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Posted by portugalpress on May 19, 2017

Posted over social media this morning and rapidly being shared is the ‘invasion’ of oil company Galp’s offices in Lisbon yesterday by fish, crustaceans, molluscs and a great deal of sand.

The video uploaded (click here) shows sand-spattered security guards manhandling protestors dressed in colourful costumes and mimicking octopus movements as colleagues unfurled protest banners.

This was the first major offensive to be mounted by EZLN, standing for Exército Zoológica de Libertação da Natureza (Zoological Army for the Freedom of Nature) - a group that formed after gate-crashing a party at the Gulbenkian Foundation gardens last year.

EZLN’s efforts centre on showing “total abhorrence for the permanent threat to our seas posed by oil and gas exploration”.

Managing to film the whole effort before being bundled back through entrance doors, the group have now issued a statement after eluding police who apparently chased them into the Metro.

The communiqué explained that if Galp continues in its intentions to exploit gas and oil all over the country, the company “will collide against the wall of our iron will and the leviathan that is our resistance to being exterminated and seeing our habitats devastated”.

Coming the day national tabloid Correio da Manha suggested that Galp and its Italian concession partner ENI may be pulling out of plans to drill off the coast of Aljezur, EZLN’s attack has also come with a warning.

If there really is a cancellation of the drillsite off Aljezur it will be “a victory for Nature and the Seas”, they said. “But we know that there are still other contracts that have to be cancelled and we will be on the front wave until the final victory.

“We leave it clear that the response to any incursion into the seas of the Alentejo, around Peniche, or the Bay of the Douro will mean a scaling up of hostilities to the point of a veritable tsunami”.

By coincidence (or perhaps not) Galp has refuted yesterday’s report in Correio da Manhã that said the company was pulling out of plans to drill off the coast of Aljezur (click here).

In a short text today, the paper says Galp is maintaining its interest, and actually working towards fulfilling all the necessary steps pre-drilling “in the shortest time possible”.

Anti-oil campaigners have told the Resident that they believe the bogus news publicised as an exclusive by CM “may have been to test reaction”.

“They are really playing games”, was the general consensus.

Meantime, anti-oil ‘feeling’ has now well and truly extended to the younger generation.

In Tavira, maritime heritage association Lais de Guia has been taking the issue to local primary schools and hopes to extend its initiatives along the coast.

In Odemira, geography students at the town’s Escola Secundária, inspired by teacher Fernando Almeida, have uploaded a video on Facebook explaining all the reasons why drilling for oil is not the answer.

Curiously, even the national syllabus is against gas and oil. This year’s 9th year geography manuals explain all the reasons why the world should be adopting “cleaner, sustainable forms of energy”.

As one 15-year-old pupil remarked: “We’re learning how to save the world, while the politicians who should be looking out for the future are busy trying to destroy it”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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