Rešimo Muro
Sobotni protest (poglej video) je bil tretji v nizu protestov proti hidroelektrarni na reki Muri, v bližini Gradca. Projekt, ki ga pretežno podpirajo desne stranke na oblasti, Graška ljudska stranka (FPO) v sodelovanju s Socialnimi demokrati, je naletel tako na družbeni kot tudi politični odpor.

Gibanje zahteva referendum, pri tem sta sodelovali tudi dve stranki – Komunistična stranka in Zeleni so podali iniciativo za referendum na ravni mestne oblasti. Blokiralo se je tako strankarsko, kot tudi ljudsko iniciativo. S tem so mestne oblasti dale jasen znak, da ne bodo upoštevale svojih prebivalcev.

Zagovorniki projekta trdijo, da bo Gradec na boljšem, saj bo zmanjšal odvisnost od zunanjih energetskih virov, z lokalno, čisto in trajnostno energijo. Prav tako pa zagovorniki trdijo, da bodo s hidroelektrarno ustvarjali nova delovna mesta.

Tovrstne trditve pa lahko hitro ovržemo z naslednjimi dejstvi.  Prvič, projekt bo v dobršni meri zmanjšal javne površine ob reki Muri. Poti, ki vodijo ob reki zagotavljajo nestrukturiran, svoboden prostor za ljudi, ki iščejo počitek od zaposlenih in strukturiranih življenj v mestnem vrvežu, prav tako pa otrokom zagotavlja prostor, ki je odmaknjen od prometa. Z hidroelektrarno bo izginilo okoli 8000 dreves, ki jih bodo posekali, da napravijo prostor megalomanskemu projektu, ob tem pa se povečuje tveganje za slabšanje kakovosti zraka v mestu. Zajezitve bodo močno vplivale na tok reke, saj se bo ta spremenila v serijo »bazenov« stoječe vode, s tem se bo ogrozil naravni habitat, ki ga je do sedaj reka predstavljala tam živečim živalim.  In končno, po podatkih Stevena Weissa, jez ne predstavlja nikakršne ekološke gradnje predvsem zaradi njegove velikosti, ob tem pa so nezanemarljivi tudi ekonomski dejavniki, saj naj bi gradnja jezu stala 160 milijonov €. S tovrstno investicijo se bo znatno povečal mestni dolg in to za okoljsko nevaren projekt ob njem pa se nič ne bo spremenilo na ravni zmanjševanja porabe energije, ustvarjanju bolj učinkovito porabniških stanovanj ipd.

Od sobotnega protesta je desna Graška ljudska stranka (FPO) ohranila mandat nad županovanjem, takoj v ponedeljek pa se je začela sečnja dreves. Pri tem so bili prisotni aktivisti, ki so skušali vsaj upočasniti delo – bili so uspešni pri okupaciji mehanizacije, ob tem pa so se morali soočiti tudi z represijo. Nekateri od njih so bili tudi pridžani s strani policije.

Projekt se lepo vklaplja v naše neoliberalno okolje: je tisti, ki prinaša zamejene koristi prebivalstvu, medtem ko uničuje socialno in naravno okolje, ter doseže podjetja, ki so nagrajena s pogodbami o gradnji. Je uspešen protest, ki socialni denar sesa iz mestne malhe in ga tlači v privatne žepe, meščanom pa prepušča dolg, medtem pa ljudi niti ne posluša pri tem, ali si sploh želijo jebeni jez.

Mobilizacija proti konstrukciji se nadaljuje. Za več informacij poglej fb stran Rettet die Mur.


 

Save the Mur

Saturday’s protest (see video) was the third in a series against the planned hydroplant on the Mur river near Graz. The project, supported by right parties in power, the Grazer Volkspartie and FPO, along with social democrats, has met popular and political opposition. The movement has been demanding a referendum, and both the Communist Party and the Green Party have attempted to initiate a referendum within the city government. On both counts the efforts have been blocked, with the city making clear that the people will not be given a voice.

Those in support of the project have claimed it will benefit Graz by reducing dependence on external energy sources with local clean, sustainable energy. Typical of such energy projects, it is also justified as a job creator.

However, these claims are easily rejected. First, the project is going to significantly reduce public space along the river. The paths along the river provide unstructured free space for people to rest from busy, structured city lives, while also providing children with safe space away from traffic. The loss of up to 8,000 trees, cut down to make way for the project reduces the quality of these spaces, while also putting more stress on the air quality. The river itself will now no longer run freely through Graz, but will be divided into a series of stagnant pools, putting the natural habitats of river animals at risk. Finally, the dam itself, according to Steven Weiss, is not considered an ecological source of energy due to its size. And finally, the cost of the project, up to €160 million, will further in-debt the city for an environmentally damaging project and no emphasis on long term energy-usage reduction or making homes, etc., more efficient.

Since the protest on Saturday, unfortunately the neoliberal right Grazer Volkspartie again secured the mayorship in local elections, and the cutting of trees immediately began on Monday. Activists have been present and slowing down the work (with successful occupation of some construction machines), however they have faced repression, and some were detained by police.

The project is typical in our neoliberal climate: one which provides limited benefits to people while it destroys their social and natural environment, yet enriches a few companies awarded the construction contracts. It is effectively a project built by sucking social money out of the city, putting it into private pockets, and leaving the debts with residents of the city, all the while denying people a proper say in whether they even want the dam built.

The mobilization against the construction is ongoing. For more info and updates, follow Rettet die Mur on facebook.

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