Pungesti, Romania, a village under SIEGE after a violent intervention of Riot Police Forces, requested by CHEVRON
After facing strong opposition from local community and from a strong national movement of support, Chevron had to scale down activities in Pungesti. At least until 2 december 2013, when the assault started around 6 AM!
The riot police and CHEVRON joined forces to dismantle the local resistance group camped across the road from the field where Chevron plans to explore for shale gas, using hydraulic fracturing. After 2 months of resistance, 40 people were beaten, arrested and taken to the nearest town for further investigations. The Spokesperson from the Riot Police did not come out with a statement until much later and denied any abuse, while the riot police officers prevented the people from filming and recording the intervention. Media representatives do not have access to the site, and the road to Pungesti is blocked by Chevron equipment and Police intervention cars.
Children cannot go to school at this point. The life of the entire community has been severely disrupted. The road is also blocked for anyone else, the villagers cannot go to work and the press is kept kilometers away from Pungesti. All this was planned in detail by the local authorities, the Police and Chevron in order to help the company install it’s shale gas exploring equipment on the site despite prior official statement from Chevron country manager Tom Holst to halt any activity until the community agrees with the project. The same equipment will be used for the exploitation phase as well.
This abusive intervention is without precedent in a democratic Romania and it follows two months of continuous harassment and intimidation of the local community. It is an irresponsible, dangerous attack on human and civil rights, as recognized worldwide. All this is happening a day after the Romania National Day, in a context of large 3 months nationwide (and international) protests against fracking and cyanide use in Romania.
Please spread the news and help us rise awareness on this difficult situation in Romania. Wherever you may be. Contact your representatives and ask them to act immediately against this abusive behavior of the Romanian authorities against the people.