People across the planet united to send a joint message to governments, corporations and fellow citizens: NO to gas, NO to fracking – YES to a truly clean future! Thousands of people got involved in over seventy actions that took place in more than fifty cities around the world.
The following are just some of the many actions which happened during the Gasdown-Frackdown days of action across six continents. If you are more into pictures (or video), check out this wonderful, colorful photo album to get an impression of the creativity and energy activists put into this action day.
Latin America: Rock concerts, human letters and workshops against fracking
In Monterrey, Mexico, an entire day was dedicated to workshops about the impacts of fracking on water and the environment. In Argentina, two major actions took place: People in Mendoza wrote a message against fracking with their own bodies, highlighting a powerful fight for clean water. In San Rafael, Argentina, a rock concert was organized to feed the anti-fracking movement with rhythms and sounds. Meanwhile in Lima, Peru people discussed issues around fracking. And there are still actions in Latin America to come, for example in Bolivia and Colombia – stay tuned!
All across Europe: Strong, creative voices condemning gas and fracking
Several actions took place in Spain: In Galicia for example, residents distributed informational flyers about a costly, unneeded terminal to import liquefied gas (LNG) in the city of Ferrol’s port. Besides a radio interview against gas and fracking and an action against hydrocarbon extraction for plastics production in the South of Spain, Barcelona saw a picnic with talks and a theater as well as a symbolic action for the Gasdown-Frackdown day.
In Croatia, people organized protests showing red lines against a planned LNG terminal in the capital, Zagreb. Photo actions against the Krk LNG terminal also happened at the beautiful beach of Split, Croatia.
All over France, hundreds participated in 33 actions targeting French Bank Société Générale condemning it for its support for a toxic LNG terminal, Rio Grande LNG, aimed at exporting fracked gas from the US. In Paris, people marched against TAP, a planned mega pipeline that, if built, would carry gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.
Groups also sent a clear message opposing another unneeded LNG terminal: Brunsbüttel LNG would be the first LNG terminal in Germany and activists there mobilized to show their opposition to the harmful project.
In Italy, individuals took their savings out of Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo because of the toxic fossil fuel projects they invest in, and a citizens movement organized a sit-in in the port of Brindisi against a the huge TAP pipeline which would arrive at Southern Italy’s shore.
People were also creative in the name of the Gasdown-Frackdown in the Netherlands: Activists thought of a spoof action denouncing Shell – “Royal Dutch Hell” – while in the north of the country, in Groningen, residents organized a symbolic protest action, adding fake scaffolding on a church to demonstrate the risks the thousands of earthquakes induced by gas extraction in the area pose to their community.
In the UK, a group carried out a subvertising – fake advertising – action in the subway to denounce the risks of gas extraction. Many more actions, particularly against the brutal way in which the UK government has pushed through fracking plans, took place across the country. One of the most humorous ways to raise awareness of the dirty fracking business linking to plastic pollution was demonstrated by a group of penguins, targeting the World Sailing Association sponsor Ineos.
In many other European countries like in Belgium, Portugal and Sweden, people also rose against gas and fracking with several creative actions around 13 October.
Zero tolerance for fossil fuels: Clear messages from Africa
The global Gasdown-Frackdown was also more than visible in several African countries. People marched together in Benin, Nigeria demanding clean energy and not more fossil fuels and fracking. In Morocco, a declaration against fracking was submitted and in South Africa activists raised awareness about the risks that fracking poses to water security.
Impacts of gas and fracking: On the agenda in North America
North America saw actions during the Global Gasdown-Frackdown as well. US NGO Oil Change International released a video about dirty gas stating clearly that it is not clean and not a bridge fuel. In fracking-ridden Pennsylvania, Physicians for Social Responsibility organized live and streamed events about the health impacts of unconventional gas development. Other strong actions took place in Pennsylvania and across the country.
n Montreal, Canada, concerts and discussions in the context of the Gasdown-Frackdown engaged people and raised awareness about fossil fuel extraction and the wider issues linked to it.
In Asia: Warm support and shocking arrests and police repression
Backing for the day of action also came from Indonesia, where residents discussed gas extraction and infrastructure and the role financial institutions play in the fossil fuel lock-in. A group sent the Gasdown-Frackdown organizers a warm support message while a rally in Bali, Indonesia was called off due to police repression.
In the South of India, in Tamil Nadu, protesters organized a rally and a twitter action against fracking in the region. Shockingly, 25 people were arrested due to their participation in the rally. The Gasdown-Frackdown co-organizers are in contact with affected protesters and is ready to support the group Frack Free Tamil Nadu against this injustice.
Strong against fracking: Australia and New Zealand
On the other side of the world, fracking is also a major issue, and mobilizations against it are strong. A big anti-fracking rally was organized in Western Australia attended by over 600 people calling on the Western Australian Government to ban fracking permanently. Also, a spontaneous anti-fracking meeting took place in New Zealand.
United, strong and clear actions will give us strength to keep up the fight against harmful fossil fuels and the power of unity and solidarity will go further than the power of corporations and profit. We do not fight alone.