'India' Tag Archive

Oct 25 2005

Fight Against ALCAN Taken to Scotland


25 October 2005

Five people locked together using lock-on tubes blocking the only access road and denying entry to vehicles supplying equipment essential in the infrastructure and operation of the ALCAN smelter at Fort William, Scotland. The blockade started at the beginning of the morning shift change and lasted for almost five hours.

 

ALCAN scotland 

Read More

Sep 05 2005

Direct Action Floods Iceland by T. Troughton


Corporate Watch
Newsletter 25

suckscr

Direct action against the Karahnjukar hydro-electric dam project in Iceland has started in earnest. The dam will devastate Western Europe’s last pristine wilderness, solely to power an Alcoa aluminium smelter (see Corporate Watch number 23, April May 2005, page 9)

In June, three activists invaded the 10th World Aluminium Conference, Reykjavik, covering speakers from Alcoa and Bechtel (who are building the smelter) in green yoghurt during their talk on ‘sustainable’ aluminium. All three were charged with causing up to £50,000 of damage. British activist Paul Gill was held for four days. With the construction of the dam now more than half complete, an international protest camp has been set up near to the site. Over 30 people have gathered to organise direct action against the continuing devastation of global ecology in the interest of corporate profits. The 19th July saw Iceland’s first ever lock on blockade, when 25 activists shut down the site for three hours, locking on to a Caterpillar construction vehicle and a pick up truck at the main junction in the site and blocking two other access roads. Fifteen were arrested and later released without charge. Impreglio, the Italian construction firm building the dam, threatened to take civil charges against the activists but has since backtracked. Experts concur that 90% of the irreversible environmental damage will be done only when the water floods the land, so its not too late to protect Iceland’s ecology, and with Smyril Line offering a round trip on the ferry for £49 from Shetland, what better place is there to spend the rest of your summer?

ANARCHY IN ICELAND

Iceland was under attack. Violent international protestors were arriving on its shores, fresh from the G8 and bent on futher destruction. The Icelandic police were calling for the urgent tightening of border controls. Laws had just been passed allowing foreigners to have their phones tapped, their houses searched, and their possessions confiscated, all without warrants. News presenters were emitting warning gouts of Icelandic, spattered with the word ‘Anarkisti!’, alongside blown-up images of figures in IRA balaclavas. There was muttered talk, on all sides, of terrorism. Read More

Aug 29 2005

Iceland: Dam Nation by Merrick


Hjalladalur 

With the growing awareness of climate change, carbon emission restrictions may not be too far off. Because countries that pollute the most may well get the heaviest restrictions, rather than seeking to reduce their emissions many industrial corporations are looking to move operations abroad.
Iceland, despite modern European levels of education, welfare and wealth, has almost no heavy industry. Their carbon rations will be up for grabs. Seeing the extra pollution coming, in 2001 Iceland got a 10% increase on the CO2 limits imposed by the Kyoto treaty. The problem is that the lack of heavy industry means a lack of the major power supply needed for such things. But Iceland has glacial rivers in vast areas unpopulated by humans; land for hydroelectric dams that can be seen as carbon-neutral. Read More

Jul 19 2005

A Statement from Kárahnjúkar Protest Camp


Saving Iceland

We have gathered to protest the continuing devastation of global ecology in the interest of corporate profits. We have come here to tip the balance of a struggle portrayed to be national, while actually being much larger: from the Narmada Dams in India, to the proposed Ilisu Dam in Turkey, the story is one of big business and oppressive government. The struggle to save our planet, like the struggle against inhumanity, is global, so we have to be too. We’re here to prevent the Kárahnjúkar Dam project from destroying Western Europe’s last great wilderness.

The industrialization of Iceland’s natural resources will not only devastate vast landscapes of great natural beauty and scientific importance, but impair species such as reindeer, seals and fish, and the already endangered pink-footed goose and several other bird species. Through this mindless vandalism against nature, the Icelandic tourist industry will also be affected and the health and life of the Icelandic people. This industrialization will bring pollution such as Iceland has not seen before. Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen, and many other chemicals used to process aluminium, are all products of the unnecessary and short-sighted profit-driven environmental barbarism of the aluminium industry. Under the burden of Kárahnjúkar, only one of many dams planned, rivers will choke, and people will choke.

If this dam goes ahead, it will pave the way for similar dams of glacial rivers all over the Icelandic highlands; Thjórsárver (protected by the international treaty of Ramsar!), Langisjór (one of Europe’s most beautiful lakes), the rivers in the Skagafjördur region and Skjálfandafljót. All just to generate energy for aluminium corporations. If this will be allowed to happen Iceland will face the same sad fate as other global communities, which have suffered under similar projects.

Across the world, people are coming together to oppose the blatant lies, corruption and oppression generated by corporations and governments alike. In this spirit, we are asking that all those opposing the Kárahnjúkar Dam organize or partake in solidarity actions globally or locally.

The world isn’t dying, it is being killed – there is no excuse for silence.

Jan 26 2005

Iceland Under Attack – Threatened Protestors Raise Stakes, Call for International Protest


Sauðárfossar – Amongst numerous waterfalls destroyed by the Kárahnjúkar dams

Corporate Watch

“Nobody can afford to allow the divine Icelandic dragon of flowers and ice to be devastated by corporate greed”

People in Iceland are calling for an international protest against the building of a series of giant dams, currently under construction in the eastern highlands of Iceland. The dams are designated solely to generate energy for a massive aluminium smelter, which will be run by the US aluminium corporation Alcoa and built by Bechtel.Not a single kilowatt of energy produced by the dams will go for domestic use. Alcoa is seizing the chance to relocate to Iceland after costs of producing aluminium in the US soared. Read More

Jan 05 2005
1 Comment

ALCOA’s Alarming Record on Pollution


Alcoa, Inc. is one of the worst polluters on the planet. They are at the forefront of poisoning the air, land and water of Texas, the most heavily polluted state in the nation. Alcoa has grandfathered facilities exempt from the 1971 Clean Air Act. In Texas alone, it has several hundred plants that are accountable for the mounting pollution problems of the state.

Rockdale, Texas, located around 50 miles east of Austin, is home to a plant that sprawls over 7,000 acres and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is powered by four on-site power plants, three of which were built before the Clean Air Act of 1971 was approved. It contributes to the pollution problems in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The aluminum smelter here discharges roughly 104,000 tons of air emissions per year, including over 60,000 tons of acid rain.

Alcoa says that if it were forced to comply with state and national clean air laws, the alterations in equipment would be so expensive that the company would be forced to shut down the Rockdale plant; instead of doing this, they’ll keep the plant running and contaminate the area.

Between the years 1983 to 1987 at a time when they were under scrutiny to maintain clean facilities, Alcoa spent $62 million to upgrade their facilities without consent from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nor the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), blatantly violating federal law. Large increases in air pollution ensued in 1988, including nitrous oxides, particulate matter (which contain human carcinogens), carbon monoxide, and an annual increase of 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide since completion of the modifications. Although Alcoa blatantly violated federal law, neither the EPA nor the TNRCC pressed charges.

Since 1987, more than forty-seven Alcoa facilities have been cited for pollution violations by state and federal regulators. In one instance when the EPA opposed Alcoa, they along with the Justice Department filed claims against the company as reported March 14, 2000. In the agreement, Alcoa consented to pay about $8.8 million to clean the Mississippi River Basin, reduce hazardous waste generation, and research new air pollution reduction technology.

In Port Allen, LA, Discovery Aluminas, Inc., an Alcoa subsidy, pleaded guilty to contaminating the water and was fined over one million dollars by the state and the federal government. In Point Comfort, TX, Alcoa was fined $181,400 for emission violations in its bauxite refining plant.

Alcoa was also cited for illegal export practices. They shipped potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride to Jamaica and Suriname on 50 separate occasions without obtaining the required Commerce export licenses, then lied about it. They were hit with a $750,000 civil penalty.

Source- www.utwatch.org

Alcoa to pay $550,000 settlement for water pollution at Indiana plant
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Alcoa Inc. will pay $550,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging the aluminum maker’s aerospace products plant violated water pollution limits.

Source-U.S. Water News Online February 2002

ABC News, December 23, 2004 -A Perth magistrate has imposed a $60,000 fine on mining company Alcoa for polluting the air around its Wagerup refinery. Alcoa pleaded guilty to the pollution charge that related to Bauxite residue dust blowing over Wagerup and Yarloop, south of Perth, in November 2002.

Source – www.minesandcommunities.org

Jan 01 2004

‘Damned Nation’ by Mark Lynas


‘Damned Nation’ is very good on the spiel behind the Karahnjukar project and Alcoa.

The Ecologist
v.33, n.10, 1. Jan 2004

Costing over $1 billion, the Karahnjukar hydroelectric dam in Iceland is a hugely controversial project. Mark Lynas journeyed to the blasting face, hoping to work out for himself whether this industrial elephant is green or brilliant-white.

blessunReassurances in the Impregilo work camp canteen Read More

Feb 19 2003

ALCOA and WWF


Mines and Communities
London Calling!
February 19 2003

THE “WOOF” AND ITS WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS

Birds have a habit of coming home to roost. None more so than the rare pink-footed geese, who winter in Britain and nest and feed at Karahnjukar in Iceland every year. Whether dodgy deals by conservationists also come home to roost is open to question.

handaband

However, the world’s biggest public-subscription conservation organisation now faces what might (just) be its biggest controversy yet. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, or”WOOF” as its fondly known) seems split down the middle over a new sponsorship deal. Read More

Náttúruvaktin