Corporate Watch 27 September 2019: Save Greek Seas campaign; Energean oil company; Yara synthetic fertiliser giant; Dalradian mining

27 September 2019 — Corporate Watch

In this newsletter: Save Greek Seas campaign; Energean oil company; Yara synthetic fertiliser giant; Dalradian mining

There are few more urgent struggles than resisting the devastation of our planet earth. From the seas of western Greece, through the forests of Germany, to the hills of County Tyrone, communities are acting to defend their local ecosystems from corporate plunder.

In recent weeks we have profiled three lesser-known corporations at the forefront of environmental destruction, in solidarity with the grassroots resistance movements fighting them.

In the words of Utah Phillips: “The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.”

Save Greek Seas: fighting the oil companies’ plans to devastate the Mediterranean

If governments and corporations get their way, the bright blue seas of western Greece are about to be turned into oil fields. From Corfu in the north to Crete in the South, the Greek government has sold off contracts to drill for oil and gas in giant zones covering almost the entire Ionian Sea, as well as neighbouring areas on land. But a local resistance movement is organising fast to stop the scheme. Here’s an introduction to the fight to “Save Greek Seas”:

Energean: Israel-backed Greek oil company hungry for Mediterranean gas

And in solidarity with the struggle in Greece, we have written an in-depth profile of Energean, the Israel-backed Greek oil company that has snapped up some of the key  oil contracts. Twelve years ago it was a £1 million operation running one small oil field in north-eastern Greece. Now it is valued at nearly £1.8 billion, and is becoming a major player in the strategically important scramble for Mediterranean resources, including the contested Gaza Marine gas field off the occupied Gaza strip.

Yara: the fertiliser giant causing climate catastrophe

Earlier this month, people came together in Northern Germany for Free the Soil, an “agriculture and climate justice camp” and mass action of civil disobedience. They were going up against a company few have heard of, but which plays a massive role in global industrial agriculture and climate change. Meet Yara, a Norwegian multinational which is one of the world’s biggest producers of synthetic fertilisers – and Europe’s biggest industrial buyer of natural gas. Largely owned by the Norwegian government, it was recently caught in one of that country’s biggest ever corruption scandals, while lobbying for destructive agriculture across the globe. Read our in-depth profile for much more on the company.

Resisting the gold rush: Dalradian Resources and the struggle against gold mining in Ireland

Meanwhile, across the Irish Sea, communities in County Tyrone are standing up to proposals by the US-owned company Dalradian Resources to build a gold mine in the county. The company promises jobs and investment, but local people fear the Curraghinalt mine will be a disaster for the area, poisoning the water table and rivers. So who is behind Dalradian Resources, where do they get their money from? And how can the company be resisted? Our investigation traces the corporate links from Ireland through Canada to New York, and looks at the trail of devastation left by the owners’ previous mining operations.

Digital Self-Defense workshop

October 28th, 6:30-9:30PM @ Freedom Bookshop, London

Worried about your privacy and security online, but don’t quite know what to do? Between the cops and big tech companies we know there’s a huge amount of resources in place to track and monitor us digitally.

Despite being cautious, we sometimes expose ourselves in ways we don’t know. Understandably, many of us steer clear of smart phones or computers, especially in political organising. That’s because digital security is a daunting subject to learn about.

Changing our behaviour is even harder. Usually the most convenient and ‘free’ services harvest and sell our personal information. So how do we not ‘give up’ and either throw away our phones or ‘stop caring’ and run back to Facebook to organise?

This Digital Self-Defense workshop is designed for activists, organisers, researchers, and anyone else involved in antifascist, climate, or solidarity movements who wants to better defend themselves in the digital world, but may not know where to start. This is a rare opportunity to talk and learn with an experienced tech activist and educator in an accessible and jargon free environment. You will leave not only with a better idea about what exactly you should be worried about using digital devices, but most importantly what tools exist to resist digital surveillance.

This is an introductory workshop to get you confident with using digital security tools now. We especially invite others with experience in digital security interested in sharing their knowledge and skills. Depending on the needs of the group the topics can vary, but tools we can anticipate to present are:

– Tor browser – https://torproject.org/
– Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System – https://tails.boum.org/
– Security or Privacy focused mobile operating systems
– Signal – https://signal.org/
– Password store – KeePassXC
– Web browser Adblockers
– VPN – https://riseup.net/vpn
– Encrypted emails – GPG with enigmail

Tech to bring (not necessary but will help you get the most out of it):
– Paper and pencil
– Laptop
– Smart phone
– 8gb (or larger) USB stick WITHOUT data you can’t delete.

Accessibility: Freedom bookshop is wheelchair accessible, though there are no disabled toilets.

The workshop will be taking place around mealtime. We will try to provide some vegan snacks, but it’d be good if attendees could also bring some food and drinks to share.

Corporate Watch c/o Freedom Press,
Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

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