Archive | Europe RSS feed for this section

Sweden’s Indigenous Sami in Fight Against Miners

4 Sep

by Malin Rising and David Mac Dougall / The Detroit News

sami

Per Mikael Utsi, standing, member of the Sami Parliament, takes part in the opening session of the parliament in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden (Carl-Johan Utsi / AP)

Jokkmokk, Sweden — On a dirt road passing through sparkling lakes and spruce woods in the wilds of northern Sweden, a woman belonging to Europe’s only indigenous people — the Sami — chants a traditional, high-pitched tune.

Since the end of the last Ice Age, the Sami have wandered the vast landscapes of northern Europe, herding reindeer and nurturing a philosophy of harmony with nature. This time, however, the woman’s Joik — a Sami chant that involves gliding over notes without lyrics — has a desperate tone to it: Her voice trembles and grows into a scream as four policemen remove her from the road. She had been protesting a British mining company’s plans for an open pit mine on ancient lands.

The woman is one of dozens of Sami and environmental activists who gathered recently on the site, setting up road blocks, burning bonfires and flying the Sami flag, with the aim to block the company from conducting test blasts near the town of Jokkmokk on the Arctic Circle.

Continue reading

Activists Blocking Coal Train in Germany

31 Aug

from Linksunten Indymedia

coalblockade

Rhineland Coalfield – Germany: Around 200 activists are occupying the coal train tracks which is the main way to transport coal between the open-cast coal mine “Hambach” to the big power plants which emit 100 millions tons of CO2 per year. The action is happening in solidarity with the Climate and Reclaim the Fields Camp that is taking place from August 23 to September 6 2013 in the Rhineland coalfield.

The activists went onto the tracks at around 1pm. At the time of writing (5.30pm), they are still there, surrounded by a lot of police. The fire fighters have arrived to fell trees, to make way for the police. It is expected that the occupation is going to be evicted within the next hours.

Already in the last two years, there have been blockades like this. The tracks are an extremely vulnerable point in the coal complex ca. 40km west of Cologne, which consists of three open cast lignite mines and four coal-fired power plants. Usually, wagons loaded with coal run here every 15 minutes to supply the power plants. The plants have storage capacity for only two days.

Continue reading

Pilot Whale and Dolphin Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

25 Aug

by Erwin Vermeulen / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

It’s been an extremely bloody few weeks in the Ferocious Isles, even by Faroese standards. On August 8, 107 Long-finned Pilot whales were slaughtered in Sandavágur. On August 11, 21 were butchered in Leynar and on the 13th, 135 lost their lives in Húsavík.

The grind(adrap), as the Pilot whale drive is called, has a recorded history since 1584. There are 23 whaling bays assigned to six districts in which the meat and blubber are divided among the population. A drive is initiated when fishermen or ferries offshore sight dolphins. The dolphins are driven into a bay with boats and even jet skis and pulled up onto the beach with a hook in the blowhole. Then the spinal cord is cut with a knife.

The Húsavík massacre on the 13th was not the only one that took place that day. In Hvalba, the incredibly high number of 430 Atlantic White-sided dolphins were driven into ‘whale bay’ and brutally murdered. Some people might be surprised to hear that these islanders are targeting species other than Pilot whales, but they have always hunted smaller dolphins, especially in Hvalba. They last killed Atlantic White-sided dolphins in Hvalba in August 2010 and Risso’s dolphins earlier that year in April. Oravik took 100 Atlantic White-sided dolphins in August 2009. That same month, Hvalba killed two Northern Bottlenose whales that were reported as stranded, and a month later Klaksvik took three Risso’s. In June 1978 that town even butchered 31 Orcas.

Continue reading

Sabotage of Nuclear Train in France

23 Jul

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

A fishplate similar to the one reportedly removed by an anti-nuclear group to derail a train earlier in July.

A fishplate similar to the one reportedly removed by an anti-nuclear group to derail a train earlier in July.

An unknown anti-nuclear group has taken credit for a July 12 act of sabotage that derailed a train transporting nuclear waste in the French city of Limoges.  French police are currently conducting an investigation. 

According to the regional newspaper Le Populaire du Centre, they received an email claiming responsibility. The paper also explained that a steel plate, known as a fishplate, was unbolted from the tracks, the track was lifted and the rail crossings were dislodged.

The derailment took place in the morning on a stretch of track used exclusively by nuclear giant Areva to transport nuclear waste.

The Areva train shot off the rails more than 200 ft. Neither of the two rail-workers aboard were injured.

Sabotage Against Shell’s Pipeline in Erris, Ireland

23 Jun

by Andrew Flood / Glyko Symoritis

Shell-HellYesterday morning around 50 Shell to Sea campaigners kicked off the Week of Action against Shell’s experimental high pressure gas pipe in Erris by tearing up the bog road Shell has laid as part of its attempt to finish the pipeline.  They also destroyed the sandbag dam that Shell were attempting to build across part of the estuary in order to be able to work on the pipeline route regardless of the tides.  This was accomplished in full view of about 15 security from IRMS – the security company hired by Shell to repress protest.

Continue reading

Building and Machinary Destroyed to Protest Proposed Mink Farm

21 Jun
Sweden_mink_Jun13

(photo: P4 Skaraborg Sveriges Radio)

from Bite Back Magazine

According to media reports, a garage and the machines and vehicles inside, were destroyed in a fire late on June 18 outside the city of Lidköping. One day earlier, the owner of the property, Thom Olsson, spoke on local radio about his plans to open a mink farm. Police suspect animal rights activists are responsible for the fire. 

Extreme Extraction Technique Ignites Coal That’s Still Underground

14 Jun

It’s called Underground Coal Gasification, or UCG, and energy companies plan to turn the UK into a massive testing ground

[EF! Editor’s note: For a look at the possible future this could bring, check out the wikipedia article on Centralia, Pennsylvania, where an underground coal seam caught fire in 1962 and is still burning to this day, leaving the town almost entirely abandoned.]

from SchNEWS

RockyMountainFieldTestJust when we were all getting to grips with fracking, another mind-blowingly stupid and dangerous form of extreme energy extraction gains momentum. And it’s no distant threat: licences have been sold for some time, 21 so far just off the coast in places like Swansea Bay, and now companies are boasting to investors that production is imminent. Watch out, Wales, Northumberland and Warwickshire among others.

Continue reading