Radio: Etbenet kvindes protestmarch mod Rockwool er aldrig set før

Tracy Danzey vil med kun et ben og to krykker gå fra Kalundborg til København i protest mod Rockwool. Foto: Sofia Palner Kloch

Af Esther Marie Banke Føhns og Sofia Palner Kloch

For nylig startede en etbenet amerikaner en usædvanlig vandretur på tværs af Sjælland.

Tracy Danzey, som kvinden hedder, vil nemlig gå fra Kalundborg til København i protest over en stenuldsfabrik, som danske Rockwool har planlagt skal ligge i hendes hjemby i West Virginia i USA.

Ifølge sociolog og ekspert i protestbevægelser René Karpantschof er protestmarchen et sjældent syn på dansk jord og kalder Tracey Danzeys tur “spektakulær”.

– Det spektakulære er hendes budskab om, at danske firmaer skal stå til ansvar for deres ageren ude i verden. Det er interessant, hvis der begynder at komme lignende sager, hvor aktivister kommer til Danmark for at vise os, hvordan de derhjemme udnyttes og skades af danske og andre rige landes firmaer, siger han.

Demonstranter vil have danskernes støtte

Tracy Danzey hævder, at Rockwools planlagte fabrik vil have store konsekvenser for hendes hjemby West Virginia. Hun mener nemlig, at fabrikkens hyppige afbrænding af kul og udledning af gasser vil medføre en enorm forurening i området. Derfor protestmarcherer Danzey og tre hjælpere fra den lokale gruppe ‘Resist Rockwool’ tværs over Sjælland.

De håber på, at protestmarchen kan få danske lokalpolitikere, medier og fagforeningsfolk i tale om problemet og forhåbentlig sætte en stopper for Rockwools planlagte fabrik:

– Rockwool vil ikke forhandle med vores lokalsamfund, så vi er kommet til Danmark for at snakke med danskerne og bede om jeres støtte, fordi vi anser jer som førende inden for kampen mod klimaforandringerne, siger Tracy Danzey.

Hun fik amputeret sit højre ben for 14 år tilbage på grund af kræft i hoften. Hun er overbevist om, at hun fik kræft på grund af en kemifabrik i sit lokalområde.

Ekspert: Det virker at få ansigt på ofrene

Der skal dog normalt meget til, før firmaer ændrer adfærd på grund af protestbevægelser, vurderer René Karpantschof:

– I teorien kan protester gøre firmaer sårbare, hvis det fører til dårlig omtale, hvis det får kunder til at boykotte dem, eller hvis det fører til lovgivning, som griber ind over for firmaernes adfærd. Men det sker meget sjældent, siger sociologen.

Læs også: Sådan påvirker luftforurening din krop

Dog er Tracy Danzeys protestmarch anderledes, fordi hun er rejst til Danmark og ikke bare protesterer hjemme i USA. På den måde kan det være lettere at nå ud til danskerne og få dem til at sympatisere med hende:

– Vi får nu ansigt på, hvem der er ofre for Rockwools virksomhed ude i verden, og det kan gøre en stor forskel. Når vi engang imellem hører om for eksempel børnearbejdere i H&M, ser vi dem sjældent, og så glemmer vi dem hurtigt igen, siger René Karpantschof.

Hvis Tracy Danzey og hendes hjælpere lykkes med at få deres budskab ud til danskerne i en grad, så Rockwool i sidste ende bliver nødt til at ændre holdning til sagen, kan det være en interessant ny måde at få danske firmaer til at ændre adfærd på:

– Det er et nyt virkemiddel, der er meget stærkt, fordi man virkelig ser de mennesker, det handler om. Det bliver spændende at se, om det gør en forskel, at vi nu får ansigt på ofrene, siger René Karpantschof.

NetAvisen fulgte med, da Tracy Danzey og ‘Resist Rockwool’ startede deres march i Kalundborg mandag den 28. oktober og den slutter lørdag d. 9. november. Hør indslaget her:

Sådan gjorde vi: Idéen til denne artikel opstod, da vi fandt en artikel om Tracy Danzey og hendes protestmarch på dr.dk. Her stod der, at hun netop var landet i København, hvorfor det var oplagt at lave en opfølgende historie om selve protestmarchen.

25 Responses to "Radio: Etbenet kvindes protestmarch mod Rockwool er aldrig set før"

  1. George Laney   8. november 2019 at 19:34

    We in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia USA are so thankful for Tracy Danzey and her walk across Denmark to bring the Rockwool story to light. We do not want their filthy, antiquated technology (and dual 21 story smokestacks emitting known carcinogens) within walking distance of one of our larger existing elementary schools. We are trusting the good people of Denmark will help us in our fight to save our environment and our children’s health.

  2. Kristin Loken   8. november 2019 at 19:56

    Danish people, please help save our air and water from Rockwell’s pollution. We hope Tracy’s Walk brings your attention to this serious problem. West Virginians have always been seen as collateral damage for most industries in this state. Our little area in the Eastern Panhandle still has healthy air and water. The Rockwell plant will end that and threaten the health of our children. Please help Rockwell to behave as responsibly as it would in Denmark.

  3. Tireace Johnson   9. november 2019 at 14:23

    Good people of Denmark, please join us on our journey to put a stop to the building of the Rockwool insulation factory in Ranson, West Virginia. We have done everything we can to stop this including taking Rockwool to court, and demanding action from our local and state government representatives. They have all failed to do what is right, embarrassing to say but they have failed our children. Please join us. We want Rockwool to cease building it’s factory . No toxic Rockwool for our home. Thank you.

  4. Pat   9. november 2019 at 18:26

    Rockwool has never treated the local West Virginia people with dignity. Secret meetings were held in attempt to buy promises and votes. Their technology is antiquated and indeed one of planned obsolescence, coal and gas burning to melt rock a short distance from our homes and schools. 10 years max and the factory will be deserted and labeled a superfund site. When the air in our peaceful valley is polluted with formaldehyde and other toxins and our water is undrinkable due to leaching of chemicals through the soil or any of the recent 17 sinkholes on site, when our health, our farmland, our race horses and housing values are all compromised, all ruined, lost or dead, will then someone listen?

  5. Scott   9. november 2019 at 18:27

    Rockwall came into our community and told us that the only thing that would be emitted from there 221 story smokestacks would be steam. Nothing could be farther from the truth. By their own numbers they will burn over 90 tons of coal and 1.6 million cubic feet of fracked gas a day and 156,000 tons of greenhous gas emissions every year. 480 tons of that will be VOCs with known carcinogens. How Rockwool can call themselves a green company and say they do things in the ‘Danish way’ and then pollute our air and water which is so clean and pristine is beyond my understanding. When they say that it’s the Danish people they are letting down as much as they are letting us down. Please help us stop this and save our air and water and our children from the massive amounts of pollution that Rockwool will bring to our community. 90% of the people here don’t want it and they have not been honest with us or transparent. They have lied and deceived us and we want justice. Thank you good people of Denmark for hearing our pleas for help and please do get involved and put pressure on Rockwool to be more responsible with the polluting plants they’re building all over the world. This website has links to their permits and we are not making this up as they would have you think. http://www.tracyswalk.com

  6. Scott   9. november 2019 at 18:30

    Rockwool came into our community and told us that the only thing that would be emitted from their two 21-story smokestacks would be steam. Nothing could be farther from the truth. By their own numbers they will burn over 90 tons of coal and 1.6 million cubic feet of fracked gas a day and 156,000 tons of greenhous gas emissions every year. 480 tons of that will be VOCs with known carcinogens. How Rockwool can call themselves a green company and say they do things in the ‘Danish way’ and then pollute our air and water which is so clean and pristine is beyond my understanding. When they say that it’s the Danish people they are letting down as much as they are letting us down. Please help us stop this and save our air and water and our children from the massive amounts of pollution that Rockwool will bring to our community. 90% of the people here don’t want it and they have not been honest with us or transparent. They have lied and deceived us and we want justice. Thank you good people of Denmark for hearing our pleas for help and please do get involved and put pressure on Rockwool to be more responsible with the polluting plants they’re building all over the world. This website has links to their permits and we are not making this up as they would have you think. http://www.tracyswalk.com

  7. Ef klejnowski   9. november 2019 at 20:05

    Your children deserve clean air. Our children deserve clean air. Rockwool does not make clean air. In the US and in Denmark.

  8. Alison Beman   10. november 2019 at 00:11

    Please, for our beautiful land, for our clean water, for our air, we DO NOT want this polluter to set up their factory on our land. We are begging you to reign in your corporation, Rockwool. Do not allow them to pollute all that is vital to our health, and all that is sacred to us. The Potomac River is a sacred space for us, as well it provides drinking water to many local jurisdictions. Rockwool will pollute the Potomac! Rockwool will cause air pollution in 5 States!
    Rockwool has not been honest with us about the true amount of pollution is will cause to air, ground water and our rivers & streams. They have been most deceitful, and we beg for your help. Please, please exert whatever influence you have over this untruthful corporation. They are not welcome in our home!
    Thank you for you consideration.

  9. Cheryl Pullen   10. november 2019 at 02:21

    What Rockwool is doing in West Virginia is harmful environmentally. Rockwool will use about 94 tons of coal and 1.61 million cubic feet of fracked gas per day. Not only is this harmful to those near the plant, including the very close school and low-income neighborhood, but the burning of fossil fuels helps fuel climate change here and for the world. There’s also the great danger of the drinking water for many being contaminated as the location is in karst topography, an aquifer through which underground waters flow and the source of sinkholes. Rockwool tried to hide the first ones that opened on the property and was fined. Like you, we want to preserve our land, water and air. We want our children to have a healthy environment. Thank you for considering our request for assistance in doing so.

  10. Greg   10. november 2019 at 04:02

    rockwool may be harmful to our land in West Virginia and Virginia. Not sure but Indicators are they may have rushed this project, possibly colluding with local politicians under a veil of secrecy ????
    If so, Denmark as a country is better than this. Will you look very closely into this Denmark-based rockwool company? Many allege they are not working in the best interests of grade school students and residents. Thank you …..

  11. Theodore Welti   10. november 2019 at 06:19

    Please put this factory somewhere else, and this time tell the local people about it upfront with leaving out no details.

  12. Christina Stork   10. november 2019 at 13:24

    This factory does not belong near a school or in the middle of a community. We pulled our son from the elementary school that is less than a 1/2 a mile from Rockwool because we do not risk our children’s health for anything. My children, along with many others, are going to have continuous exposure to ROCKWOOL’s emissions…Prek-5th grade is 7 years of exposure while children’s lungs are still developing and they will continue to be exposed into middle and high school. It’s not right.

  13. John Outen   10. november 2019 at 15:13

    Rockwell has secured their legal team from the capital of West Virginia to fight local input and wage a legal battle against its citizens in Jefferson County WV. The Governor of West Virginia is a Coal operator and owner that does not care about the air quality that coal emits to the children of West Virginia. I lost my daughter to Asthma. Burning Coal is harmful to asthmatics and those that have respiratory challenges This proposed Rockwool facility will burn Coal 365 days a year 24 hours a day less than 800 meters from elementary school. Rockwell has been emphatic and refuses to not use Electric Arc technology that would vastly reduce harm because the Governor is a Coal Owner. This is so improper so unfair and so harmful.

  14. Mark   10. november 2019 at 16:34

    Rockwool’s toxic pollution is an embarrassment to the Danish people. It is known you value clean safe air and water. Don’t allow Rockwool to poison our children !!!

  15. Jim Surkamp   10. november 2019 at 23:53

    We each have found our voice because from the first moment each of us set eyes on this little corner of the world we fell in love with it and have felt loved back by its beauty the rippling currents on the face of our two rivers by the timeless protective blue ridge watching over us and by the gentle ways of its people who always give you a nod on a street.

    Only a mad man or madmen would build a poison-belching, coal-fired factory across from a school and on topography that has already had seventeen reported sinkholes (ground collapse) in the ground -. That allows waste fluids and chemicals from the plant to go right into the ground water supply, which is used by eighty per cent of our county’s people.

    We fight, smart always because we have to. Always.

  16. Mark Muse   11. november 2019 at 00:23

    Aside from the air pollution that will be generated, my biggest concern is consumption and contamination of ground water. Rockwool will use hundreds of thousands of gallons of ground water every day, and will employ ponds to store waste water. But because this area is underlain with limestone the soil is quite porous and sinkholes abound at the location of the factory. Most people in this area get their drinking water from wells – there is no other option. Since these are individual wells there is no monitoring of water quality for individual homes. A release of waste from the Rockwool factory will poison the drinking water for thousands of people, most everyone in the area.

  17. Tim ross   11. november 2019 at 00:49

    People of Denmark 🇩🇰 please sympathize with our plight. We had no say in the coming of rockwool. All of the people responsible for this mess have left except for rockwool who insist that we keep the promises made by those who have absconded. Remember Quisling in Norway in 1940? We had the same traitorous behavior here. Rockwool is wrapping themselves in green lies. Please don’t let them besmirch Denmark’s honor and reputation.

  18. Jim Cummins   11. november 2019 at 01:00

    Thank you Tracy and crew! Not only will Rockwool pollute our air, they are building their huge factory right on top of the most sensitive land in the region. We are a Karst valley, made of ancient limestone with lots of caves and natural underground water conduits, an area which is rich with large reserves of precious groundwater held in the deep caverns. At the Rockwool site, there have already been 17 sinkholes identified which are all direct connections with that groundwater (80% of our county uses wells for their water source). We are extremely concerned that the Rockwool plant will pollute our drinking water. In addition, the sinkholes mean the landscape is subject to structural collapse, so we are concerned that the plant will be subject to subsidence and even collapse, their polluting materials would then rush into the groundwater, which can move over 800′ per day, rapidly covering a large landscape. Rockwool should not have chosen the site to build! We are a beautiful valley which they are going to ruin. Please help us stop them!

  19. Dale Scully   11. november 2019 at 01:50

    I’m 64 years old and I suffer from COPD and my grandson has had 3 open heart surgeries and he is just nine years old. Heaven forbid, if Rockwool fires up their factory Rockwool will be forcing us to leave our home, family and friends. To see that they won an award is HYPOCRISY at the highest level. Oh, sure maybe in Norway they are all trendy and Green but they cart their filthy factories to other countries. SHAME ON YOU DENMARK! You make your country all Green with reduced pollution and then refuse others to come live there all while destroying the environments of other countries. The state of Mississippi has had MANY serious health and pollution problems since Rockwool set up shop. How can you sleep? Where is you conscience?

  20. David N Copper   11. november 2019 at 02:07

    Good citizens of Denmark, just a word of thanks to you for showing consideration and compassion to Tracy Danzig and her companions on their recent trek through your country to bring an injustice to your attention.

    The Dannish company Rockwool is building an insulation company in Jefferson County, West Virginia with little or no transparency to the citizens of Jefferson County. Tracie’s trek was done to bring the story of this travesty to your attention. Yes yours!!!

    The Dannish people would not stand for this if the roles were reversed. We too will not tolerate this. We ask for your help as we March on to stop Rockwool

    Again thank you for any and all kindnesses that you showed Tracy and her companions

  21. Mike   11. november 2019 at 02:42

    Good people of Denmark, please do not let Rockwool destroy our beautiful place. They want to profit at our expense, and the cost to us is unrecoverable. We and our children need to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Please help save us. And if you like, come visit us.

  22. Jan Hafer   11. november 2019 at 02:45

    Dear Danish People, Thank you for showing such hospitality to our brave and noble friend, Tracy. She has carried the story of the grave injustice done to our people as well as our deep love of our home. Please help us save our water, our air, and our way of life. Join our fight to stop the pollution that Rockwool will bring to Jefferson County and that will surely harm our children. We will not stop fighting for what is right, please join us.

  23. Shaun Amos   11. november 2019 at 03:01

    Dear Danish neighbors,

    This Rockwool factory would spew toxic waste into the air 24 hours a day right across the road from an elementary school. It is to built above aquifers that supply most of our citizens with water in spite of the fact that the ground here is very porous and prone to sinkholes. Corrupt politicians who stand to profit worked with Rockwool to keep the citizens ignorant of what this factory really was. They told people the air coming from the smokestacks was as clean as the freah air we now have. They told us they were STEAM stacks – not smokestacks. PLEASE help us keep out children, our air, and our water safe. American children deserve clean air and water just like Danish children . Please help us!

  24. Amy   11. november 2019 at 03:57

    To our Danish friends,

    We understand that Danes expect their corporations to behave internationally they way they do in their home country. Through your wonderful hospitaltality to our one-legged warrier, Tracy Danzy, we see what a beautiful clean and pristine country you have. We enthusiastically admire your achievements in environmental causes.

    Unfortunately, one of your corporations, Roxul, Inc., has been taking advantage of some corrupt politicians in our state of West Virginia. They made a deal to build a factory here under a secret code name and our citizens were prevented from knowing what they were planning until the deal was done.

    When the air quality permit application was published in the newspaper, about 11,000 of our citizens immediately protested. Our local government did not understand the full impact of their decision because the corrupt politicians lied. And Rockwool (Roxul) lied too.

    A few weeks later, Rockwool sent a letter to our local officials threatening a $100 million lawsuit if they tried to back out of the deal. That was 2 years ago. This company has been rude, smug and offensive to anyone trying to convince them to go the extra step and use the cleanest technologies.

    At this point, we really just want them to find another way or another place to build their factory. Their promise of 120 jobs is not worth the threat to our health and environment. Rockwool is not a good fit for our beautiful community.

    Please help us convince them to leave us alone. Maybe they will listen to their fellow countrymen. They certainly are not listening to us.

  25. Anastasya Tabb   11. november 2019 at 05:04

    Rockwool just appears to locals telling half truths about the negative impact they want to inflict on a precious part of West Virginia. Lining up back room deals with government before the large amount of residents who object can say NO thank you. They try to convince us this is for our public benefit, hundreds of thousands of pounds of air pollution and tainted factory waste water released to mix with our drinking water sources inevitably. Tracy Danzey was spectacular in her walk, delivering to our Danish neighbors the full message of Rockwool’s bad production practices that threaten our environment and way of life. We know better technology can be utilized to reduce the impact. Roxul picked a bad apple of a site and refuses to compromise, when its actually desired they leave now.