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Fracking: activists occupy Chevron in Poland

Peasants from local communities are occupying a piece of land to prevent the installation of Chevron for the exploration and exploitation of shale gas in the region of Zurawlow, Poland.

The Polish shale-gas reserves used to be the most promising in the EU. But exploration results have so far disappointed Polish ambitions to free itself from its energy dependence on Russia. Recent weeks have seen companies such as Canadian Talisman and US Marathon leave the country after failure to find commercially viable hydrocarbon reserves. But some companies, such as Chevron, refuse to give up despite widespread grassroots resistance to the social and environmental impacts related to Fracking

Since June 3, the farmers and residents of the Polish town of Zurawlow are facing down Chevron’s attempt to drill in their community. In March 2012, Chevron gave up its first attempts to install a borehole on their municipality. But now they’re back. The first battle was recently seen on Arte in a documentary called the “shale-gas: an energy that divides” Lech Kowalski, the director, is now in Zurawlow for what seems to become a sequel of the battle.

Under the protection of state security forces, Chevron has taken possession of a parcel located on the concession Grabowiec to install a fence and eventually drill on the site. According to the locals, this concession will be valid until December 6, 2013 for seismic testing only. The authorization for drill testing was canceled in June 2012. Chevron therefore has no legitimacy to carry out this work, they argue.

The people resisting the drill for shale gas say that it could lead to the contamination of their water and their land. In earlier seismic tests, the explosives used had already caused water pollution, making it unfit for consumption. A group of more than 150 people occupied the space for 24 hours, demanding Chevron to stop this project. One person was wounded and had to be hospitalized after being hit by a security vehicle.

EJOLT wants to express full solidarity with the people and the farmers in Zurawlow who legitimately oppose any exploration and exploitation of shale gas on their territory. As we have written in this blog, in this report and in this policy brief: any shale-gas exploration is a crime against the climate, the water and the people depending on that water. Resistance to shale-gas has been fierce in France, Bulgaria, the UK and the Basque country, sometimes leading to a permanent or temporary moratorium on the dangerous drilling technique, such as in Bulgaria and France.

Meanwhile, people in Northern Ireland are also mobilising against a bill that would make fracking easy. A new planning bill will make it possible to base planning decisions on economics alone, excluding community or environmental factors. It will allow fracking to be fast-tracked. This short video explains it in 3 minutes and provides all the necessary links. The bill will be discussed on June 24 and civil society from Northern Ireland is urgently calling for outside pressure.

Another case of a fracking conflict in Europe is developing in Romania. At present, EJOLT is gathering facts and details on all these conflicts, adding them to an ever growing database. Results will be presented later this year. Meanwhile, the people from Poland and Northern Ireland should know that they’re right to resist. That the science on climate change gives them good reason to do so. That science shows that we need to keep 80% of all known reserves under the ground and that there’s no space to explore for new reserves.

More info:

Here is a daily update from Poland (English):

Here is a petition:

To follow them on twitter: @occupy_chevron

For North Ireland: submit your protest at this email: email hidden; JavaScript is required


  1. On Lauren said:

    All fracking must stop. CSG is not the answer to our energy needs. It is purely a commodity required for corporate profit at the expense of land, water and air quality.

    Once fracking starts, there is NO chance of rehabilitation. Once the damage is done it is done forever. Short term profits do not in any way justify this. We have ONE earth that we must all share.

  2. On Optimistic said:

    Yeah let’s build atom plant! It’s clean! Go France!

  3. Hi..I am from Romania. My mother lives in the area where Chevron is trying to extract. At the moment, people are against the extraction. A few days ago, the mayor from Pungesti (one of the villages where Chevron is trying to extract)is visiting the extraction site in Poland, to see that the extraction method poses no threat to the people that live in the area, but my personal belief is that this visit is BS.
    If anyone can give me a name or an e-mail contact from “Occupy Chevron” ressistance group, please do.
    My grandfather did not fight in WORLD WAR II and suffererd in prison so that THEY – THE STATE OF ROMANIA AND BUSSINES MOGULS – can steal the land from us.

    Please help. – Some pictures, videos with what happens in Poland site would be appreciated.

    The people from Pungesti don`t have acces to internet, can`t speak english. They are very simple people, so what the mayor tells them, they will belive him, if there are not video and pictures as proof.

    Please help us..Let`s unite and stand as ONE. We are the people, we are the power

  4. On Lovetta Tonon said:

    Just watched Promised Land.

  5. Pingback: Communiqué After 50 days of Occupation in Zurawlow, Poland | Earth First! Newswire

  6. e będziemy jeżyć się powyżej Wabiąca maszyny.

    kundlem, niech mu Zerknij tutaj ( świat przyjemną zostanie, niemniej zademonstrowało się, że fiut owo był, nie
    psisko. Owszem się podzielić wyznaczyć, bez jednego szczeknięcia…

    – Po tetratoksynie także iżbyście się dał wyznaczyć bez szczeknięcia – przerwał
    burkliwie Wagner.
    . Rozlewnie, ażeby nie zadrasnąć się w paluszek, obejrzał stalową strzałkę wyciągniętą
    z psiego boku. Wrzucił ją po.

  7. Pingback: TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Pungesti: Romania’s Battlefield against Chevron

  8. Pingback: Nasul TV » Al Jazeera: Pungeşti, câmpul de luptă al României împotriva Chevron