Brief van Ons Laand, Ons Lu! aan de internationale pers

De organisatie van ‘Ons Laand, Ons Lu!’ (Kamp Hongerstaking in Appingedam) heeft eergisteren een brief verstuurd aan de internationale pers in de hoop wat meer media aandacht te creëren voor de situatie in Groningen rondom de aardgaswinningsproblematiek en de mijnbouwactiviteiten. Met de brief wordt ook de internationale pers uitgenodigd om een bezoek te brengen aan het kamp, tegenover het Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW)in Appingedam.

Kamp Hongerstaking (foto: Mike Tomale)

Dear Sir / Madam,

We, from Team Ons Laand, Ons Lu! would like to bring the following to your attention.

Gas has been extracted on a large scale from the province of Groningen in the Netherlands for more than 60 years. Due to the extensive scale of gas extraction and the duration of gas production, major damage was caused, both materially and immaterially, to (the property of) the inhabitants of the area concerned. The damage is caused by both earthquakes and the subsidence and regulation of groundwater levels.

Yet, no effective political action has been taken, and politicians remain largely silent on the matter. Although politicians have recently paid more attention to the consequences of gas production in Groningen, this has led to few concrete results for the residents. All of this has serious consequences for the population.

Experts have calculated that there is a significant chance that a severe quake will occur in the area as a result of, among other things, gas extraction. This earthquake may result in numerous deaths among the population.

Team Ons Laand, Ons Lu! has obtained documents, proving that the population of the area is in serious danger. Despite the many indications that the population is at great risk, politicians and implementing bodies, such as NAM and Shell, remain silent on the dangers to which the population is exposed. Because of the years of gas extraction, as well as some other factors such as groundwater extraction in or around the same area, all factors that might cause a severe earthquake are currently present. In addition to the aforementioned damage to the population of the area, serious damage has already been caused to the cultural heritage of the affected area, including the destruction of centuries-old buildings. This existing situation will only worsen over time, with the added risk of yet surviving cultural heritage being destroyed as well. Moreover, current conditions can lead to a major humanitarian disaster, making it all the more perplexing why no action is being undertaken by the authorities responsible, or even the government itself.

Both NAM and Shell continue to report and publish information that downplays the likelihood of “possible” damage. The fact that enormous damage has already occurred, clearly seems to have escaped their attention. In fact, even existing damage is being downplayed. Moreover, now that nothing is being done, the population continues to be at risk.

The inhabitants of Groningen fight to turn the tide, trying to draw attention to the situation that has arisen, so that appropriate action can be taken. Unfortunately, even after having engaged in discussion with NAM for many years, the inhabitants (‘Groningers’) still do not feel that they are being taken seriously, or that actual steps are being taken to protect them from the impending doom-scenario. Neither do they believe that help with already existing damage will arrive any time soon.

Facing the government’s ineffectiveness, the last resort of a hunger strike was deployed. A number of people have been on hunger strike for four weeks now (!), Still, politicians remain silent on the matter. The campaign has gathered a lot of media attention, both nationally and internationally, but we need ongoing coverage to make sure the inhabitants of Groningen are finally heard – and saved. Therefore, Team Ons Laand, Ons Lu! would like to invite you to come and visit our campsite and, hopefully, report on the situation.

If you are willing to answer our request, please contact us.

Geboren schrijfofiel, politiek dier en hobby fotograaf. Auteur van het boek ‘Bevingen’ (2015).
Heeft onder andere geschreven voor Horeca Magazine Noord, Post Online, Regiokrant Groningen en was hoofdredacteur bij de Groninger Krant van 2013 tot 2017.
Is Lid van de Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ)

One thought on “Brief van Ons Laand, Ons Lu! aan de internationale pers”

  1. De bewering “The campaign has gathered a lot of media attention, both nationally and internationally” lijkt me nogal overdreven. Volgens mij is alleen bij aanvang van de staking even aandacht geweest van de landelijke media, daarna alleen nog in de regionale en lokale pers.

    Alhoewel het doel sympathiek is, lijkt het effect van de hongerstaking nihil. Bovendien is deze ook eens opgezet bij een verkeerde instantie. Het zijn de overheid en NAM die de richtlijnen bepalen, CVW is eerder een uitvoerende organisatie. Toch zijn de medewerkers van CVW de kop van jut: die worden regelmatig getrakteerd op smakeloze beelden, spandoeken en initimiderende acties.

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