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Blocking the European Gas Conference


ACTION • Action days against the European Gas Conference


Blocking European Gas Conference and action program about the dangers of gas.

civil disobedience - climate activism - gas

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Hundreds of people came together in Vienna for a week of learning about gas and the crises it is causing. They successfully blocked fossil fuel infrastructure and shareholders meetings.



From March 27 to March 29, 2023, the European Gas Conference (EGC) took place in Vienna. An alliance of grassroots groups fighting for climate and social justice came together at the counter-summit: the Power to the People Conference. Hundreds of people from different movements across the globe joined this counterevent to learn, share knowledge and experiences, and discuss alternatives to transform the world. Amongst those invited to contribute to the program were the activists from Don’t Gas Africa, who shared their struggles and wins against gas development and colonialism, and various experts explaining why gas is not a durable solution. The summit was all about the ways in which a green and just transition could be a way to end capitalism, all the while connecting activist collectives from around the globe.

The counter-summit was followed by days of actions in which grassroots activists took a stance and blocked the industry. Five actions took place within three days! The activists blocked the private jet airport of Vienna, the European Gas Conference itself and train rails owned and used by OMV, an big Austrian gas and oil industrial company. They also organized a huge demonstration with hundreds of people marching the streets of Vienna. A number of activists also managed to infiltrate EGC’s gala dinner and directly confront them with their crimes.

While police violence against activists reached new heights in Austria during this action week and many activists were arrested, the joint effort of several hundreds of people coming together made the project a big success overall.

European Gas Conference

The European Gas Conference, a lobby event of the European gas industry, financial institutions, and policy makers, takes place annually in Vienna. They present themselves as the only platform “connecting the eastern and western gas industries,” but are all the while connecting and deepening global crises, from climate change to neo-colonialism and resource-driven wars. While many people in Europe are increasingly worried about how they will manage their daily expenses and energy costs due to the current inflation, and countries like Pakistan are facing severe floods, daily blackouts and economic breakdowns, the actors co-hosting this meeting have been making record profits. Our dependence on climate-wrecking and neocolonial energy sources is being further cemented and institutionalized by those attending the conference.

The lobbyists and companies present at this conference take decisions that concern us all – and by taking them behind closed doors, they are also undermining democracy.

System Change not Climate Change 

The counter-summit and action week were logistically made possible by the Austrian action group System Change not Climate Change. This group was founded in 2015 in the wake of a big climate justice movement that arose around the famous Paris COP. Since then, they have been addressing the issue of climate justice focusing on the economic and social dimensions as well as the capitalist roots of the climate crisis. They raise awareness about the climate crisis with an anti-capitalist and direct action-oriented approach. They want to make both anti-capitalism and civil disobedience mainstream in Austrian society and disrupt business as usual, enabling paths and possibilities to overcome capitalism as the leading economic system.

ASEED Europe

Food System & Agricultural change-ASEED Europe is an Amsterdam-based collective that supports and empowers groups and individuals (especially youth) who are striving for fair and sustainable food systems. They promote grassroots organisation, mobilize people to take action, and support the informal exchange of skills and knowledge around social issues, climate change, farming, food, resilience and resistance. During the counter-summit, ASEED provided workshops on the involvement of the gas industry in the agricultural sector.

Het Actiefonds is proud to have supported these two collectives and stands in solidarity with all action groups present at the counter-summit and action week, as well as with all activists that experienced police violence. Because we will not let the actual criminals decide about our future behind closed doors!