Guest Blog – Women of Africa

Uzere land is the second community where crude oil was first discovered after Olobiri in Bayelsa State in 19958, although yielding 156,000 barrels of the best crude everyday to the Shell and the Nigerian government, all the community has to show is environmental destruction, impoverishment, gas flaring and mass youth unemployment.

Like most youths in the Niger Delta, Uzere youths have lost sense of self-worth and hope for the future. There is no constant electricity supply, no pipe borne water, no clean air as constant gas flares litters Uzere’s air and environment.

On 29th November 2011 the community led by the youths decided to invite Shell to talks in order to formalised the relationship of Shell with that of the Uzere community in an Global Memorandum of Understand (GMOU)

Security forces were promptly alerted which led to the loss of two youths and the community’s executive arrested and taken to Abuja and put on detention until bail was granted following timely intervention by our General A. Ogomudia (Rtd)

But for the engagement of Uzere’s General Ogomudia, the stage was set for the repeat of the tragedies created in Ogoni-land which led to the extra judicial execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. So far, Uzere has lost four youths in her struggle against Shell.

It is time for the good people of the world to stand together in solidarity to end the impunity of multinational corporations operating in the Niger Delta of Nigeria and other parts of the world.

It is time to change the Politics of natural wealth extraction in favour of Humanity.

Thank you for standing with us in remembrance of our DEAD.

Created in 1994, Women Of Africa is lobbying and campaigning to restore the status of African women to Eliminate Violence and Achieve UN Millennium Development Goals.

Follow Alice Ukoko at http://womenofafrika.blogspot.co.uk

Noise demonstration and picket at India High Commission

Noise demonstration and picket at India High Commission, Aldwych. WC2B 4NA

2pm – 4pm. Thursday 6th December 2012.

Nearest tube: Holborn

On Thursday 6th December tribals and farmers of the grassroots organisations Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti, Loka Sangram Mancha, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, and Sachetana Nagarika Mancha will hold one of the largest demonstrations ever on the threatened Niyamgiri mountain since the movement began. In anticipation of the final Supreme Court decision on the planned mega-mine ten thousand people are expected to rally on the mountain in a show of defiance. They will call for closure of the sinking Lanjigarh refinery and an absolute ban on the so-far-unsuccessful attempt to mine bauxite on their sacred hills.

Here in London we will be holding a noise demonstration outside the India High Commission in Aldwych calling for the Indian Government to put a final stop to this contested project, and for the state owned Orissa Mining Corporation to be pulled out of dodgy deals it has made with Vedanta in an attempt to force the mine through the courts on Vedanta’s behalf.

Please join us and bring drums, pots and pans and anything that makes noise!

The movements in Orissa will feel your solidarity.


Xstrata – Firm Suspends Mining After Ambush

Xstrata’s Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) has suspended its activities in Kiblawan, Philippines, following yet another ambush this week, which was blamed on armed B’laan natives.

“As part of a precautionary measure all our activities within the project area have been temporarily suspended until further notice,” John Arnaldo, SMI communications chief, said.

The decision was arrived at to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, he explained.

Arnaldo said the police and military were trying to map out security perimeters in the hinterland villages of Kiblawan, where SMI operates.

SMI has been building several infrastructure facilities in Kiblawan, particularly in Bong Mal and Kimlawis villages in support of its mining project in nearby Tampakan, South Cotabato. Continue reading

Foil Vedanta and the Carnival of Dirt

Guest post by Foil Vedanta

The names of the people on the placards are unknown in The City of the London. The office workers who peer out of their high rise buildings at us, walking in the streets in a funeral procession, do not know our names or the names of friends and fellow community workers and activists who have lost their lives in their quest to protect their land from destruction hidden behind a mask called development, and in struggles against the corporate greed that funds these offices, that funds the wealth of governments and corporations in the West.

On June 15, activists from Foil Vedanta joined the Carnival of Dirt to protest against Vedanta, a UK based mining corporation with fingers in other pies: oil drilling in the Sri Lankan sea, privatization of health care in India, operations in Africa.

http://www.demotix.com/photo/1278161/carnival-dirt-london

Continue reading

The Guardian does more propaganda for the mining industry

Not content with having the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – well known wreckers of development – sponsoring its ‘Development’ section, the Guardian seems to have a new scheme to appease its corporate sponsors.

Put their banner up, then give them space to post their propaganda in the form of ‘Sponsor’s features’. OK, they note that it’s a sponsor’s feature, but the article appears like any other, reads like any other, and the average Guardian liberalista is unlikely to discriminate between the blatant propaganda put out by the crafty PR hacks at AngloAmerican and all the other propaganda put out by the Guardian hacks.

“We work closely with our host communities around the world to understand their challenges and their aspirations, and to identify ways that we can share the benefits of mining with them to improve their lives.

Says the Guardian’s ‘sponsor feature’. One short paragraph from one long article, where every paragraph is crafted to present the mining ogre’s friendly, conscience-driven social face. One long article among 10 others. Each one decorated with a smiling face, a brand new home, a grateful and empowered happy worker. Continue reading

Short news: ExxonMobil's $1.5m investment in climate denial

"ExxonMobil gave $1.5 million to climate deniers and industry front groups known for working to create doubt about global warming, attacking the integrity of climate scientists, and protecting the status quo for polluters, according to a front-page story in the Times of London... Greenpeace’s ExxonSecrets project has documented the nearly $25 million spent by ExxonMobil since 1998 to fund climate denier groups."
Source: Desmogblog (http://s.tt/197Fe)

Posted in Blog, News items, Shorts | Tagged , ,

Climate change affects big oil’s bottom line

IBM’s Carbon Disclosure Project Report:

“ExxonMobil noted that the company’s ‘operations around the world include remote and offshore areas that present challenges from existing climate extremes and storms. These severe weather events may disrupt supplies or interrupt the operations of ExxonMobil facilities.’”

So that’s why they’re telling investors that “rising greenhouse gas emissions pose risks to society and ecosystems that could be significant.”

Great post at Think Progress on the attempts by big oil to address the financial risks of climate change – in a way that allows them to go on causing climate change. See Oil Companies That Caused Climate Change Now Fear Its Financial Impacts

Short news: Back into Bolivian hands!

The decree handing over Bolivia's Colquiri mine to the state company Comibol was signed on Wednesday. The mine was previously operated by Sinchi Wayra, a local subsidiary of Glencore. Glencore will only be compensated for machinery and goods, minus any debts the company has. Not surprisingly, they're kicking up a fuss.

Posted in Blog, News items, Shorts | Tagged ,

Shell hypocrisy

Contributing to sustainable development is integral to the way we do business. As we work to help meet the world’s growing energy needs we aim to share benefits with local communities and reduce impacts of our operations, including tackling greenhouse gas emissions. We look after our people and our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people have been laid out in the Shell General Business Principles for over 30 years.

From Shell’s website. I won’t grace them by linking to it.

Meanwhile, in other news…

  • Shell gets over-excited about drilling for shale gas over a 3,500-square-kilometer area in the Sichuan Basin in China. It ‘expects it to be a profitable proposition’.
  • At the beginning of June, a pipe burst in Northern Alberta led to nearly a million gallons of oil seeping onto the land around and into rivers and lakes.
  • The Alaska Wilderness League has just issued a 56 page report  – Shell Oil: A record of environmental and corporate malfeasance – which provides detailed, documented evidence that sustainability and the core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people do not feature anywhere on Shell’s agenda.

An examination of Shell’s operations around the world makes it clear that the company operates with a brazen disregard for the safety of its own workers, the needs of local communities both here in the United States and internationally, and the long-term impact of drilling on the environment. Instead of taking responsibility for its actions, Shell simply pays fines and settles lawsuits. It seems that Shell considers lawsuits and clean-up costs just part of doing business, consequences to be paid while avoiding substantive changes to its operations that might interfere with the company’s efforts to maximize its already immense profits.

Read the report here.

On the good side…

A biofuels company set up by Shell in Brazil has had to abandon plans to take land from the Guarani tribe in order to convert sugar cane into profit (via biofuel). No doubt it was Shell’s commitment to sustainable development that clinched it, and not the campaign led by Guaranis together with Survival International.