The Struggle for Energy Democracy in the Maghreb


Read the whole report here:

The European Union and its member states claim that its international
relations are guided by values and principles based on democracy
and human rights. Countless projects are financed and implemented
in this regard. Actual politics speak another language though. The
“security interests” of the European Union demand collaboration with
undemocratic rulers within societies that prohibit possibilities for free
political participation. The governments of such societies are in a bind:
required to function in spite of high foreign debt and the repercussions
of the conditions enforced by International Financial Institutions,
sovereign planning and development are made impossible. In Tunisia,
for example, the annual amount for public debt servicing is currently
higher than the budgets for education and health combined. The
situation of big parts of North African populations is dire and those
who (are forced to) migrate to other counties represent just one type
of impact. Continue reading

Trailer: “Paradises of the Earth” Web Video Series

Check out the trailer! Watch the full series on the web starting Nov. 5. #ParadisesOfTheEarth

“Paradises of the Earth” is a four-part short documentary series, here’s the story we want to tell you about…

Defying the artificial borders that divide them, a “solidarity caravan” of North African revolutionaries embarks on an unlikely trip to visit Tunisian communities fighting social and environmental injustice. As their white bus skirts across southern Tunisia’s arid landscape, they stop by three towns deeply affected by the country’s rabid phosphate industry and one where farmers have successfully taken back their lands. Not coincidentally, these towns are also the cradles of the 2011 revolutions which swept through their countries. For many in this caravan, these uprisings failed to not only confront oppressive socio-economic conditions in which their people lived for decades, but also environmental ones. Like many other places in the world, North Africa, has seen its resources plundered by extractivist industries which plow through the natural landscape. Often anchoring itself by making poor communities dependent on polluting industries, extractivism maintains the accumulation of capital by sacrificing people and nature. It destroys the ecosystems in its path, displacing people and leaving those who remain with nothing more than toxic waste. For this solidarity caravan, these polluting industries are just one aspect of the neocolonialism that subjugates their peoples. Each of the four episodes focuses on a different town: the polluted coastal oasis of Gabes; the dusty phosphate mining towns of Redeyef and Oum Laarayes and, finally the hope-filled experience of the collectivised lands in Djemna.

Pour une fraternité globale entre les peuples: Un discours d’Evo Morales

Santa Cruz, Bolivie, 14 juin 2014

Il y a cinquante ans, de grands leaders ont brandi le drapeau de la lutte anticoloniale et ont décidé de joindre leurs peuples dans le chemin vers la souveraineté et l’indépendance. Les superpuissances mondiales et les transnationales rivalisaient pour le contrôle des territoires et des ressources naturelles afin de poursuivre leur expansion au prix de l’appauvrissement des peuples du Sud.

Dans ce contexte, à la fin de la réunion du 15 juin 1964 du CNUCED (Conférence des Nations unies sur le commerce et le développement), 77 pays du Sud (nous sommes actuellement 133 plus la Chine) se sont rassemblés afin d’améliorer leurs capacités de négociation commerciale, en agissant comme un bloc pour défendre leurs intérêts collectifs, et en même temps faire respecter leurs décisions individuelles souveraines. Continue reading

Le capitalisme survivra-t-il au changement climatique ?

Il existe maintenant un consensus solide au sein de la communauté scientifique sur le fait qu’un changement de température moyenne mondiale au 21e siècle, dépassant les deux degrés Celsius, entraînera des changements climatiques à grande échelle, qui seront irréversibles et catastrophiques. Le temps presse et les chances d’agir pour apporter une correction s’amenuisent rapidement.

Cependant, il existe une forte résistance, partout dans les pays du Nord, au changement des systèmes de consommation et de production qui sont à l’origine du problème, et on trouve une préférence aux « solutions technologiques rapides » comme le charbon « propre », la séquestration et le stockage du carbone, les agro-carburants à l’échelle industrielle et l’énergie nucléaire.

Continue reading

openDemocracy: A question of sovereignty, justice and dignity: the people vs. the government on fracking in Algeria

The call for national mobilisation to oppose shale-gas exploitation in Algeria has been a success. But despite uninterrupted, growing protests and recent clashes, the Algerian government is pressing ahead with its shale-gas development plans.

In openDemocracy by Rachida Lamri

The female population of Ain Salah heading the protest on Tuesday 24 February 2015. Source: BBOY LEE Photos. All rights reserved.

Early on Tuesday 24 February 2015, almost all of Ain Salah took to ‘Resistance Square’ to call for an immediate moratorium on the drilling currently taking place in Ain Salah and planned for other areas of Algeria. They were joined by movements in Tamenrrasset, Timimoune, Metlili, Adrar, Touggourt, Ghardaia, Ouargla, Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia and Algiers, despite a ban on assembly in the capital.

When the Algerian government announced the go-ahead for the first shale-gas drilling site in the town of Ain Salah, protests broke out in the town square. Protesters managed to occupy the drilling site and put a stop to drilling activities before police forces intervened.

Continue reading

نواة: ديزيرتيك: الاستيلاء على الطاقة المتجددة؟

 Economy › Apr 30, 15 ›


بقلم حمزة حموشان،

يبدو أن خطة تزويد أوروبا بالطاقة من محطات الطاقة الشمسية في الصحراء قد توقفت، ولكن لا تزال العديد من المشاريع الشمسية الكبيرة في شمال أفريقيا تمضي قدما رغم المخاوف المحلية. حمزة حموشان، يسأل1: أين كان الخطأ في مشروع ديزرتيك، وهل يمكن للطاقة الشمسية من الصحراء أن تلعب الآن دورا في مستقبل ديمقراطي ومستدام؟

The Violence of Climate Change in Egypt

In Jadaliyya by Mika Minio-Paluello

In the midst of the revolutionary battles of recent years, it is easy not to notice that climate change is fundamentally changing the Middle East and North Africa we live in. This gradual transformation, much of it already inevitable, threatens to displace millions, if not tens of millions, and change the region beyond recognition. Business as usual will allow elite classes to profit from the devastation of the majority–but a just future is possible, if we fight for it.

[Arab Youth Climate Movement acts against climate change, Mansoura, Egypt. Photo courtesy of Omar Amir via Flickr.]

[Arab Youth Climate Movement acts against climate change, Mansoura, Egypt. Photo courtesy of Omar Amir via Flickr.]

The early arrival of summer this year brought with it a reminder of the violence of climate change. Rising temperatures kill, even if hot weather seems normal for the region. Heat waves like that of this May, when Cairo temperatures reached forty-three degrees Celsius, might seem irritating but innocuous. But a British hot spell killed 760 people in nine days last summer. London’s highest temperature was thirty-three degrees. How many more will die in Egypt this summer, where it is far hotter and the health system weaker? The statistics do not exist and we do not know the names of those who died, as many live on the streets and come from Egypt’s underclass.  Continue reading