The city of Ouargla is located 85km from Hassi Messaoud, one of the wealth poles of Algeria and the richest energy towns in the country, where most of the big oil and gas companies are based.
Since 2012, only a few months after the start of the Arab Spring, there has been growing discontent about the economic marginalization and the lack of socio-economic development and infrastructure, despite it being the provincial capital to the oil and gas-rich area of Hassi Messaoud. Since then, protests have been led by the CNDDC (National Committee for the defence of the Rights of the Unemployed).
In 2013, Ouargla was the site of the first move against the government's fracking plans.
Protests were held for the several weeks in February 2 015. In the middle of the town's marketplace, a tent was erected as a centre for rallying opposition, holding debates and educational events. One of the slogans put forward by the people of Ouargla is: “The people declared a moratorium on shale gas”. Over the years, CNDDC was able to mobilise tens of thousands of people to join demonstrations, demanding decent jobs and protesting against economic exclusion, social injustice and the underdevelopment of the Ouargla region. While the protestors have been calling for a real job creation strategy, at times they have also worked closely with protestors from other sites, such as those fighting against the exploitation of shale gas in Ain Salah.
As recently as February 2017, the CNDDC were mobilising for 10 days blocking access to the local job centre to protest clientelism and and special privileges that work to keep local workers out.
|Name of conflict:||Unemployed movement in oil and gas rich Ouargla town, Algeria|
|State or province:||Ouargla Province|
|Location of conflict:||Ouargla|
|Accuracy of location||MEDIUM (Regional level)|
|Type of conflict. 1st level:||Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy|
|Type of conflict. 2nd level:||Oil and gas exploration and extraction|
Shale gas fracking
|Specific commodities:||Crude oil|
|Type of population||Semi-urban|
|Affected Population:||Unemployed local population|
|Start of the conflict:||01/01/2012|
|Company names or state enterprises:||Sonatrach from Algeria|
Entreprise Nationale de Services aux Puits (ENSP) from Algeria
Entreprise National de Travaux Aux Puits (ENTP) from Algeria
Entreprise Nationale du Forage (ENAFOR) from Algeria
Entreprise Nationale de Geophysique Algérie (ENA-GEO) from Algeria
|Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:||CNDDC (National Committee for the defence of the Rights of the Unemployed|
|Intensity||HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)|
|Reaction stage||In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)|
|Groups mobilizing:||Industrial workers|
Unemployed workers (esp. youth)
|Forms of mobilization:||Development of a network/collective action|
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
|Socio-economical Impacts||Visible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment|
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
|Project Status||In operation|
|Conflict outcome / response:||Criminalization of activists|
|Proposal and development of alternatives:||The struggle has been for more jobs for the disenfranchised and economically disempowered youth as well as to confront the contemptuous authorities and challenge them in order to bring about justice.|
|Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:||No|
|References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries|
Rally in Ouargla
Rally in Ouargla