Experiments with Truth: Analysis

Algeria’s unprecedented anti-fracking movement

Early on Tuesday 24 February 2015, almost all of Ain Salah took to ‘Resistance Square’ to call for an immediate moratorium on the drilling currently taking place in Ain Salah and planned for other areas of Algeria. They were joined by movements in Tamenrrasset, Timimoune, Metlili, Adrar, Touggourt, Ghardaia, Ouargla, Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia and Algiers, despite a ban on assembly in the capital.

When the Algerian government announced the go-ahead for the first shale-gas drilling site in the town of Ain Salah, protests broke out in the town square. Protesters managed to occupy the drilling site and put a stop to drilling activities before police forces intervened.

Since 31 Dec 2014, the people of Ain Salah have ceased most commercial and administrative activities, their lives becoming a permanent sit-in. The movement broke out and spread to many other regions of the south, west and north of Algeria, but despite uninterrupted, growing protests, the Algerian government is pressing ahead with its shale-gas development plans.

More Follow External Link to Rachida Lamri, openDemocracy