This morning social centers from north east of Italy are blocking the oil plant of ENI in Marghera. «By criticizing ENI we are meant to denounce a system of exploitation of lands and population. This is a direct threat to the health and the survival of human race. Claiming for climate justice means to show the incompatibility of the productive model of development that forces people to migrate».
Activists went of the rooftop of one of the entrance building of the refinery and painted over with red varnish #ENI logo. «ENI kills climate and people». #Fridaysforfuture #2Marzo #Greenkiesta pic.twitter.com/g9QKgxdaZ9— globalproject.info (@global_project) 2 marzo 2019
Activists blocked for more than 4 hours the entrance of the refinery. Over 30 trucks and one tanker could not reach the plant during the morning. At 11 am police decided to evacuate the area with an armored vehicle and activists left the place.
The release of the initiative.
Considering that the IPCC avowed report on climate change argues that within 2030 temperatures might rise enough to prefigure tragic consequences for life on Earth and claims that it will be necessary, by 2050, to end all net emissions (source: IPCC: Special Report 15), than it is crystal clear why shutting down the big multinational oil companies – among which stands ENI – and forcing them to face their responsibilities has become essential.
Drastically reducing CO2 emissions is an imperative, giving up to an economy and a development model unavoidably linked to fossil fuels is a necessity that can no longer be postponed. Assuming that personal aware conducts (from consumptions to mobility and nutrition) are important, to sanction ENI means to take a step forward, a mandatory step. In fact, the climate crisis won’t be solved by paying attention to lifestyles, since it has historically been speeded up by a specific economic model, that is neoliberalism, wherein the profit is connected to the extraction (or rather extortion) of natural resources and to the unbridled exploitation of non-renewable sources that jeopardize the entire biosphere.
“Keep it in the ground”, we assume as ours the international warning that admonishes to keep fossil sources where they belong, underground, sheltered from the rapacity of ENI or others oil companies. So that climate change reverses the trend, a system change is required. A system that, when it comes to oil, comes across as a combination of extractivism and colonialism, two sides of the same coin.
From this point of view, ENI is second to none. From WW2 on, “our” multinational company is present in Libya, where – it is worth reminding – Italians have been stained with hideous carnages in the early decades of XX century. Not only we never came to terms with our past in Libya, but, in the name of the profit, ENI drew from the enormous oil fields of the region. ENI did and does business with Libyan authoritarian regimes – at times with Gheddafi and now with who replaced him; business with unscrupulous governments and militias, as proved by the atrocious concentration camps built to contain hundreds of thousands of people on the move toward Europe.
All this not to mention the so-called climate migrants, millions of people who, due to desertification and the robberies of Africa’s natural resources, are pushed westward. It is impossible not to see the macroscopic link that tied ENI’s (and many others extractive companies that work in Africa) climatic/environmental crimes to the migratory phenomena. ENI works in many African countries besides Libya: it has big business in Congo and Nigeria. Here the company is responsible of actual environmental crimes such as the gas flaring, i.e. the habits of burning within the atmosphere (without recovery) the extra natural gasses extracted together with oil, or the production of crude oil from tar sands, fuel among the most polluting (source: Fondazione Culturale Responsabilità Etica).
«In the last 50 years we counted more than ten thousands oil spills within the area of Niger river delta and in none of these cases an adequate decontamination has taken place» denounces Godwin Ojo, lawyer representing the Nigerian Ikebiri community in the civil suit against ENI, an action filed after a massive oil spill caused by a leak in company’s plant. Continues Ojo: «Multinational companies working in Nigeria are often covered by a status of complete impunity. They act above our national laws: they’re practically untouchable». (source: “Environmental Rights Action”).
Is thus this the way we “help them at their home”? Is this the way our national “flagship” enterprise wade into? By devastating the environment, by robbing the resources of populations already robbed by colonialism, by forcing them into misery and pushing them to migrate? By, eventually, exacerbating the climate crisis whose effects already beset the world population, us included?
In this frame, the “old” colonialism (wherein economic nationalism justifies the violence against the colonized population and lands) and the Italian pride of a “local excellence” as ENI bond themselves to the suicidal tendency of insisting on a business, that of fossil fuels, which should instead be cut off as soon as possible, for the sake of the biosphere.
By which means ENI (this national pride) acquires clients and opportunities? It has nothing to do with the quality of its machinery (as proved by the Niger delta, devastated by pollution and overflows), nor with the timeliness of the so-called repayment, often offered in the form of social and energetic services that are not really provided, as many NGO inquiries prove (source: Campagna per la riforma della Banca Mondiale).
What is behind ENI’s concessions? Based on court records, ENI pays huge bribes to corrupt local politicians in order to drill for oil. In Nigeria, concerning the oilfield Opl 245, ENI is charged with corruption for a bribe of a billion dollars. The trial is ongoing. The “Osservatorio dei diritti” defined it “the biggest bribe of history”. And what about the huge gas field in French Congo that four ENI’s fixers recently gained ad a bargain price thanks to kickbacks (source: L’Espresso)?
And what about Italy? Is ENI behaving any better here? Seems not to. In 2004, ENI paid bribes to unlock some drillings in Basilicata region and many public administrators went under investigation (source: La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno). In the same region, coming to the present, a lawsuit is ongoing against some ENI supervisors, managers of the Centro Olio plan. They are accused of having disposed of (for profit) toxic waste, passing it off as safe. A high-risk activity due to the possibility of contamination of groundwaters (source: Valori.it).
Here the many reasons we are here today, to unmask ENI.
We want CLIMATE JUSTICE. An ecological conversion of production payed by those who, ever since decades, are making profits out of the biosphere, exacerbating the climate crisis.
We want a DECOLONIZED ECONOMY that puts an end to the exploitation of the Global South. Exploitation that force millions of people to leave their home, to live the nightmare of concentration camps, racism, violence and expulsion.
We do not want CORRUPTION anymore, a praxis that causes the devastation of entire areas and that steal resources essential for making them safe.
Centri Sociali Del Nordest
Nordest social centers.