Wellingtonians March Against the Petroleum Summit
Wellingtonians March Against the Petroleum Summit Wednesday 18th September
At 7:45am on Wednesday 18 September, Wellingtonians and people from around the country will march from the front of the Wellington Railway Station to the Stadium to say No to Deep Sea Oil Drilling. The Petroleum Summit is being held at the Stadium. The march has been organised by Oil Free Wellington. A “penguin army” will accompany the march, and there will be a protest at the Stadium.
"This Petroleum Summit comes at a time when our climate, livelihoods and environment are being threatened like never before,” said Fi Gibson, spokesperson for Oil Free Wellington.
“Our oceans are being sold off to the oil industry. Over 100 000 square kilometres are being opened up for exploration this year. Within months, Anadarko will start seismic surveying in the Pegasus Basin off our coast, and this summer they start exploratory drilling off the Otago and Taranaki coasts. As well, onshore oil and gas production, including fracking, is expanding, while our right to protest and privacy is being removed."
People are travelling from Nelson, Dunedin and Auckland to join the march. There are active Oil Free groups in all those towns as well as Christchurch, Kaikoura, Taranaki and the East Coast.
“With representatives from the oil and gas industry and Government coming together for two days with the purpose of the expansion of this destructive and unsustainable industry, now is the time to act. Now is the time for us rise up and voice a collective NO to fossil fuel extraction agenda, and YES to a sustainable and equitable future,” Ms Gibson said.
Oil Free Wellington was formed in December 2012, just days after the Government announced they had granted permits to Texan oil-giant Anadarko for offshore oil drilling in the Pegasus Basin, south-east of Wellington. Oil Free Wellington has run stalls at community fairs, talked with community organisations, painted and distributed 120 “Anadarko Out! No Oil Drilling off our Coast” signs which concerned members of the public have put up around Wellington. They have hosted a film screening, talked at public meetings, and worked closely with others around the country who are opposed to the expansion in fossil fuels extraction.
There will be coffee and muffins available at the Railway Station from 7:15am. The march will gather next to the Gandhi statue.
“The oil and gas industry think they own Aotearoa and can carry out their climate destroyers conference without a hitch,” said Ms Gibson. “We’re here on behalf of thousands of people around the country, to show the industry they are wrong.”