BLOG post for Shale Gas Europe-‘Public Acceptance and the Role of Industry ‘Event.
On 19th February a small groups of activists from Friends of the Earth Flanders and Brussels entered Shale Gas Europe’s ‘Public Acceptance and the Role of Industry ‘ event . We started to construct a drilling rig and pipeline to show our opposition to the development of unconventional gas (shale gas and coal bed methane) in Belgium and elsewhere. We were also protesting against the ways in which the industry tries to overcome local community opposition on the pretense of involving communities in decision making.
We have a tradition of using non-violent direct action to stop injustice, and also to put our issues across in a creative and provocative way.
We know some people were upset by what we did, but it was really very little disruption compared to having a real drilling rig on your doorstep. Unconventional gas extraction causes water, air and ground pollution, brings very few jobs and has a negative impact on local agriculture and tourism.
We are working with communities in the region of Belgium that is directly threatened by unconventional gas. But while we see this circus of lobby events in Brussels, we’re also inspired to take action. Especially when these companies are getting together to talk about how to make unconventional gas projects “acceptable” to the public, while continuing with business as usual.
So, next time we, or someone else, disrupts a cosy meeting of industry lobbyists without being invited, stop and think about the damage being done to communities around the world by unconventional fossil fuel developments, which also arrive uninvited and unwanted.
We would be happy to continue the discussion. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about our campaign can be found here: www.stopsteenkoolgas.be