RAINBOW KEEPERS AGAINST OIL-TRANSFER TERMINAL
PROTEST CAMP CHRONICAL
Beginning on July 6th, near Odessa, there has been an international environmental protest camp, against the illegal construction of an oil-transfer terminal.
The participants of the camp consider the construction of the terminal to be impermissible according to the following reasons: the Black Sea is a fragile, contained ecosystem, the present environmental condition is far from being satisfactory; according to the opinion of specialists, the activity of the oil-transfer complex will become a grave threat to the ecosystem of the Black Sea and overall to the unique Odessa Shoal, which serves as the location for the reproduction of 65% of the Black Sea fish and 70% of all its biomass. On top of this, it is specifically in the Odessa Shoal where the construction of the sea parts of the terminal are being proposed.
The risk of a human-caused catastrophe is growing significantly. Because of the adjacent Odessa Port Factory (with ammonia production), and other port facilities, the sanitary zone of the terminal and these other facilities are being closed off. In the case of an accidental spill of oil, it will be essentially impossible to localize the oil mass.
On June 17, 1994 the Odessa Oblast Council accepted the decision to suspend the diversion of land for the construction of the oil-transfer station, since it is contradictory to Article 33 of the Ukraine Land Code. But, despite this and despite the fact that the project is not in agreement with the requirements of the Ministry of Nature, the construction continues at a growing speed.
The protest camp has put forward the follwing demands:
-to quickly stop work on the construction of the oil-transfer complex in the Grigorevsky Liman Region;
-to restore the land which has been diverted for construction;
-to compensate the loss inflicted upon the previous users of the land and the natural sphere
These demands were sent as well to the address of the construction contractors as an ultimatum, by which, if not abided by, the participants reserve the right to cross over
The local authority took several solutiones against this construction, but work was continued to July 13, illegal.
In July 13 activists usurped the construction equipment and kept it so long as they got a promise to stop this illegal work process. They kept equipment more then 2 hours. Indeed, construction was stop but was not stop supplying of construction materials. July 13-s evening activists got information about suspend of illegal work to July 21 when arbitration judgment will consider contradictions between different authorities solutions about construction of terminal.
Activists continue their struggle end going to make a radical actions against firms which have a commercial interests in construction.
Activists call out to ecology and anarchy oganizations to support Protest Camps activites by their fax and telegramm letters .
On July 18 more than 20 participants of International Ecological Protest Camp against oil terminal construction around Odessa (Black Sea, Ukraine) have conducted occupation of Odessa Sea Oil Complex office. It's connected with government refusing to stop working at construction of oil terminal.
Militia agents dressed in civil clothes attacked Natalya Palkina, Kiev-EcoDefenceInform agency, independent videogroup operator.
Arbitration judgement session on the solution of Odessian Regional Council to suspend Kominternovo area counsil solution about providing a plot for oil transfer complex construction at Sychavka village territory has been opened at 10 a.m. July 21, 1994 in Odessian Regional Council House.
Information point of the international Protest Camp using the tent for supporting this Regional Council solution has been opened at 12.15. a.m. in front of the Regional Council House. Regional Council Executive Committee Chairman's deputy Balukh has come out to the activists and claimed them that the tent disturbs session working and that Council don't need such illegal support. However activists didn't consider their action illegal. Being come later Odessian regional sheriff's deputy started threatening and smashed an operator group's camera to temporary break the mouton process.
Milition which came at 1.30 p.m. has picked up 23 persons including accidentle passers-by to militia station. Authority representatives didn't even show their documents, point out an official foundation, they acted without any warnings and proposals to pass into the militia car. Action participants have declared a hunger strike as a protest against illegal militia activity in Primorskiy ROVD.
20 activists were brought to Primorskiy court of justice four hours later. They have been set free till the next court session which happened on July 22, 1994, exept one person who was judged without lawyer and got an administrative warning. Two activists were arrested according to public prosecutor sanction for 30 days but they haven't been put in jail either. They left without official countermand of arrest sanction.
On July 22 there are 45 people in the Protest Camp from 14 cities - Kiev, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kharkov, Dzerzhinsk, Borovsk, Kokoshkino, Khimki, Odessa, Yuzhnyi, Donetsk, Cheboksary, Lipetsk, Boston (MA) and Moscow.
At 1:30 p.m., July 22, 1994 the Protest Camp activists group has been unfounded attacked of militia detachment. 14 activists have been blocated and beaten up on the back yard around Regional Council House.
Dirty swering rasist outecry against foreign activists and menaces about continuing of massacre accompanied beating.
Colonel A.M. Repetiy - Primorskiy ROVD sheriff's depute led illegal militia activity. He hate activist's back by wooden stick wich accidently lied around and his subordinates got his agression as a command to start beating.
Mobsters in uniform started their short work made a police inviolable use. As a result four people got serious damage.
Sergey Kruglov - "Rainbow Keepers" and Radical Forest Saver Group activist was hate by wooden stick and fits.
Nadezhda Shevchenko - Kiev "EcoDefenceInform" agency editor, Ukrainian coordinator of International Socio-Ecological Union was knocked down.
Sergey Fomichov - Director of the Institute for Social and Global Ecology, "Trety Put" ("The Third Way") environmental magazine editor and "Rainbow Keepers" coordinator was hate in back and stomack by fits.
Anton Rosenvain - coordinator of "Dangerous Import" Ukrainian-American project of Rainbow Keepers was dropped on the ground, then hate by fits.
Anastasia Gryzunova - Center for Independent Ecological Programs translator got a hit in face.
Olga Miryasova - "Rainbow Keepers" press media coordinator was dropped on the ground.
Another green activists who were around were also beaten up.
From Protest Camp's Petition:
"... We, the Protest Camp activists, are sure this police horrasment was initiated by persons and organizations interested in danger for people and Black Sea ecosystem construction of oil transfer complex.
This massacre which doesn't have any same cases in international Green movement practice is going to show for 65% of Odessian people who support our demands, to anybody who is stirred by the Black Sea fate that persons who are gating dividends from environmental annihilation will never stop their bloody business.
We appeal our protest and call out to world publicity because in case of insufficient attention of all progressive mankind new political repressions in this country will be possible.
We insist that this horror launched by corrupted bureaucratic bodies and aimed at suppressing the ecological initiative should be subjected to public condemning..."
On July 28th a session was held in the Kominternovsky District of the Council of Peoples' Deputies, where the question of the withdrawal of the Council's own order to allocate land for the construction of the Odessa Oil-Transfer Complex (NPK) was discussed. Upon arrival into Kominternovo, the group of representatives of the International Environmental Protest Camp against the construction, was forbidden to attend the Session, and a picket line was set up beside the District Council Building, with the demand to suspend the construction. It was discovered, from journalists present at the Session, that a concrete decision was not made, but a commission will be created to review this question. The Kominternovo Deputies, who turned out to be the extremists in the conflict between the Oblast Council and the Supreme Council, apparently were left confused and expect the review of this question by the Supreme Council, which allegedly is set for next week. But at this time on the construction site of the NPK, the work crew was reactivated and, consequently, the participants of the International Environmental Protest Camp against the Oil Terminal in Odessa passed to the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Oblast Council, V.S. Bakukh a self-composed deed, providing testimony to the fact that, despite the decision of the Oblast Council, and in violation of a series of articles in the Ukrainian Law, "On the protection of the environment," and the Land Code of the Ukraine, they continue to work on the construction site of the Oil-Transfer Station. An accompanying letter was attached to the deed with the request to "present deeds of a corresponding reaction to his authorities."
On the next day, July 29th at 7:30 the participants of the Camp began the blockade of the construction work. The workers decided with their own strength to take away the blockade and turned to the militia for help. However, arriving at 10:30, the militia announced to the workers, that in correspondence with the decision of the Oblast Council that the site was closed and they requested the workers and the action participants to abandon the territory being that law- keeping organs are taking upon themselves the further regulation for the abidance to the decision of the Oblast Council. At this time V.S. Balukh drove up to the on-site construction headquarters and expressed gratefulness to the participants of the Camp for passing the deed to him and for achieving regulation of the situation on the construction site. Balukh confirmed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs will take upon itself responsibility for the enforcement of the decision of the Oblast Council and a militia watch-guard post will be set up on the construction site, its goal being not to allow workers onto the site to continue work. Responsibility for the decision on the future development of the construction of the Terminal is being passed to the Supreme Council of the Ukraine, which, in its new composition, is completely equipped for the review of its own decision.
Participants of the Camp intend to continue the peaceful picket of the construction site until the passing of a legislative act, guaranteeing the conclusive suspension of the construction. Also it is being proposed to continue a campaign in the Press with the goal of turning the attention of the Ukrainian Parliament to the seriousness of the existing problem. We are counting on your support and ask you to send telegrams and faxes with the demand to end once and for all the construction of the Oil-Transfer Station to the Supreme Council of the Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers and the President of the Ukraine.
27 August the project of oil-transfer terminal was frozen, 3 September protest camp was shut down