On Saturday September 7th we joined together in Gothenburg Sweden, in an act of disobedience against fossil gas under the name Folk mot fossilgas (“People Against Fossil Gas”). We were 450 people who successfully blockaded all entrances to the Energy Harbour. The blockade went on for twelve hours and took place in four locations.
In the Energy Harbour, the company Swedegas recently built an import terminal for fossil gas which they want to connect to the Swedish pipeline grid in order to push more gas into Sweden. We can’t accept this in a time when the climate crisis is growing more serious each day. All fossil energy must be phased out since way back, and building or allowing new infrastructure for fossil gas in the belief that this is a clever temporary solution is nothing but a betrayal.
That’s why we gathered on Saturday morning in the Folk mot fossilgas camp near the river Göta Älv. We ate breakfast together and then we divided into two groups – the green finger and the red finger.
We all left from the camp everyone together, headed towards the Energy Harbour. Slogans like “We are unstoppable, another world is possible” sounded from the march, and we sang “Hey ho, take me by the hand, strong in solidarity we stand. Fight for climate justice, fight for climate justice”.
Soon we arrived at the first road that needed to be blocked in order to stop the trafik in and out of the Energy Harbour. Here a part of the green finger sat down to hold a blockade under a bridge.
The rest of the group kept walking, since the goal was to blockade all entrances to the Energy Harbour. The weather gave us both sunshine and rain…
Then the green and red fingers split up. The green finger moved in the direction of the main entrance to the Energy Harbour, where they sat down to block the usual entry and exit of trucks to the fossil gas terminal and the rest of the port where gas and oil are handled.
Meanwhile, the red finger moved on. They wanted to reach the final entrance that is even further away along the road Oljevägen (“the Oil Road”).
When they arrived, they too initiated an effective blockade of the final entrance at the far end.
Once we were all in three effective blockades, and it showed that the police weren’t going to do much about it, it was time for fun! Participants had brought cardgames, books to read and instruments…
The effect of the blockade was clear. Trucks had to turn around and back up, and many gathered in a parking lot a bit past the third blockade.
Around lunch time a support march came to visit us. The march consisted of both children and adults from Gothenburg who came to take part in Folk mot fossilgas without using civil disobedience. In the march there was a samba band and they passed all three blockades to cheer them on. Their support meant a lot!
At one point a solidarity greeting came from a climate protest in Venice happening at the same time – with hundreds of people occupying the red carpet during the film festival. We responded with love of course!
Food and water was delivered when we needed it, and around our blockades there were street lawyers, medics and people working with wellbeing who were there to make sure we were alright.
After a whole day’s blockade of all the entrances to the fossil gas terminal, the information came that some trucks started to enter the Energy Harbour via a back road that they’re not normally allowed to use for trucks. Activists in the various blockades held gatherings to decide on how to move forward with this new info. This led to about 80 activists breaking out of the three blockades. They moved even further along the Oil Road to prevent access to the temporary entrance. There they successfully blocked the road, becoming the fourth blockade of Folk mot fossilgas.
The main Swedish television stations SVT & TV4, Swedish radio, and large papers such as DN, Göteborgsposten and Expressen have all reported about the action and therefore also the fossil gas expansion. We were on the main Saturday news on Saturday evening at 6 pm.
Folk mot fossilgas had three aims. We wanted to (1) raise the fossil gas expansion on the political agenda, (2) strengthen the climate justice movement and (3) disrupt the fossil gas operations in the Port of Gothenburg. Together, we reached all of them. Congratulations everyone on a successful weekend, and thank you so much to all who took part in making this happen!