Wednesday 31 October 2012

Africa Groups Sweden blog: Activists after environmental action

Activists arrested after environmental action

14 South African activists from AGS´ partner organisation groundWork and activists from Earthlife and Greenpeace were arrested on Tuesday 23 October 2012 as they undertook a campaign against higher electricity prices to pay for new coal-fired power plants outside South Africa’s parastatal electricity company ESKOM.

Activists chained themselves to the ESKOM entrance outside MegaWatt Park and hung up a banner with the message "ESKOM - under new management"- a management that will put the interest of the population of South Africa first:
- Stop investing in coal, invest in renewable energy
- Give the South African workforce sustainable jobs
- Avert the coming water crisis
- Electricity for all at affordable prices
- Population not suffering from health effects associated with coal-fired power plants and coal mines

ESKOM accused the activists for trespassing, damage to property and illegal gathering. The accusation of illegal gathering is contrary to South African law as the action happened in a public place and was less than 16 people.

ESKOM, which is Africa's largest electricity producer, continues to invest in coal, a fossil fuel that increases greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. And in good company with World Bank that in 2010 granted South Africa loans to build the world's fourth largest coal power plant. "Environmentally friendly" Sweden cheered on and voted for the loan even though many countries voted against. Who do you think will win; environment or Africa's largest polluter?

The original blog in Swedish can be viewed here