Sandra Steingraber, the co-founder of New Yorkers against Fracking visited Pungesti yesterday and she had the “chance” to see how the Romanian riot police is working…for the benefit of the local community. After having visited the Romanian Parliament, where she presented some key facts regarding the tremendous impacts of fracking in the USA, followed by a meeting with the fracktivists in Bucharest, she went straight to Pungesti, where she wanted to meet the villagers, for whose sufferings she wanted to appologise, as an American, just like the Company that is causing so many problems in Pungesti, Chevron. Here is an excerpt of an article in the local newspaper, Vremea Noua, from last night, after the situation turned very heated after the police blocked the road (a public road), and the people wanted to remove the fence from the road. Even though it was a regrettable situation (Sandra was not involved in the fight, she was some 20 meters behind where it all happened), Sandra Steingrabber and her colleagues could get an idea of the tense situation and the deprivations the community in Pungesti has gone through during the past months.
“The situation in Pungesti where the first drilling rig was installed for exploration and exploitation of shale gas was tense again. Tonight in the village was present Dr. Sandra Steingraber from U.S.A. She has presented a brief history of villagers’ unhappy experiences with shale gas extraction based on the method of hydraulic fracturing. After consulting with the villagers, the American biologist concluded that what happened in the U.S. happens in Romania: Chevron receiving servility from politicians and carrying out economic purposes despite the fact that this activity is bad for locals. After this meeting, Dr. Sandra Steingraber wanted to go to the area where the drilling rig is installed. At that time, the police blocked the road with fences. Approximately 50 villagers who were in the area tried to cross the fences but the “brave” riot policemen used tear gas in response, against villagers, mostly women and elderly!”
More pictures to be seen in the article
In the film you can see the riot police using tear gas.