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Yearly Archives: 2014
The Romanian antifracking groups have received the article in the New York Times with massive disappointment for the low journalistic quality and the poor documenting of the author. What is more astonishing, he even traveled to Romania in order to write the article, which looks entirely like a piece of propaganda paid by the fracking industry, than an article in one of the biggest newspapers in the world. The article does not mirror any of the opinions of the antifracking activists, it is just a compilation of gossips and allegation which no one bothered to prove. Therefore the reaction of the Romanian antifracking Groups was quick and argumentative: an open letter was soon drafted and signed by 35 groups in Romania and outside Romania, but made out of Romanian expats. Here is the wording of this letter:
Dear Mr. Higgins,
We have read your article about the antifracking activism in Romania and we were staggered to find such lack of journalism in one of the most prestigious papers in the world. What a shame! You tried to discredit the Romanian antifrackingmovement based on pure speculations, suspicions, allegations and “circumstantial evidence” only, that yourself admit in the body of the article. Your title makes an accusation that you later refute by admitting that there’s no proof for the allegations that Russia is behind the protests against Chevron in Pungesti and Romania in general. Still, by doing so you’ve empowered the Romanian media to further discredit our justified fight for a clean environment. (more…)
Open letter to The New York Times after its gossip-like article concerning “suspicions” of Russia funding anti fracking activists in Romania
(To write an email to the author Andrew Higgins please click here or sign the Open Letter with your name in the comments area!)
Dear Mr. Higgins,
I have just read through your article about antifracking activism in Romania. Reading it all would have taken too much time for an article that is lacking a basic element of journalism: evidence. Although all in all the article seems to be objective since it admits that there’s no proof for the allegations that Rusia is behind the protests against Chevron in Pungesti and Romania in general.
Still, there’s something weird about the article and I have doubts that it’s journalism at all. I hardly remember having read articles in trustworthy newspapers that are based on suspicions, allegations and “circumstantial evidence” only – and it’s by far not enough to admit that you don’t have evidence, to make your text fulfill the basic requirements of a press article. You said it: Even the head of Romania’s (pro-American/Western) secret service admits that there’s no proof whatsoever of Russia paying us, the antifracking activists. And still, you uphold the suspicions in the title of your article. (more…)
Written By Maria Olteanu, Frack Free Group, Bucharest, for the book Global Resistance to fracking, coordinated by Samuel Martin-Sosa, Ecologistas in accion, Spain
Pungesti is a municipality in the Romanian NE county of Vaslui, considered as one of the poorest in Romania. It consists of 9 villages with a total population of little over 3000 inhabitants, mostly consisting of self-sufficient farmers and small scale farmers, with agricultural production focused mainly on cereals and raising cattle. Due to its relatively long distance to the next bigger city, around one hour drive, the job opportunities are rather scarce. The available jobs are mainly unskilled jobs during the agricultural season, and the youth tends to migrate to bigger cities, in search of jobs. Yet the elderly population consists mainly of self-sufficient farmers, which makes them heavily dependent on their water and their land staying clean. They have always grown their own food and, due to the relative poverty, they were kept away from the mechanisms of the consumerism and waste, leading a life mostly in harmony with the nature, like most of the Romanian countryside.
This place turned from one normal backwater village in the region of Moldova into one of the hotspots of the environmental fight, whose name became well-known throughout Romania and even abroad in 2013. (more…)
Last days, Bucharest hosted a big energy lobby event, where all the American speakers have told underlined “how threatened Romania is by Russia”, that we need to invest in a stronger army to protect us from Russia, as no army in the region will help us and, of course, to untap the ressources that we have (a speech that’s now more and more common in Romania, whenever we have guests from the other side of the ocean, and that tends to be very often lately).
In this interview in the Adevarul article, you will see what type of propaganda the Romanian people are constantly exposed to. Please note that Romania is now in the run for the presidential elections, and that all the candidates with chances of winning are more or less explicit pro-fracking. (more…)
ManiFEST Press Release, First Edition: “Don’t Mess with Us”
Bucharest, 12th September 2014
For a few days, between 6th and 8th of September, the village of Puiesti (Romania) was uplifted from an unobtrusive Vaslui village to a center of activism. Several organizations and informal action groups, including “FrackFree Group” – Bucharest”, “Civic intervention Group” – Braşov, “Resistance Group Puieşti” and “Resistance Group Pungeşti”, with the support of groups such as “Oastea lui Ştefan” from Vaslui, “Resistance Bârlad” and volunteers from all over Romania and Europe (Greece, UK, Bulgaria, Rep. Moldova), gathered to create the first edition of the ManiFEST festival (for a world without fracking), entitled playfully but strongly: “Cu noi nu te PUIesti” (Don’t mess with us). The festival took place in a symbolic space, owned by village councillor David Roma, located close to the perimeter where Chevron holds all permits required to build an exploration well for shale gas. (more…)
Our fellow group member Alexandru Popescu, who has been on hunger strike under the blue sky during last winter, has set off today on his 3150 km long walk for a frackfree Romania and Europe. Some 50 other activists have joined the start of his walk. He will be on the road for the next 3 months, reaching, among others, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, Paris and eventually Brussels. On the 1st of December, the National Day of Romania, he will be delivering an antifracking and anticyanide message in front or inside of the European Parliament.
Another group member Gayzer Frackman will be joining him setting off 14 days before Alexandru Popescu will reach Brussels, to enhance the message and show solidarity. We hope that meanwhile the two of them will inspire more people Europe-wide to join this march.