Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FILM and Discussion: Gasland

FILM and Discussion: Gasland
Come watch and discuss this Oscar-nominated documentary on the booming business of ‘fracking’ for natural gas in the USA.  As ‘fracking’ has now begun in Switzerland, France, and the UK as well, it is doubly relevant to DA Switzerland. ‘Fracking’ is heavily promoted by the industry as a major step forward in reducing our dependence on unreliable energy supplies and suppliers, while the same industry and its scientists export their new technology globally, and refuse to acknowledge the environmental hazards. Yet according to a new study by Dr. Robert Howarth of Cornell, 'the total impact of the shale gas industry may be worse than coal'. The industry’s ferocious attacks on its Oscar nomination produced its own blowback: creating a wider audience for the film and wider discussion of the crucial issues involved.

Join in with hosts Democrats Abroad Switzerland and the Sierra Club!
From the film website:,
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of 'fracking' or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a 'Saudi Arabia of natural gas' just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently-drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verité travelogue, part exposé, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”
Afterwards join us for a discussion led by Mark Pasquesi from the DA Geneva and Sierra Club Fracking team. 
Read the reviews in the Observer  
or the Sierra Club

Date:                Monday, Dec 5th
Time:               8:00 pm (Doors Open at 7:00 pm) 
Location:        Spoutnik, 4 place des Volontaires, Geneva
                           Cinema Entrance : 11 rue de la Coulouvrenière, 1st Floor
Cost:               Free Admission (Donations for Sierra Club welcome to cover costs)

7:00                 Doors open (drinks available for purchase, cash only)
7:00-7:45         Discussion and collection of signatures for petitions
7:45                 Introduction by Green Peace Switzerland
8:00                 Gasland (107 minutes, in English with French subtitles)
Followed by Open Discussion led by DA Geneva and Sierra Club Member Mark Pasquesi

Please feel free to stay until 11 pm for more conversation and flaming drinks!!

Notes on speaker:
Mathias Schlegel, Climate et Energie representative, Greenpeace Suisse Romande.
Mark Pasquesi agrees with Robert F Kennedy, Jr:
'Superb investigative journalism by the New York Times has brought the paper under attack by the natural gas industry. That campaign of intimidation and obfuscation has been orchestrated by top shelf players like Exxon and Chesapeake aligned with the industry's worst bottom feeders.' 

Mark has only praises for the whistle-blowers who made these documents available to the public:
and he recommends this NY Times video report from the series Drilling Down:
Mark also endorses the following statement by the Sierra Club:
'The Sierra Club supports ending the regulatory loopholes that exempt the gas industry from key parts of landmark environmental and health laws, including:
    •       Clean Water Act
            •           Clean Air Act
            •           Safe Drinking Water Act
            •           National Environmental Policy Act
            •           Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
            •           Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
            •           Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
The Sierra Club is committed to moving the nation to a clean energy future powered by solar, wind and other truly clean energy sources and to eliminate the use of the dirtiest fossil fuels like oil and coal by 2030. And if we can't protect our communities and treasured landscapes from the damages caused by the natural gas industry, then we should not drill for natural gas.'

Trams 13, 14, 15, 16
From the Rue de Stand stop, walk away from the city center on Rue de Stand towards Jonction. Turn right at Rue du Tir, then left onto Rue de la Coulouvrenière.  You should see a lit Black/White sign for Spoutnik on the right hand side. Take the stairs to the first floor...
If you are interested in reading more about fracking, you will find additional links to recommended articles on our website:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 2011: News and Upcoming Events

Democrats Abroad Switzerland
November 2011: News and Upcoming Events
This message is sent to all members of Democrats Abroad Switzerland. Please forward this message to other Americans living here and encourage them to join DA Switzerland!

News and Events Overview:
1)     Zurich Chapter Update and message from newly elected leadership
2)     Young Dems re-launched in Geneva! Whiskey tasting Nov. 25th
3)     Voter Registration and Campaign Organization Training Call Dec. 5th

1) Zurich Chapter Update

On Friday October 21st DA Zurich chapter elected two very motivated and talented women to serve as their Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. Please welcome Renee Rousseau, Zurich Chapter Chair and Ashley Wheeler, Zurich Chapter Secretary/Treasurer. Ashley also serves on DA Switzerland's Executive Committee as Secretary.

Here's an update from Renee and Ashley:

We are looking forward to working with all of you and continuing the great group vibe we has under the fantastic leadership of Jennifer Giroux.  We all know that it is going to take all of our energy and involvement to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden back into office; and return the majority vote in the House and Senate once again to our party.  This election is too important to sit back and watch from the sidelines! It is going to take everyone to lead our party to victory in 2012!

We have lots of events planned for the coming months, including events to watch and discuss the republican presidential debates, a Mock Debate with "Switzerland for Ron Paul" supporters, potluck evenings and showing interesting political documentaries and enjoy interesting discussion to follow. We also hope to welcome some US political movers and shakers as special guests to our group for Q&A evenings.
We'll be sending out event invitations and announcements soon, so watch your inbox!

The 2008 election cycle was extremely eventful and interesting.  We hope 2012 will be as well.

If you would like to volunteer for hosting, fundraising or any other duties please feel free to contact us by email.
Renee: (note this email is temporary until the account is set up.);

We KNOW you are all FIRED UP AND READY TO GO IN 2012!!

Best regards and see you soon,
Renee Rousseau, Chair DACHZ
Ashley Wheeler, Secretary/Treasurer DACHZ

2) Young Democrats in Geneva

We're a vivacious bunch that will be getting together regularly with other followers of American politics to talk, share ideas and to make sure we're participating fully in the political process. We're not just Democrats and are open to everyone, American or not.
This Friday, November 25th, we'll be kicking things off with a Whiskey tasting organized at a member's home. For more details please email Ammad at or follow our Facebook page.   

3) Voter Registration and Campaign Organization Training

As we head into 2012 election year, Democrats Abroad is urgently seeking keen campaigners who can help us secure thousands of critical votes from Americans right here in the Switzerland. One of our must important roles here is to find and register US voters - if you can help, please join us for the first voter registration and volunteer training call and get trained to be a voter registrar and find out ways to volunteer to help the campaign. Please RSVP to: if you can join the call (teleconference).

What: Voter Registration Training and Campaign Organizing Meeting Conference Call
Date: Monday, December 5th
Time: 7 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Your phone. RSVP by Dec. 3rd and we will send you a teleconference invitation to dial in from a local Swiss phone or via Skype.

Can't make it but want to get involved? Let us know and we'll plan future trainings to better fit your schedule!

On behalf of Democrats Abroad Switzerland, we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Maya Samara
Chair, DACH

Young Dems - Whiskey tasting and cigar night

We're kicking off the Young Dems in Geneva with a selection of 7 scotches and some fine cigars. We'll have a charge to cover costs and perhaps raise some money for a charity. Details to follow.

The event is open to all regardless of age, political beliefs or nationality. Just come ready to talk, probably politics. A friend has been kind enough to open her home to us, so we'll start sampling in the Paquis.

Please email Ammad at  or signup on the Facebook page to receive directions and updates.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Expat Expo Luzern

Dems Abroad will be at Expat Expo Luzern
One of the main activities of Democrats Abroad is helping Americans exercise their right to vote. At the Expat Expo fairs we are there to make sure Americans recently arrived in Switzerland know how to register to vote from abroad and answer questions about getting your absentee ballot and more. 
Lucerne Expat Expo, Sunday November 6th at Museum of Transport, 11am-5pm.

Come out and meet our new DA Zurich Chapter leadership: Renee Rousseau and Ashley Wheeler! They're looking forward to meeting DA members and friends living in the Luzern area.

Did you know that election laws have changed? Due to the MOVE Act passed in 2009, Americans living abroad must request an absentee ballot EVERY year of an election. Even if you registered for an absentee ballot in past elections, you are obligated to register again in 2012 and request your ballot. Come January 2012, we'll be working hard to make sure all Americans in Switzerland register to vote and request their ballot for November 2012 Election. 

Want to help? Be part of the 2012 campaign! email: to volunteer.