The “energy revolution” that has produced no gas

DRILL OR DROP?

The licensing of thousands of square miles of English countryside for fracking five years ago has resulted in no wells and no oil or gas.

14th round licences offered in central and northern England. Source: Oil & Gas Authority

Areas from the Isle of Wight and Dorset to the North York Moors were allocated to exploration companies in what was described at the time as the “start of a shale gas revolution”.

By today, under the terms of the new licences, the operators should have drilled nearly 100 wells and fracked more than 10% of them.

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Radioactive waste disposal allowed to continue at oil site in national park.

DRILL OR DROP?

An oil company has won consent to continue the disposal of liquid radioactive waste in the South Downs National Park. IGas Singleton oil site in West Sussex. Photo: IGas Opponents of the industry have criticised the decision, which will allow fluid from oil production to be injected into a borehole at IGas’s Singleton site, nearChichester, in West Sussex. Philip Maber, who lives near the site, said:

“This operation seriously threatens our chalk aquifer with forever contamination and is also the biggest single source of carbon-based emissions in West Sussex. “I feel guilty and frustrated at how little our community and country understand the urgency for change.”

The consent, granted by the Environment Agency (EA), allows IGas to inject up to 80m3 per day (more than 17,500 imperial gallons). If IGas injected the maximum every day, there would be enough liquid to fill an Olympic swimming pool in about a month. The campaign network, the Weald Action Group, said today:

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“We did what we had to do”-Subcomandante Moisés reflects on the EZLN uprising

Voices in Movement

On the 27th anniversary of the EZLN’s rebellion, Subcomandante Moisés stated: “We did what we had to do”. This is a conversation with the current Zapatista spokesperson who held the rank of major back on January 1st, 1994. We talk about the orgins of the uprising by the indigenous rebels.

Written & photo by Diego Enrique Osorno in Milenio. Translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria

-To understand 94, we have to go back, could you tell us about the years prior to the uprising?

-Yes, 1983 was the year when some of our members arrived to the mountains of the Mexican southeast and began to recruit comrades which is why the membership of the organization grew. Then from ‘83 to ‘93 was the period of recruitment in the villages, the ‘underground period’.

The comrades began to look for people one by one but then we changed our recruitment methods because the people, the indigenous communities, have a certain way of meeting people in groups, collectively. And this is how we recruited those with moral authority. And yes, from that point on we continued to organize ourselves with towns and other areas. A region can be made up of lots small towns and communities. Some regions are made up of 20 communities or 30 communities, which is what we call a region.

As our political influence grew in these towns and regions, we made military preparations. We organized the compañeros and compañeras, until the day came when it was decided: It is time for us to head out.

-How did the arrival of members from the city affect the organization in the towns during that time?

-Small communities began to see things differently because they (members from the city) organized in a different way. What I want to say is that with the arrival of the EZLN, women began to have an important role, where before they weren’t even considered. Although there were some organizations (with women), they weren’t really taken seriously. That’s what changed during that time, there was more organization and respect for women.

-On January 1st, 1994, you were a major, not yet a Subcomandante. What was it like to experience the preparations for that day?

– ​We all arrived, insurgents and troops, we all got ready. Before I became a major I was Insurgent Moisés. We had trained in the mountains and helped our fellow comrades prepare; It was there that the troops had to take exams to become a commander. Starting from second lieutenant, lieutenant, then second captain, first captain, then major and so on. So, yes, the rank I had when we left on January 1st, 1994 was major, as is publicly known. We received training and on top of that, other special trainings courses, because we also had to go out into the city. The mountains are very different than the city. I had to be with my commander, Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, who was teaching, preparing and training me.

And yes, there were a lot of the things he taught and explained to us before 1994 that I had to learn. He prepared me for times just like today with you, where we have to explain who we are, and talk to the people of Mexico; the teachers, the students, the workers and others.

-What other advice did Subcomandante Pedro give you during that training period?

-He would also say that we have to be prepared, because we do not know who will die, and he was right. We used to be underground but today we have organized ourselves with our comrades, for example with the National Indigenous Congress. We’re now openly working with the people. What happened in the past, is the past, as he would say. When we left at dawn in 1994, I had to do my part. He told me no matter happened I had to continue and take responsibility for my actions. Of course, I understood what he told me from the beginning: that whatever happens we have to continue fighting and here we are, still fighting.

-What was January 1st, 1994 like for you?

-Well, it was my duty to take over the Town Hall of Ocosingo along with Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro. He was in front of the town hall and I was off to the side, where the police were set up. Then we got separated, but we had said that we would be in communication when we were ready to head into the town hall.

I was waiting for his order, but it never came so I sent him a message to find out what was going on. I waited for a long time, but then I received a message that Sub Pedro had fallen in combat. So from then on, I had to take command and decide what we were going to do. The first thing we did was to check on our comrade Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, so I took him outside, lifted his head, talked to him to see if he was still alive, but nothing. We got him out of there and took his body to a Zapatista community.

So then, we had to continue, we had to move forward. And that’s what I was organizing, because we had to go to another city, which was Comitán, and that’s what I was getting ready for. But then we received the order from Subcomandante Marcos that we had to retreat, and we had to retreat because that was the order. And that was that.

For Life and Against Money The CNI-CIG and the EZLN Call for Solidarity with the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala

Enlace Zapatista

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the media:

The National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council [CNI-CIG] and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation [EZLN] denounce the National Guard’s cowardly eviction of the compañeros maintaining the resistance camp in San Pedro Apatlaco, Morelos, on November 23, 2020. This eviction was carried out in order to resume the illegal construction of the aqueduct that carries water from the Cuautla River to the Huexca thermoelectric plant.

With utter cynicism the neoliberal government says it governs this country while actually just obeying its real bosses—big capital. With utter cynicism the armed forces, under their overseer’s orders, violate the rights of our peoples, stealing water from the Cuautla River from the peasant communities of Ayala and turning it over to the corporations that will profit from the Integrated Morelos Project: Elecnor and Enagasa, who were awarded the contract for the gas pipeline; Bonatti and Abengoa, who will build the gas pipeline and the thermoelectric plant in Huexca; and Saint Gobain, Nissan, Burlington, Continental, and Northeast Natural Gas, who will profit from gas sales.

The armed forces and the neoliberal government use the Integrated Morelos Project to justify military flyovers to exercise repression and advance the development of energy infrastructure, which is based on the destruction and dispossession of the originary peoples’ territories. Over the spilled blood of our people, like our compañero Samir Flores Soberanes, they exploit nature, allowing the owners of transnational capital to destroy the mountains through mining concessions and ceding the region’s water to the industrial corridors in Cuautla, Yecapixtla, Cuernavaca, and elsewhere in the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. The overseer who claims to govern this country ordered, with total cynicism and impunity, the trampling of the supposed rule of law, violating eight court-ordered suspensions of the aqueduct project, which would divert and contaminate the region’s water through the construction of the Huexca thermoelectric plant. This is also a violation of two other court-ordered suspensions regarding gas pipeline construction within the periphery of the sacred Popocatepetl volcano and contamination of the Cuautla River, both part of the Integrated Morelos Project.

Given the above and faced with increasing tensions and violations of the rule of law, we hold the bad governments of the state of Morelos and the nation responsible for any repression or attacks against our compañeros and compañeras in struggle who resist these megaprojects of death. In particular we call for solidarity with the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala.

Sincerely
November 2020
For the Full Reconstitution of Our Peoples
Never Again a Mexico Without Us
National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council [CNI-CIG]
Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Mexico, November of 2020.

Thoughts on the Divisional Court ruling preventing the prescription of puberty-blocking medication to transgender children – by Mal Content.

Now I’m not in the least interested in the law, being simply the manifestation of the state’s monopoly on violence. I don’t believe it actually serves anyone, least of all those who only ever butt up against it in times of personal crisis.

Many of my ilk think that a Working Class anarchist militant should not concern themselves with such matters as “identity”, “gender” or “gender identity”. Nevertheless, as a fifty-plus male of simple tastes and relatively mundane proclivities I find this goes to the heart of my anarchy, and what makes me an anarchist, so I’m moved to comment yet again.

Why, they ask, did we pick this hill to die on? Keeping the military analogy, you don’t always decide where the front line is! Sometimes it’s where the enemy puts it and you either stand or fall. If transgender people were foxes or badgers, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations. Sure enough our enemies are ranged against us: the tabloids, tories, Bolshevik-apologists and god-botherers, who use the coercive state as a stick to beat their chosen scapegoats. This court case is the outcome of a long-running battle between these people and the Tavistock Hospital.

Many people spend their lives seeking an identity they are comfortable with; I congratulate anyone who finds it. Some of us just give up and amuse ourselves by alternately playing up to other people’s impressions, and confounding them. I learned early in life that your acquaintances ‘tie’ you with their thoughts. If you usually act in a particular way their own cognitive dissonance will pounce on any deviation causing them to flap like wet chickens, so it’s less hassle to give them what they expect. This is especially true if like me you are borderline autistic and easily slip into a rut.

When I was a kid I read an excerpt from Welsh journalist and historian Jan Morris’ book ‘Conundrum’ concerning her transition. I believe it was in the Sunday Times, in the era when the same publication’s scientific supplements listed ‘transvestism’ and ‘homosexuality’ alongside bestiality and necrophilia as sexual deviations, among the mental illnesses. I didn’t understand it, but it seemed reasonable to accept the conscious, informed decision of someone who had already climbed Everest, reported from war zones and the trials of Eichmann and Powers, interviewed Che Guevara and had five kids. I was already on my way to being an anarchist.

My conversations with transgender adults and the parents of trans and gender-curious children have led me to the conclusion that no one would go through these tribulations unless it was mandatory. It isn’t necessary for an anarchist to understand why an individual follows a given path, or maybe selects it as their least worst option, only to accept it as an exercise of free will. I read of Sarah Jane Baker who removed her own testicles in prison, because no-one was listening.

In this case inaction is action and I’m in no doubt that a decision not to delay puberty can be life-threatening and as potentially life-changing as the alternative. Add in the confusion that comes with the spectrum of intersex conditions, which are a lot more common than you might imagine. Thank Durruti I shall never have to make such decisions on my own, or anyone else’s behalf.

I had a fair childhood myself, I wasn’t abused, never went hungry nor feared for my life, but my one lasting impression was hatred of adult ‘authority’, those who knew better than I what was good for me. They turned out to be the same folk who were busy wrecking the planet, poisoning the air, water and soil, and plotting the annihilation of half the human race in defence of their moral superiority. I liked Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt”, even after I learned he was no more than a high class con-artist. He took pains to point out he wasn’t saying do what you like, but be true to yourself – without that you are nothing.

So if a thirteen year old decides to delay puberty, is that any crazier than delaying hair loss or dementia – or death itself? If further down the line they find out they’ve got it all wrong and fucked it up, at least they will have the satisfaction of knowing they fucked it up themselves.

Agroecology and Organized Anarchism: An Interview With the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FARJ)

Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation

In response to the industrial, capitalist model of food production that has decimated rural lifeways and our mother earth, social movements around the world have identified agroecology as their alternative proposal for rural development. Grounded in peasant and indigenous knowledge, struggles for food sovereignty and agrarian reform, agroecology is understood by social movements as “a tool for the social, economic, cultural, political and ecological transformation of communities and territories.”

This interview that Black Rose conducted in the Summer of 2020 with a militant from The Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro’s (FARJ) Peasant Struggle Front, explores their work with some of Brazil’s social movements struggling for agroecology and food sovereignty. Coming from a context with highly developed peasant social movements, FARJ shares important insights for anarchist militants to learn from. 

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The Assassination of Don Tomás

Voices in Movement

Luis Hernández Navarro

Tomás Martínez Pinacho was preparing to eat something at Los Primos taqueria, in the municipality of Ánimas Trujano, Oaxaca, when a heavily armed commando shot him with a bullet. It was 6:30 pm on August 24th and he was returning from participating in a rally of 2,600 people in the state capital. His lifeless body was left sown to his chair.

The biography of don Tomás – as he was affectionately called by his comrades in the Sierra Sur – intersects with the social struggles of the district of Miahuatlán over the past 30 years. His trajectory was summarized in one word: struggle. He organized the Union of Poor Peasants; he managed better water services and garbage collection; he opposed the construction of the Cefereso in the municipality; he mobilized so that government resources would reach communities, agencies and ranches and not remain in the headwaters; he was re-elected as candidate for municipal president and for councilman; he supported the protests of democratic teachers against educational reform and in favor of public education, and he actively opposed open-pit mining.

He was born in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, on March 7, 1956, to a very humble family. His father was a farmer. As a child, Tomas supported his mother in selling tortillas at the center. He studied a few years of elementary school between 1965 and 1969, at the Leona Vicario School, and then migrated to Mexico City. In Naucalpan, State of Mexico, he continued his studies at the Manuel Avila Camacho night school and at the INEA. He sold food at the Teatro Blanquita. He worked in a grocery store until he returned to his hometown in 1990.

The attitude and commitment of democratic professor Germán Mendoza Nube, several times arrested and tortured for his participation in popular struggles, marked him definitely. Tomás told how, on one occasion when a comrade of Germán’s went to look for him because he had a difficulty, the teacher, in spite of having to move on a wheelchair, got up from bed, got on his chair and went to solve the problem. Germán’s attitude impacted Tomás. At that moment he said to himself: I have two hands, I have two feet. I return to my community and begin to fight for my companions, for the people.

That’s how he did it. Since then, Martínez Pinacho joined the Union of Poor Peasants and the Revolutionary People’s Front (FPR), in a struggle that only his murder stopped. He toured the communities, appointed the organization’s basic committees, collected the demands and needs of the populations, their agricultural conflicts.

Tomás actively participated as a councilman in the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in 2006, which demanded the resignation of Governor Ulises Ruiz. For this reason he was persecuted, harassed and forced into hiding.

In Oaxaca there are about 300 mining concessions, three of them in the Sierra Sur: in Suchixtepec, another in the Coatlanes and one very close to Miahuatlán, in communities of Zompantle and Ocote. Don Tomás played a central role in the resistance to open-pit mining in the region, with the engineer Bernardo Vázquez Sánchez, who was murdered on March 15, 2012, for opposing the Fortuna Silver Mines project in San José del Progreso. In 2018, after a work of information and organization in the communities that began in 2016, he promoted the formation of the Frente Regional de la Sierra Sur en Defensa del Territorio, los Recursos Naturales y la Libre Autodeterminación de los Pueblos, in rejection of mining, in which social organizations such as MULT, API-PUP, FPR, section 22-CNTE, MAS and Coordinadora de Comunidades de Loxicha also participated.

Unfortunately, events such as don Tomás’ murder are far from being an exception in this government. According to the organization Front Line Defenders, Mexico is the fourth most dangerous country in the world for human rights defenders. In 2019 alone, 24 activists, environmentalists and land defenders were murdered. In May, several organizations, including the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, documented that at least 30 human rights defenders have been killed during López Obrador’s six-year term.

Son of a dyke and a farmer, simple and extremely humble, Tomás was always concerned about the people who came to see him and those who sought him out for some support. He was dismissed in Miahuatlán by his comrades, friends and family, in a massive public tribute, in the midst of endless rain, the explosion of rockets and inconsolable expressions of rage and mourning.

The crime of don Tomás left in the Sierra Sur a mixture of pain and commitment to keep his saga alive. In the words of his son José Alberto: I am in pain as my father, as my mentor, as my comrade in struggle, but the struggle of Tomás Martínez remains. The State thought that by killing him everything would end. It is the opposite. Tomás Martínez is revived in hundreds, in thousands who today are asking for justice together.

Red and Black Telly roundup.














5G and the Myth of a Green Transition

rethinking security

Far from absurd conspiracy theories about spreading coronavirus, Jo Baker argues that the rapid and seemingly unstoppable spread of 5G is happening without consultation or due consideration of the economic, environmental and climatic impact of such technologies.

5G infrastructure is currently being rolled out in many of our towns and cities. In Bristol, where I live, there has been a spate of planning applications from telecom companies for 20-metre-high monopoles in just a few weeks. A local campaign has resulted in hundreds of objections and Bristol City Council has so far refused sixteen applications on grounds of unsuitable siting and dominant appearance. There is a sense that something is being imposed from above without consultation or consent.

Bristol is well-known for its status as a ‘green’ and ‘smart’ city. It was the European Green Capital in 2015; in 2017 it overtook London as the leading smart city in the Huawei Smart City index; and it was one of the 100 Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Cities. Bristol was the first city in the UK to declare a climate emergency, followed, earlier this year, by an ecological emergency. And herein lies the conundrum. Can a city be both green and smart? Will wireless technology deliver a green transition or will it push us further towards ecological disaster?

A Fourth Industrial Revolution

According to the World Economic Forum, 5G is a necessary expansion of wireless technologies which will underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It goes far beyond telecommunications – enabling the digitalisation of the global economy, energy systems, manufacturing, health, education, security, food production, and so on. It is expected to add £13.2 trillion to the global economy by 2025. It will pave the way for autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, 3D printing and military applications such as hypersonic weapons and drone targeting.

Although this digital high-tech future is sold to us as a means to a socially just and sustainable world (smart cities, energy efficiency), it is essentially about economic growth and is already having a devastating environmental impact. The fact is that digital technologies demand unprecedented amounts of mineral extraction, create large amounts of toxic waste, and

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Red and Black Telly roundup.