Ayo Akinfe

Fuelling the Delta Fires

Bar Convent, Blossom Street, York

On Friday March 31st, York Amnesty International group was delighted to host author & journalist Ayo Akinfe for a lively discussion of his insights into the human and environmental cost of the oil industry in the Niger Delta, the subject of his novel Fuelling the Delta Fires.

Oil industry pollution in the Niger Delta is damaging the traditional livelihoods of farming and fishing, and putting the health of thousands at risk by contaminating water and food sources.

In 2008 two large oil spills in Ogoniland continued for 10 weeks before they were stopped. Shell offered the local community (population 69,000) 50 bags of rice, beans, sugar and tomatoes as “disaster relief” but no proper clean-up or compensation process has taken place. Thousands more spills have occurred over the last decade.
Collusion with the Nigerian government and military protection means that standing up to the oil companies continues to be a dangerous pursuit.

This was a Writers on Rights event and was part of the York Literature Festival 2012

Women's Day York 2012


On Saturday 3rd March we held our Women’s Day event (with the York Palestine Solidarity Committee and Refugee Action York) featuring four women of Palestine, part of a 10-day tour for them of the north-east. 

The speakers were:

Sameeha Selwan from Gaza, who spoke on internet resistance, particularly through her blog and blogs of other Palestinian women.

Kholood Arsheid from Nazareth, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who campaigns against the ethnic cleansing & village demolitions of Palestinians inside Israel.

Zayneb Ashalalfeh
from Hebron, who campaigns on water rights.

Kholoud Ajarma who works on women’s issues in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem.

The main part was a conference attended by 80 people at York St John University where the women spoke of their activism and joined workshop discussions. In the evening, they were invited to a reception with the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of York. AI York had a stall and display on water, demolitions and the Gaza blockade.