March against deep-sea drilling; protestors sign trespass notice

demo jan 2014
Photo from Oil Free Wellington

Media release from Oil Free Wellington
Wellingtonians presented the Texan oil giant Anadarko with a Trespass Notice yesterday. The notice, signed by those attending Oil Free Wellington’s March to Stop Deep Sea Drilling, was taken to Anadarko’s offices on Customhouse Quay. The demonstration began with speeches at Midland Park at 12:30pm.

The march followed Oil Free Wellington members’ disruption of work on the MV Duke on Thursday, when they attached a banner reading “Oil Free Seas” to the side of the ship. The Duke, owned by the corporate alliance Gardline CGG, has been contracted to perform seismic surveying of the Pegasus Basin over the next month. This comes after Anadarko began drilling off the coast of Raglan last year, and announced their intent to begin drilling near Christchurch and Otago this February.

The Trespass Notice reads:

“To Anadarko,
You are hereby trespassed from our oceans and required to leave Aotearoa immediately.
You are trespassed because of the following offences:

- Atrocities to the environment and communities worldwide
-Contributing to catastrophic climate change
-Corruption, buying of laws and suppressing of human rights

From All those committed to protecting our oceans, coastlines and climate.”

Oil Free Wellington Spokesperson Fi Gibson says, “Since the Government has made it clear that they are ignoring public outcry against deep sea drilling, and the expansion of other forms of fossil fuel exploration, we are taking our message directly to Anadarko. We do not want them to profit by putting the oceans, coasts, wildlife, and climate, of Aotearoa at risk.”

“We’re delivering an ultimatum. We’re asking them to leave. But we’re also making it clear that if they intend to stay, and if they intend to seek profit from their cowboy style drilling, then they should expect resistance every step of the way.”

This message is being delivered as the staunch opposition to the expansion of fossil fuel exploration becomes increasingly obvious. Wellington’s iconic bucket fountain has been used to highlight the threat of an oil spill, Oil Free Otago has formed a ready response team of over two hundred people with the aim of actively resisting drilling, and other groups throughout Aotearoa are demonstrating their un-shaking opposition.

“It’s great to be part of a nation-wide movement consisting of people from all walks of life. It’s great to know that we’re right, that we’re here, and that we’re not going to stop.” – Fi Gibson.

anadarko1
This was Oil Free Wellington’s protest in Wellington harbour on Thursday morning. Photo from Oil Free Wellington

Media Release: Oil Free Wellington – January 24
Oil Free Wellington is holding a march in opposition to the expansion of fossil fuel exploration in Aotearoa New Zealand, and particularly deep sea drilling. It is starting at Midland Park at 12:30pm today.

Anadarko is planning to begin their seismic surveying operations of the Pegasus Basin and the survey vessel, the MV Duke, arrived in Wellington’s port on Wednesday. The Pegasus Basin is 30 km south of Wellington and is at times almost 3 km deep. This is over twice the depth of the Deepwater Horizon rig where negligence on the part of both BP and Anadarko resulted in the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

While an oil spill is a very real threat, so is climate change. At a time when we should be reducing our carbon emissions the current Government is actively pushing to increase the extraction of fossil fuels. Anadarko has already begun exploratory drilling off the coast of Raglan and plans to begin such drilling in the Canterbury Basin in February. In addition to deep sea oil drilling, we are also seeing the expansion of other forms of fossil fuel and mineral extraction from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to sea bed mining.

Oil Free Wellington organizer Fi Gibson says, “We should not be allowing companies to use increasing dangerous methods of fossil fuel extraction which exacerbate climate change in their pursuit of profit at the expense of people and planet”.

This march is occurring as it becomes increasingly obvious that there is staunch opposition to the expansion of fossil fuel exploration. The Cuba Street bucket fountain has been used to highlight the threat of an oil spill and groups around the country are demonstrating their opposition. For example, on Sunday the 12th Oil Free Otago successfully formed a ready response team of over two hundred people with the aim of actively impeding exploration and drilling.

Survey about to begin off Wellington coast

 

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