Barton Moss and UK against fracking and against an irresponsible government, ecocidal, such as the Cameron government, who has been also at the forefront of the EU being driven away from the taming of the industry via tougher regulations for fracking through an enhanced EIA directive. This irresponsible behaviour of promoting fracking (in its wildest, unregulated form) is putting at risk the life and the public health on the British and Irish islands.
Stop fracking Barton Moss, stop fracking Europe, stop fracking the world!
Stop hydraulic fracking, stop fracking our democracy!
Video: An example of blatant police brutality from March, the 13th, 2014:http://www.frackfreesussex.co.uk/news/2014/3/14/police-brutality-escalates-at-barton-moss
PROTEST IN BARTON MOSS Yesterday, in Barton Moss, there was a massive protest of the local community against the proposed fracking project, protest joined by citizens and activists all across the UK, including the action group of the Romanian Diaspora in London, called Save Rosia Montana London. https://www.facebook.com/events/280628422102616/
The three hotspots in Europe when it comes down to fracking joined forces in one day, even though there was little coordination of the action. That’s how solidarity works.
Protest day in Zurawlow as well.
Yesterday, also in Zurawlow there was an protest against Chevron and against fracking. Spontaneous solidarity protest day in Europe!
More than 300 people from all over Poland gathered in Zurawlow, even though the weather was not that great, to protest against the fracking project of Chevron.
Afterwards, there was a protest at the occupy Chevron site, followed by a discussion about the plans of the cooperative to support the farmers.
A young woman returns to Romania for the funeral of her grandmother in a village in a county neighbouring to the one where Pungesti lays. She becomes really impressed by the lack of knowledge of the people in the community of her deceased grandmother and decides to stay and inform the community. Here a film of her informing the kids in the 7-th and 8th grade in the Brusturi municipality, Neamt county. She has taken over the whole contacts with the local authorities and she did not let herself defeated by the rather unfriendly response of the mayor.
She is just an example of the mobilisation of the Romanian youth to fight against fracking, there are so many other examples!
Well done, Elena Ignat and I hope your example will inspire other people too.
For almost 2 weeks, the antifracking campaigners have taken over the center of Bucharest and are trying to raise awareness on the dangers of fracking.
The work is based entirely on volonteers that are registering themselves in google lists, the prints have been made with donations from citizens like us. The whole work is done by citizens for citizens, as the front banner on the tent says. We also have a document to be signed by the citizens, asking the Minister for Environment and the one for Water (now due to the government crisis in Romania one single person) to resign for their criminal behaviour on interpreting the law in favour of fracking, when the laws on Water and Environment actually ban fracking by their provisions.
The people are supporting this initiative and are very willing to sign whatever paper that would lead to stopping fracking.
Raw’s Series: Local Mafia: OVIDIU TENDER & PROSPECTIUNI SA
Another unlawful action headed by Prospectiuni SA. Used to deal with the poor villagers in Africa, Tender is using the same methods in Romania: enter in full force without proper permissions on people’s properties, bring a bunch of thugs dressed in private security uniforms to frighten the locals, control by force the villages, the roads, the local authorities, pay everybody dirt-cheap or, most likely, not at all and pay very little taxes to the government. This is the harsh, unspoken reality in Romania that is spreading like wildfire from village to village.
Corporate mobsters like Ovidiu Tender, one of the mafia barons of Timisoara, are not only allowed and encouraged but also promoted as distinguished business entrepreneurs by the Romanian government. The daily trampling over people’s rights coupled with a continuous political crises will soon turn Romania’s fragile democracy into a veritable totalitarian state with strong mobster tendencies. The constant assault on the rights of the citizens began long time ago but now there is a soul-crushing acceleration and determination orchestrated by a profoundly corrupted government. Blind and deaf to what’s going on in the country, Bucharest’s political elite is trying to distract with squalid pseudo-events from the political arena.
The Romanian farmers all over the country are invaded by Ovidiu Tender’s hoodlums and have their constitutional rights ignored and trampled on again, and again, and again for many months since last year. The villagers live in constant fear, the elderly are clubbed down on the streets where they’ve used to take a stroll and be respectfully greeted, the kids suffer panic attacks instead of playing joyfully, the mothers and fathers are chocking in tears and anger.
While the recent splitting-orgy in the government’s ruling coalition [link #1 at comments] has the media preoccupied, while the government reps chant falsely the tune of democracy at the European Council, all this time the farmers from Buzau, Neamt, Sibiu, Mures, Arad, Timis, Prahova, Gorj, Mures, Dobrogea, Iasi, Maramures counties are pushed, shoved, bashed, choked, insulted and terrorized by Ovidiu Tender’s company and fined and sued by the Romanian Government.
Do they expect the same farmers to vote for them (again) at the upcoming elections? How will they convince the same people they’ve robbed of their dignity to give them the right to represent them? The same people pegged as ignorant farmers by the elite in Bucharest? How?
Nitwits or swindlers? Even though there are good indications of a nice percentage of nitwits in the Romanian government [link #2 at comments] the swindlers and their goons prevail. They’ve screwed up repeatedly, but they’ve always won an election and have been blessed by the EU and the EC each and every time in the name of democracy. But it’s different this time. They’ve pushed the limit and people have had enough. I just see the Romanian farmers ask just like Michael Moore once did: “Dude, where’s my country?”
Here is the article (translated & original) that ignited Raw’s response:
Geological survey in a Buzau County village. Residents protest against trespassing
February 25, 2014 18:31 (updated February 25, 2014, 7:33 p.m.)
Scandal in the village Cârligu Mare, Buzau County, where villagers are outraged about the illegal methods employed by a prospecting company to identify gas deposits on their properties.
People are angry with Prospectiuni SA Company who trespass on villagers’ private properties without consent. The farmers’ gardens are full of electrical cables and marking dynamite stakes, while employees of a security company hired by Prospectiuni SA walk the streets of the village weaving their bludgeons and threatening the locals.
Some villagers cut the cables and demanded clarification from the authorities. The authorities washed their hands of any responsibility stating that it’s the duty of the prospecting company to properly inform the locals.
However, the same Authorities confirmed the right of Prospectiuni SA to conduct exploration work in the area since they’ve won auction for that territory. Prospectiuni SA presented all the legal paperwork to the local authorities and the Mayor’s office of Cârligu Mare gave them a verbal permission to conduct work in the area as well as access to public roads.
A press release from ROMGAZ reiterates that local villagers must be informed by the hired prospecting company, in this case, Prospectiuni SA:
“(…) the objective of the work is not related to shale gas, aiming to be only the location of the ground surface areas corresponding to conventional hydrocarbon accumulations for possible new exploitation endeavours (…). According to the contract, the provider [Prospectiuni SA] will comply with the environmental protection laws and regulations and will gain access to work areas with the lawful consent of the owners.”
The village of Cârligu Mare is part of a larger area where ROMGAZ, one the national gas producers, has a concession agreement.