Uzma Malik https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/22726/all cached version 04/07/2018 12:03:30 en Why 2017 is the year we need to break the fracking supply chain https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/uzma-malik-james-farndon/why-2017-is-year-we-need-to-break-fracking-supply-chain <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A wave of direct action across the UK aims to end extreme energy extraction.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 21.04.34.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 21.04.34.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="304" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Anti-fracking climate activists from Reclaim the Power blocking a gate to Leapers Wood quarry, March 27th 2017 near Lancaster, United Kingdom. Credit: Kristian Buus</span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is an extreme form of dirty energy extraction in a world dominated by dirty energy extraction. The earth’s resources are rare and fracking represents a final attempt to draw out fossil fuels from the ground. The effects of fracking a far reaching, include air pollution, defacing areas of natural beauty and heritage, and a climate catastrophe: unconventional gas and oil &nbsp;add to the earth’s store of unburnable carbon. Communities with fracking on their doorstep have faced <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fracking-can-contaminate-drinking-water/">water contamination</a>, as well as dealing with the huge amounts of waste chemicals being produced. Shale gas has been <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13053040">deemed a greater harm than burning coal.</a></p><h2 dir="ltr">Anti-fracking in Britain: Break the chain</h2><p dir="ltr">Fracking in Britain is highly speculative and dependent on investment and infrastructure. To target this infrastructure Reclaim the Power have organised Break the Chain, two weeks of direct action against the fracking supply chain. &nbsp;In the <a href="https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/break-the-chain/live/">first week </a>activists shut down a quarry supplying aggregate to the controversial Preston New Road drilling site, covered the city of Leeds with subvertising and held a fracking party in Centrica’s head offices – whose CEO has recently received a £1.4m ‘frackers’ bonus. They finished the week by targeting AE Yates, one of the main contractors for the Preston New Road drilling site, and bared all at the UK Investor Conference to highlight Union Jack Oil’s link to the industry. Week 2 kicked off on Tuesday as three women dressed as wedding brides blockaded the doorway of city-based fracking PR firm St Brides Partners, who represent Europa Oil and Gas PLC, a company that has been attempting to drill near Brockham in Surrey since 2009.</p><p dir="ltr">These two weeks of action will target the supply chain that support the fracking companies drilling holes in the ground. As well as targeting fracking companies drill sites directly, targeting their supply chain is an effective way to undermine the whole of the industry. Fracking companies do not exist in isolation. Survival, for them, includes the need to access our land, our water, our sand. It needs money, spin-doctors and politicians in its pockets. By taking the links out of the chain, we are breaking the fracking industry into pieces. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 20.57.10.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 20.57.10.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="283" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Campaigners placed adverts, mimicking Yorkshire Water’s branding, in stops around the Leeds overnight. Credit: Reclaim the Power</span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">Break the Chain aims to support the local communities fighting fracking. In Lancashire where the local councils ruled against fracking only for their decree to be <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-37567866">overturned by the government</a>, it’s evident that the legal progress has failed us. Break the chain offers an opportunity for the voice of the community to be amplified and gives us, as activists, a chance to support the communities to push back against the fracking industry and government which supports it.</p><p dir="ltr">The local communities have been fighting the fracking industry for over 6 years but the fracking industry is at full volume, with 2017 set to be the year drilling begins in the UK. Fracking is banned across Europe. Just because Britain has now opted out of the E.U, this should not refrain us from following Europe and not as the current trend would suggest, the U.S. – the birthplace of fracking.</p><h2 dir="ltr">A direct action movement</h2><p dir="ltr">With the parliamentary and judicial system failing us and the local communities fighting fracking, direct action is the only effective tool left when the cards are stacked against protesters. Although the risks for activists involved are huge, the effect on the industry could not be more obvious. For 6 years we’ve stopped fracking, by putting our bodies on the line – now it’s time to finish the job.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 21.08.45.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 21.08.45.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="303" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>This morning a group of anti-frackers from Reclaim the Power occupied Centrica’s head office and threw a party for CEO, Iain Conn, congratulating him on his controversial £1.4 million ‘fracker’s bonus. Credit: Emily Connor</span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">Targeting the supply chain is innovative, creative and accessible. People can get involved anywhere in Britain if there is an element of the fracking supply chain in the area. So far at least<a href="https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/break-the-chain/"> four companies have already pulled their support from fracking</a> this year as result from public pressure and action. We hope we can lead to many more.</p><p dir="ltr">Reclaim the Power was born into the anti-fracking movement, setting up our first camp on the frontlines in Balcombe in 2013. In recent years we have supported communities fighting coal extraction and aviation expansion – connecting the dots and challenge the undemocratic, unjust and unsustainable system that is forcing us towards the climate catastrophe whilst imposing austerity politics on the most vulnerable in society. Now we’re back on the front line of fracking, supporting the local communities who have been leading the fight for all these years.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>If you want join the fight against fracking this summer, sign up on the <a href="www.reclaimthepower.org.uk/fracking">Reclaim the Power website</a>.</em></p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> uk uk Brexit Inc. Uzma Malik James Farndon Tue, 04 Apr 2017 20:17:12 +0000 Uzma Malik and James Farndon 109892 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Uzma Malik https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/uzma-malik <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Uzma Malik </div> </div> </div> <p>Uzma is an activist with Reclaim the Power.</p><div class="field field-au-shortbio"> <div class="field-label">One-Line Biography:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Uzma is an activist with Reclaim the Power. </div> </div> </div> Uzma Malik Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:00:56 +0000 Uzma Malik 105821 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Why we protested at Heathrow https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/uzma-malik/why-we-protested-at-heathrow <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Aviation expansion must be stopped.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/RTP_SG_luggage-tag-meme_LHR-1.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/RTP_SG_luggage-tag-meme_LHR-1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="460" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Reclaim the Power leaflet</span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">Hundreds of activists took part in a day of mass action on October 1st at Heathrow and its surrounds to protest against aviation expansion and to tax frequent flyers to encourage other means of transport that is more environmentally friendly.</p><p dir="ltr">The mass day of action against airport expansion was organised by Reclaim the Power [RTP] – a grassroots direct action group for social and environmental justice. The background to the action takes place within the context in which the proposal for airport expansion at Heathrow now has <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/29/theresa-may-told-she-can-win-heathrow-expansion-vote-in-parliame/">support of a majority of MPs</a> in the House of Commons. Moreover the International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] were meeting in Canada to discuss a plan to provide carbon offsetting for international flights as proposed by the UN climate agreement. This means that the carbon released into the atmosphere by the long-haul flights will be ‘offset’ by money going into ecological projects that, they say, would restore the balance in the atmosphere.</p><p dir="ltr">There are grave problems with the plan and NGO’s have expressed their concern over the loopholes in the proposed deal. For instance the plan indicates that the carbon offset could happen by planting as many trees as it would take to restore the balance in the atmosphere caused by airline emissions in a given amount of time. The trees however would take many years to grow and restore the balance in the atmosphere making this an impractical solution as the non-reversible environmental damage has already taken place.</p><p dir="ltr">The proposals by the Aviation Environmental Federation [AEF] to modify the plans only ask that the voluntary commitment to the plan is non-negotiable once committed and that the environmental situation must not be made worse. The plan also emphasises that reduction in emissions is on par with sustainable development to counteract the release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This is wrong. The idea of sustainable development is a long term process and an unattainable ideal. What is needed is sustainable development as well as a reduction in carbon emissions to safeguard the environment. Moreover the offsetting plan does not come close to the aims of the Paris agreement formulated earlier this year. It could be said that the plans for green washing are an excuse for aviation expansion.</p><p dir="ltr">RTP’s mass day of action consisted in a flash mob where 100+ protesters were involved in a “die in”. Wearing gas masks they symbolised the deaths caused by air pollution from the aviation industry. Simultaneously there was a bike block where over a hundred protesters on bikes in red boiler suits circled the airport. The flash mob started with testimonies read out from the Pacific islands and the horn of Africa from communities that had been affected by climate change. Then wealthy frequent flyers responsible for most flights walked over the “die in” to pass a red tape symbolising the red line crossed by the aviation industry in their effort for airport expansion to the check-in desk where the flyers were handed flutes of champagne and revelled in their prosperity and privilege. The action came to a close with some facts about pollution being read out and a choir spoofing popular songs highlighting the plight caused by climate change.</p><p dir="ltr">The bike block circled the airport and visited Harmondworth detention centre to emphasise the close connection between climate change and damaging phenomena such as drought causing mass migration problems. The bike block also visited a local village that would be affected by the expansion as another runaway would mean more traffic causing noise and air pollution. Finally all participants congregated at Grow Heathrow with reports from the day of action as well as affiliate groups such as The London-Mexican Solidarity Network and the ZAD.</p><p dir="ltr">Climate change is happening everywhere. The Earth’s temperature is rapidly increasing because of human activity. The government’s plans for intervention are simply inadequate, putting the ecosystem and humanity under threat. It is up to us to take action to make the government see that drastic measures need to be taken now! Flying is becoming the fastest human driver of climate change. The growth is incompatible with UK targets as set by the Climate Change Act 2008.</p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> uk uk reset Uzma Malik Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:00:04 +0000 Uzma Malik 105820 at https://www.opendemocracy.net