Oil-drill protesters swamp the Islands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUP to 60,000 people gathered in Santa Cruz on Saturday to protest about Repsol’s proposed test-drilling for oil.

And throughout the Canary Islands, there were widespread protests by groups on the same day.

Overall, an estimated 217,000 people gathered across all seven islands to complain about the scheme, which was authorised by the Spanish Government, despite fierce opposition from the Canaries’ ruling body.

Lanzarote had some 35,000 protesters, and there were a further 20,000 in Fuerteventura. Support was high in these two islands, naturally, because the test drilling will take place between these eastern-most islands and the Morocco coast.

These protests were the biggest seen on Tenerife since Unelco planned to place high-voltage cables above Vilaflor in 1999.

Then, more than 100,000 people took to the streets in a case which was eventually taken to the European parliament in 2002 – and quashed!

On Saturday, angry protesters carried placards and banners in support of investigation into renewable energy, as well as many which declared that the Canary Islands were “not for sale”.

There were calls for the resignation of Gran Canaria-born Minister for Industry and Energy José Manuel Soria from the predominantly young crowd, who favour cleaner energy solutions.

The massive crowd were, on the whole, peaceful. And thanks to a discreet police presence, there were few incidents.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace were in attendance, as well as SEO Birdlife, Ecologists in Action, WWFAdena and Friends of the Earth.

These groups have so far collected nearly 200,000 signatures in an online petition at

There were also protests in Madrid, Berlin and New York.




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Posted by on Jun 13 2014. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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