Maria Woortman made this video.
This photo shows today’s protest against fracking in Pieterzijl, a village on the border of Groningen and Friesland provinces in the Netherlands. The banner says: Don’t let Friesland down. Behind it, the flag of Groningen province.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
About one hundred people have taken action at Pieterzijl
160 people live in Pieterzijl village.
against the latest drilling site of the NAM.
At the end of last month, Minister Wiebes decided that the gas drilling in Groningen should stop before 2030. At the same time it became known that the NAM at Pieterzijl is allowed to extract gas by means of fracking until 2025. According to Wiebes, this method is completely safe. Local residents of Pieterzijl do not agree with this.
Alderman Henk Bakker of Zuidhorn local authority said to RTV Noord broadcasting organisation: “We do not think that exploitation of this gas field is sensible, and we do not want fracking at all: poison in the soil is never sustainable.”
ExxonMobil gas project a disaster for Papua New Guinea’s people: here.
The first notes of the video, before the song really begins, are from a Dutch nursery rhyme ‘Slaap, kindje, slaap/Daar buiten loopt een schaap’ (Sleep, baby, sleep/outside, a sheep walks). That alludes to the Dutch government; they are asleep while Shell and Exxon cause earthquakes. While the notes of the nursery rhyme play, images show books falling from bookshelves in Groningen.
The song was written by physicist Sense Jan van der Molen, who lives in Oegstgeest village. It has the same music and some of the text as the 1966 Dutch hit song ‘Welterusten, meneer de president‘ by Boudewijn de Groot.
This Dutch music video with English subtitles says about itself:
The song ‘Welterusten, Meneer de President’ (‘Good night, Mister President’) sung by Boudewijn de Groot. He is a well known Dutch singer. This song was written in 1966, it was a reaction to the Vietnam War.
The Mr President in that song was Lyndon B Johnson.
For the new 2018 version, physicist/lyricist Sense Jan van der Molen got permission from Boudewijn de Groot.
It is now called ‘Welterusten, Minister President‘ (‘Good night, Prime Minister’). It is no longer about US President Johnson and his Vietnam war; but about present Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, of the pro-‘free market’ right-wing VVD party, which prefers the profits of Shell and Exxon to the lives of the people of Groningen province.
Translation of some lines of this new version:
Just let the people of Groningen perish,
Prime Minister, sleep well!
This 13 February 2018 video is about lyricist Sense Jan van der Molen, singer Mirjam Pattiwael and guitarist Pieter Nanuru going to the government city The Hague to play their song.
This video from the Netherlands says about itself:
24 January 2018
Second biggest gas field in the world is giving signs of code red or even worse: ‘CODE DEATH’
If the government in the Netherlands will keep on going like this they will destroy even more than “just” our houses. Many people have suffered and even died because of intense stress so far! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Prime Minister Rutte, or anyone who supports his “leadership”. What if it was your house, city, country and what if the same power would destroy your life? Please share this video message, because if we pressure government(s) people will hopefully never see the brutal consequences (anymore)…
Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:
‘I have had enough moments that I thought: I cannot cope anymore. Now I will go to the NAM [joint venture of ExxonMobil and Shell oil corporations, which made billions from drilling gas while giving local people earthquakes] site and set it on fire.’
A father who lives with his family in the earthquake area
The gas extraction in Groningen and the resulting earthquakes lead to a lot of stress and health problems among residents. There is a lot of stress, leading to, eg, physical complaints and relationship problems.
A report by the University of Groningen makes painfully clear what damage to houses can do with the psyche of those affected. Some residents tell their stories extensively. Like a father who lives with his family in the local countryside. His home has been hit several times by earthquakes. The damage is big and the road to a solution is long and viscous.
It started for the man in September 2015, with the Hellum earthquake. He had damage to his garage, his façade and his pantry. An expert ruled that the damage had not been caused by the earthquakes. Later this was withdrawn when the man had proof that this was indeed the case.
All tiles off the walls
Meanwhile, the family was having the problem. In January 2016, that became even worse after a new earthquake. “Everything began to tremble, it cracked, it moved and down I heard a bang, and all tiles were broken off the walls.”
Again an expert came along and nothing was awarded. Not long after that, that was annulled, but it still caused stress. And it was not finished with that. There were reports, but the amounts that were mentioned were much too low. …
After long detours, the damage repair could start. Already at the beginning of the renovation it became clear that there was much more damage than could be seen at first. “We immediately reported this and an appointment was made with an expert.” The father urged the expert to quickly come up with a report. “But that did not happen, and the agreements were already in place.” The contractor was ready.”
My daughter said, “Dad, I do not want to be here anymore. I do not think the house is beautiful anymore’.
The father who lives with his family in the earthquake area
The house was a construction site. “No kitchen, no heating, in the middle of winter, with small children, the whole ceiling out, furniture gone, we’ve been sitting like this for six to eight weeks.”
In the end, the family decided to pay for the renovation out of their own pocket. “From December 2015 until a month ago I have only had stress, and as a victim you have to fight for every nail in the wall.”
The stress sometimes drove the father to the edge of the abyss. “I’ve had enough moments that I thought: I cannot cope anymore, so I’m going to the NAM site and I’ll set it on fire.”
It has not come this far, but there have been enough difficult moments. “In the days when the house was open to rain and wind, my daughter said, “Dad, I do not want to be here anymore, I do not think the house is beautiful anymore.” Then I broke down.”
With this resident, the stress did not turn into physical complaints. But doctor Ryanne Addink sees it happen often enough. She works in Middelstum. “I see quite a few people with stress-related complaints.”
There are very poignant cases, she tells the NOS Radio 1 News. “Like an elderly couple whose home has been demolished, people who already had health problems and you see recovery after illness just takes much longer, they also have a lot of stress and sleepless nights, all because of the problems around their homes.”
In the report, a woman speaks who also experiences physical problems. “My resilience is gone.” She is not only sleeping badly. “I also have asthma and chronic arthrosis, and if I exert too much physical effort, I get pain, but I also react very strongly to stress.”
In addition, her relationship was also under pressure. “Because of the earthquake problem, problems arose between my husband and me. I could not get away from it and my husband had a hard time with that.” In the meantime things are getting better, partly because they go out a lot. “We try to have a nice day, but not at home.”
The woman feels unsafe in her own home. “In case of a heavy quake of four on the Richter scale, houses like this will be no longer standing.” The woman, together with her husband, does not have the possibility to leave the area. The value of their house has dropped considerably and it is still questionable whether it could be sold at all.
See also here.