Sit-in of Algerian citizens in London to oppose the exploitation of shale gas without a national debate
The gathering will take place on Monday, April 15th in front of HSBC private bank (78 st James Street, SW1A 1EJ), that will be hosting the Algerian Minister of Energy: Mr Youcef Yousfi.
On March 9th 2013, the Algerian authorities passed a law opening the way to a potentially destructive project: The Exploitation of Shale Gas. This law was approved in a climate of total opacity, without a national debate and without involving the civil society, who has ideas and a vision that the Algerian authorities should pay close attention to.
The exploitation of Shale gas through the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology has raised major concerns and was rejected by many communities across the world, due to its highly deleterious environmental impacts (extensive use of water resources, leakage of highly hazardous extraction chemicals and waste into groundwater, and emissions of methane through leaks among others), and for its grave associated health impacts on the local communities affected. Moreover, the profitability and productivity of shale gas, which has been questioned elsewhere, remain doubtful in the Algerian context.
Is this project the best way of serving the interests of the nation? are there no cleaner and more sustainable solutions that Algeria should be exploring to end its perpetual dependence on exports and the rentier nature of the economy?
Faithful to its opaque nature and lack of transparency on the nation’s affairs, and equally, to its contempt of its own people, the Algerian regime confirmed its anti-democratic character and shunned any public discussion and debate of these serious concerns and critical questions. Economists, environmental specialists, technical experts, civil society activists, and local communities (esp. those directly concerned in Southern Algeria, who are still suffering from a long-standing marginalisation), were not consulted on this issue.
We strongly believe that it is imperative to hold a national debate on these issues and to seriously examine cleaner and more sustainable alternatives (including the different challenges associated with the development and introduction of the later) before opting unilaterally for a potentially highly detrimental and unproven project. We are outraged by the complete lack of transparency in which the country’s affairs are being decided upon and we strongly denounce the ongoing alienation of the Algerian citizen from questions that are at the heart of the whole nation’s interests, for generations to come.
We therefore call for a timely demonstration on MONDAY APRIL 15th (between 4pm - 7pm), in front of HSBC Private Bank (78 St James Street), which will be hosting the Algerian Energy Minister: Mr Youcef Yousfi.
Please join us, to express your solidarity with the Algerian people, and especially the communities of the South in their current struggle for a better future.
Algeria Solidarity Campaign (ASC), UK
Algerian Cultural Collective (ACC), UK
Collectif National pour les Libertes Citoyennes (CNLC), Algeria
Comité Nationale de Defense les Droits de Chomeurs (CNDDC), Algeria
L’Observatoire Algérien des Droits de l'Homme (OADH), Algeria
Front de Gauche, London
Green left, UK