Gas grabbing in Algeria, Floods & fossil fuel subsidies & more

19 February 2014

Dear All,Welcome to our first newsletter of 2014. We’ve got some new reasearch published on the link between the UK’s “gas grab” and human rights abuses in Algeria, an intervention we’ve been making to link the recent flooding to fossil fuels, a report back from a recent trip to a community resisting a proposed gas pipeline in Italy and an upcoming event in York.

Reinforcing Dictatorships – Britain’s Gas Grab and Human Rights Abuses in Algeria

The UK’s “dash for gas” is not only a disaster for the climate, it also has severe implications for democracy movements in countries like Algeria, where the military dictatorship uses gas revenues to maintain its repressive powerbase. Co-published with the Algeria Solidarity Campaign, the new report was launched with a protest at the Algeria-UK investor Window at the London Stock Exchange. Download the report and check out the coverage in the Guardian.


Photo credit: Martin LeSanto-Smith
Floods and Fossil Fuel Subsidies

You may have seen a couple of unpleasant Daily Mail front covers last week asking people to sign a petition to cut foreign aid and instead use the money to support  flood victims. We’ve reframed the debate by saying that we should cut the billions that the UK spends on fossil fuel subsidies instead – freeing up revenues for the relief of flood victims, and addressing the causes of the extreme weather that we’re starting to endure. There’s been an amazing response to the petition we set up – it was mentioned in letters in the Guardian and the Evening Standard, and it was adopted in the Green Party’s ten point response to the floods.

We’re going to be handing the petition in next week, so there’s still time to sign it, or if you’ve already signed it, you could share it on social media or in your workplace. Thanks to everyone for their support, and here’s a sample tweet.

Cut fossil fuel subsidies, not foreign aid, to help flood victims Sign the @platformlondon petition bit.ly/1bIfsVa

Inspiring Pipeline Resistance in Italy

At the start of February Emma Hughes was inspired by her visit to the Southern Italian community resisting the Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline – a huge piece of gas infrastructure designed to suck gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. Instead the community are building a renewables-fuelled future independent of oil & gas companies. Read about it here.

First Nation Communities Foil Shell’s Arctic Drilling

You’ve probably heard how Shell has had to cancel its 2104 Arctic drilling plans in Alaska as a result of a legal challenge. Faith Gemmill from REDOIL in Alaska wrote a blog for us on on the court decision that forced Shell’s hand, and the Indigenous rights context behind it.

Perenco: Oil Production At Any Cost

Perenco is a little-known Anglo-French oil company with a history of operating in controversial circumstances. We recently published a report looking critically at their operation in Guatemala.

A New Law to hold Oil Companies to Account in Nigeria?

We’ve worked with Nigerian civil society and social movements on a letter published in the Nigerian media last week. The letter focussed on a new piece of legislation designed to improve the response to oil spills and hold polluters to account. Read about it on the blog.

A conversation with Platform Sustainers

We had a great meeting with some of our Sustainers a couple of weeks ago. After watching some of the latest Platform films, our discussion covered race and power issues to artistic instrumentalism to fracking. The observations and reflections on our work were so useful. Hearing that “we connect people with places really well” and that “the richness of your research is startling” were such endorsements. The ideas for reaching more young people and the ways we can expand the artistic side of our work, were very welcome.

Platform Sustainers are people who commit to donating between £2.50-£30 per month towards our work. We recognise that this is a big commitment and shows a confidence in our work that we really appreciate, so thank you to all our current Sustainers. By September this year, we’d like to have 100 Sustainers and would love to organise a celebratory event for all of you. If you’d like to become a Platform Sustainer please donate here, or contact Tanya at [email protected]. Many thanks.

18 March – York Event

On the 18 March, 6.30-8pm Platform will host a public event on the giant Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline and the resistance, from Azerbaijan to Italy to England, against this piece of fossil fuel infrastructure. The event  at the Friargate Quaker Meeting House is free and will also discuss Platform’s 5 star reviewed travelogue The Oil Road Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

Latest Blog Entries

We don’t want the oil companies! – Italian community says no to pipeline

New law in Nigeria could hold polluters to account

Floods, fossil fuel subsidies and the Daily Mail

UK foreign policy & the Algerian dictatorship – “an ideal relationship?”

Pollutants and Petcoke: Environmental struggles and the Great Lakes

Drilling the pre-salt – is Brazil still a “land of opportunity” for BP and Shell?

Shell cancels 2014 Arctic drilling – Arctic Ocean & Inupiat rights reality check

It exists because it exists – Bioregional activism in the Chesapeake watershed

Latest on Twitter

@platformlondon: We Need to Talk About Networked Disruption & Business: @furtherfield interviews Tatiana Bazzichelli. http://s.shr.lc/1huyRkhhttp://s.shr.lc/1huyRkh

@sarahjkeenan: The @biennalesydney profits from mandatory detention of asylum seekers. DROP @TransServices funding! Gulag moguls out of the arts! #19BOS

@platformlondon: .@liberatetate & @ShellOutSounds mentioned in @smh article on #Sydney Biennale #sponsorship controversy  #19BOS

@platformlondon: Ten Quotes to Celebrate Audre Lorde’s Birthday http://fw.to/2N97Eye  via @colorlines

@redpeppermag: Cut fossil fuel subsidies not foreign aid. @platformlondon 5000 strong petition and there’s still time to sign: http://tiny.cc/cutsubsidies

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