Pollution protests in #Nigeria

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Video: Nigerian policemen beating a protester with butt of AK47 RIFLE during #occupynigeria Lagos Protest (via @olunloyo)

Dino Melaye tells reporters he was arbitraily detained, held with common criminals, and now he has been released he is about to join the protests, ready to be re-arrested.

#OccupyNigeria gallery, including 2 pictures of a youth they say was shot dead at a protest in Lagos.

Jan. 2 – Villagers along the Nigerian coast say a crude oil leak from the Royal Dutch Shell oil field has polluted the area. Sunita Rappai reports.

Angry villagers along Nigeria’s coast are blaming the region’s biggest producer, Royal Dutch Shell, for a massive oil spill that has devastated the area. They have spent much of their time scooping up the spilled oil into buckets while scores of fish lie dead on a beach and dozens of boats – fishing the main source of income for many – have been damaged. Thirteen villages in the Niger Delta are reportedly affected by the spill.

JACOB UKA, COMMUNITY CHAIRMAN: “The pollution is there, the problem is there, so we can not go to the river, being we are based on fishing, there is no way we can live with our families…please and please…in order for peace to reign let the federal government look into this problem immediately.” Shell is denying that the washed-up oil is from its 200,000 barrel per day deep sea Bonga facilility – 120 kms out to sea – which was shut down by a spill nearly two weeks ago. Its chairman says that spill was dispersed and contained before it reached the shore – a claim disputed by the villagers and rights groups.

MUTIU SUNMONU, SHELL CHAIRMAN NIGERIA: “The source of the leak has been identified, we have been able to isolate it. I am hoping that production resumption is not going to be in the distant future.” Shell blames the oil on the beach on other activities such as oil theft in the area. Spills by all oil companies operating in the region are common.

Accusations fly as oil slick hits Nigeria coast

OROBIRI, Nigeria | Sun Jan 1, 2012 2:05pm EST

(Reuters) – Nigerian villagers say oil washing up on the coast comes from a Royal Dutch Shell loading accident last month that caused the biggest spill in Africa’s top producer in more than 13 years.

Shell denies that any of the oil is from its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Bonga facility, 120 km offshore and accounting for 10 percent of monthly oil flows, which was shut down by the spill on December 20.

Shell says five ships were used to disperse and contain the spill and that this kept any oil from washing ashore.

But local villagers, as well as environmental and rights groups, dispute this account, saying the oil is still at large, coating parts of the coast, killing fish and sparking protests.

On Saturday, a Reuters team visited two of 13 villages whose residents say they were affected by the spill in the steamy swamps of the Niger Delta. In both, there were stretches of beach coated in a film of black sludge with a rainbow tint.

In one, two children skipped along the beach, dodging the puddles of sticky ooze.

Villagers in Orobiri, Delta state, spent much of the day scooping crude from the water in plastic buckets and jerrycans.

“When this spill occurred, we called on Shell to come and do a clean up, … but since then, they have not turned up, so we the communities now did a clean-up instead,” said Jacob Ajuju, the paramount chief of Orobiri village, surrounded by rows of assorted buckets and containers full of crude.

As he spoke, dozens of women villagers marched in protest at the spill, their heads adorned with leafy branches to symbolize unhappiness. Others continued to tip the oil from jerrycans into large plastic drums.

“On Christmas day, all the women you see here, were just at the seaside parking this oil into the jerrycans,” said Dennis Igolobuabe, Orobiri community youth president.

“NOT OUR OIL”

Shell says no oil from the spill washed up on the coast.

“We believe the oil on the beach is not from Bonga. We made significant progress every day to disperse the oil that leaked from Bonga,” Shell Nigeria spokesman Precious Okolobo told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“We are confident that any oil of that age, color and consistency that hits the beach is not ours. We are taking samples … which will be reviewed to provide evidence that this is not Bonga oil on the beach,” he added.

Okolobo suggested the oil may have been from “a third party spill which appeared to be from a vessel, in the middle of an area that we had previously cleaned up.”

Spills by all oil companies operating in the region are common, and it is sometimes hard to tell whose is whose.

On another beach near Agga village, a man on a motorbike paused to look at scores of silvery fish washed up dead.

“Before this spill came, we were already been informed by Shell in Warri (the main town in the region) during a meeting that this is what is coming … It’s a calamity,” said Joseph Gbuebo, community secretary for Agga.

“On the 25th of this month, we saw some helicopters flying, dropping some chemicals along the shore, but this has been injurious to our health,” he added.

Shell’s pipelines in Nigeria’s onshore Niger delta have spilled several times. The company usually blames such leaks on sabotage attacks and rampant oil theft.

BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured in April last year, spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the sea in what was the worst U.S. marine oil spill. The disaster brought intense negative publicity for BP.

But in Nigera, spills are so commonplace they often go unnoticed by the outside world.

Bonga had been due to load around 161,000 bpd on five tankers in January, according to oil loading programs, and its closure has boosted prices for other Nigerian crude grades.

A U.N. report in August criticized Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of pollution in a Niger Delta region that it said needs the world’s largest oil clean-up, costing an initial $1 billion and taking up to 30 years.

Accusations fly as oil slick hits Nigeria coast | Reuters.

#Iran’s Photoshop Propaganda – Fake Graffiti

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Fake graffiti at Mir Malas added by IRNA

Bottom left: Fake graffiti at Mir Malas added by State News Agency IRNA

I have several issues with this blatant and horribly amateur attempt to illustrate “destruction” of the ancient Mir Malas Caves in Khorramabad by editing images to add graffiti:

  • Altering the photographs robs people who are genuinely interested to know, but unable to trek to Iran to find out for themselves, of the chance to appreciate and assess the true extent of any potential “damage”.
  • There are serious environmental issues in Iran, such as the very real disaster of Lake Urmia drying out. The Iranian government has tried to resolve Lake Urmia’s problems by arresting environmental protest attendees and sentencing them to jail and flogging.
  • The validity of photographic evidence of Lake Urmia’s crisis might be tainted by the obvious falsity of the Mir Malas photos.
  • Historical hypocrisy. Why is 10 day old graffiti less historically relevant than 12000 year old graffiti: did we not have enough time to document and appreciate the older stuff?

Perhaps applying these double standards is really tacit compliance with the notion that we are destroying civilization at such an alarming rate that there will be no historians in 12,000 years’ time to gaze up on today’s graffiti.

غار 12000 ساله “میرملاس”

#Egypt’s SCAF Are Like Mathematicians..

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English: A SCAF tank trying run over a little ...

Image via Wikipedia

.. and not like Physicists.

This political metaphor is explained by the following modern parable.

A Physicist and a Mathematician were each asked:

Walking down the street you pass a house in flames. There is a water hydrant and a hosepipe nearby but the hosepipe is not attached to the water hydrant. What do you do?

The Physicist said: I’d connect the hosepipe to the water hydrant and put out the fire

The Mathematician said: I’d connect the hosepipe to the water hydrant and put out the fire

Next, they were each asked:

Walking down the street you pass a house . There is a water hydrant nearby with a hopsepipe connected to it. What do you do?

The Physicist said: Nothing: there’s no fire

The Mathematician said: I’d disconnect the hosepipe from the water hydrant and set the house on fire, reducing the problem to a previously solved form.