Denmark: protest camp against French Shale Gas Company

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April 10th, 2015

[ from US EF! Newswire: Editor’s note:  The following piece has been composed from words sent our way as well as from various articles.  As the opposition continues, however, there will be more updates and rebellious cries.  For hindering Total until its contaminated shadow retreats from Denmark and trips on its own grimy machinery! ]

Denmark—On June 25 of last year, after many hours of debate and gathering votes amid the cries of anti-fracking protesters, Denmark’s first drilling license for shale gas was approved in Frederikshavn, a municipality located in northern Denmark.  The warped decision will enable Total—a French oil and gas company and fifth largest international energy company— to begin its degrading exploration and establish a well in nearby Dybvad.

“We had a good and factual debate,” Birgit Stenbak Hansen, Frederikshavn’s mayor, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “I am pleased that we can move on in this case after preparing meticulously for the council.”
Although the Danish Government has expressed plans to divert from fossil fuels and has gained an international reputation for “green energy”, its surrendering to Total for the sake of supporting Denmark’s welfare state, as well as its emphasis on ripping through the land in a “responsible manner”, speaks otherwise.

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In order for external industries to operate legally within Denmark’s beautiful landscape, they have to be approved by the the Danish Subsoil Act and the Environmental Committee—the entities in place to authorize which companies can spit on them. Through such oversight, Total and North Sea Fund (a state-owned oil and gas co.) were granted two licenses back in 2010, allowing for shale gas potential to be investigated in two areas of Denmark.

Just days ago, we received news that Total is preparing its numb machinery to drill the first test well and locals are retaliating. A protest camp has been established on-site and has been active since the permits began to be exercised.

The atmosphere of the encampment is quite lively with defiant song and the numbers of warriors becoming integrated in the fight is growing.

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Throughout the last few days, road blockades have been formed and sustained for 2-3 hours by locals and allies to hinder Total’s truck convoys from entering the site. While the first barricade was dispersed after a brief debate with police, the most recent ended with folks being physically dragged from the scene by cops. As solidarity is fostered between locals and their allies, there will most likely be more blockades and organized revolts to come.

This is the first environmentally-based direct action that is unraveling in Denmark since COP15 , as well as the first against the shale gas industry. Regional mobilization is gaining momentum and voices of those openly opposing Total’ʹs investments are widely circulating.  Organizations including Greenpeace and the Danish Society of Nature Conservation (Danmarks Naturfredningsforening – DN), have also been broadcasting statements of disapproval.

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With Alum Shale’s recoverable natural gas deposits being estimated to contain over 6.9 trillion cubic feet, there is quite the bundle of incentive to invite more companies like Total to strut through the landscape. It becomes even more vital, therefore, for organized uprisings, such as the current encampment, to take place.

For Community Autonomy and Earth Liberation!