Travelling: London-Syria

Travelling by train across Europe & Turkey was a beautiful and exciting way to get to Syria. Without the teleport effect of airplanes, mountain ranges are more than bumps on a flat surface and the Danube remains a mighty river rather than just yet another waterway. How did I get to Syria: Thursday 16 July...

Industrialising the Cukurova

After a cushy night on the Ankara – Adana Mavi Cukurova night train, we jumped straight into a coach headed east to Antakya. Once the grand city of Antioch benefiting from trade routes running between Europe & South Asia, medium-sized Antakya is the last Turkish town before Syria, and the source of an ongoing border dispute...

Dodging tankers in the Bosphorus

We wake up to a view of corn and sunflower fields fast giving way to rows upon rows of apartment blocks in Istanbul’s outlying suburbs. Unlike the crumbling towers of Eastern Europe, many of these are new and shiny, as Istanbul spreads into the agricultural land to the west. Our Belgrade-Istanbul sleeper curves down to...

Fishing in Rossport

This will be the first in a series of emails from my friend George who is in Rossport, County Mayo, Ireland, supporting the local community in their resistance to Shell’s plans to build a high pressure gas pipeline through their village. Martin O’Donnell is Pat O’Donnell’s brother, whose boat was sunk by masked thugs in June. Walking along the road...

NNEKA, sensational Niger Delta singer in London

AFRO-POP LIVE, SHAKARA & remember saro-wiwa proudly present future superstar… NNEKA After touring with Lenny Kravitz in Europe, NNEKA, who is originally from the Niger-Delta, plays London’s CARGO on Thursday, showcasing songs from her second Album ‘No Longer At Ease’ which is stirred by the injustices taking place in her homeland. With support from some...

GSOTTO: responding to the climate & energy crisis

This July, Presidents & Prime Ministers met in Italy for the first time since they barricaded themselves inside a red exclusion zone in Genova in 2001 and deployed paramilitary police forces armed with live ammunition against the hundreds of thousands on the streets. Little has changed in the last eight years in the “business-as-usual” discourse the...

Iraqi Opposition to BP’s Rumaila Contract

Iraqi oil workers have come out in strong opposition to BP’s new contract for the super-giant Rumaila oil field, saying they will not allow foreign oil companies Signed in early July as part of the first bidding round for Iraq’s oil, the 20-year contract gives BP and Chinese oil companyCNPC significant control over production from Rumaila, which holds reserves...

Romanian Nodding Donkeys

While the train passes through fields of shiny windturbines in Austria, after descending through the Hungarian mountains down towards the Black Sea, the Romanian plains are full of ‘nodding donkeys’, an ancient means of extracting crude from shallow fields in small quantities. As each ‘donkey’ can only extract so much, fields are littered with hundreds of these...

BP’s extraction operations in Brussels

Only in Brussels for 90 minutes, so not long enough to visit BP’s office on Rondpoint Schumann, adjacent to the European Commission. This provides the company’s easy access for major EU lobbying of various EU institutions. BP — Extracting Influence at the heart of the EU, a report published earlier in 2009 by Corporate Europe Observatory and PLATFORM unmasked BP’s attempts to harness EU foreign policy and legislative...

Waiting for the first train

I’m waiting at Kings Cross – St Pancras with my rucksack for the 12:57 Eurostar to Damascus. The train isn’t quite direct yet — need to change at Brussels, Munich, Belgrade, Istanbul and Adana. I’m leaving London – oil city and finance capital where BP and Shell extract knowledge, loans, social legitimacy and political power, where corporate executives sit...

Shell & British Government Shared Intelligence with Nigerian Military Regime

Disturbing evidence of collaboration between Shell and the British government emerged last week. Shell used its position of power to share British intelligence secrets with Nigeria’s notorious military dictator, General Sani Abacha, who ordered the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues in 1995. This article first appeared in the Private Eye on...

Update on Rossport: Resistance to Shell’s Onshore Gas Pipeline

From the village of Rossport, on the west coast of Ireland, the movement resisting Shell’s attempts to build a gas pipeline through the community is calling for international solidarity. The struggle is entering its most critical stage to date – this summer, years after the project was due to get underway, Shell will finally attempt...