Resistance to Gold Mining in Latin America – Events in Toronto May 18-21

May 18, 2008

LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY EDUCATIONAL EVENTS & PROTEST ACTIVITIES
Toronto, Canada, May 18-21

[Please invite your friends and redistribute this information all around]

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SUNDAY, MAY 18: PUBLIC EVENT
@ 7pm

“Goldcorp Inc. – Investing in Conflict” = Hear speakers from Honduras (Carlos Amador), Guatemala (Fausto Valiente) and Rights Action (Grahame Russell) tell stories about how indigenous and campesino communities are resisting the environmental and development harms and human rights violations that Goldcorp is causing on their lands. Multi-media event.
LOCATION: Steelworker’s Union, 7pm, 25 Cecil St, Toronto
CONTACT: Grahame Russell, info@rightsaction.org, cel: 250-231-5158 ; Sakura Saunders, sakura.saunders@gmail.com, cel: 530-304-8297

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MONDAY, MAY 19: DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASE & BANNER MAKING GATHERING
@ 3pm – 10pm
Banner making & action planning for street education and activities in front of Goldcorp’s Annual Shareholder Meeting.

LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor St W, Room 2198, (corner of Bloor St and St. George)
CONTACT: sakura.saunders@gmail.com, cel: 530-304-8297
@ 7pm

DOCUMENTARY FILM: “No Todo Lo Que Brilla Es Oro – Una Historia de Explotación y Resistencia”
(All That Glitters Isn’t Gold – A Story of Exploitation and Resistance) is an hour-long documentary that tells the stories of community members residing near the San Martin open-pit heap-leach gold mine in the Siria Valley in Honduras, owned by Canada’s Goldcorp. The first mine to be developed under Honduras’ controversial new mining law passed in the wakes of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, San Martin opened in 2000 and is the largest open-pit heap-leach mine in Honduras. As the mine nears its closure, community members discuss the complications they have experienced since the mine began operating — from wide-spread health problems to lack of water — contesting the company’s claims that the mine has been a model of healthy development for the community and has caused no adverse effects. Spanish with English subtitles. DVD. Comments will be made by Steven Schnoor (film maker) and Carlos Amador, community leader from the Siria Valley in Honduras.

LOCATION: 7pm, OISE, 252 Bloor St W, Room 2198, (corner of Bloor St and St. George)
CONTACT: Steven Schnoor, steven_s@yorku.ca, cel: 514 795 0825 ; Grahame Russell, info@rightsaction.org, cel: 250-231-5158

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TUESDAY, MAY 20: STREET EDUCATION & PROTEST ACTIVITIES
@ 1pm – 2:30pm

GOLDCORP Inc’s ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING – STREET EDUCATION & PROTEST ACTIVITIES: Come join a festive, colorful street “education session” (bring your own banners, posters, happy noise makers, etc) in front of the King Edward hotel where the Goldcorp AGM will take place – support community members that have come to protest the environmental and development harms and human rights violations that Goldcorp is causing on their lands.

LOCATION: King Edward Hotel, 1pm – 2:30pm, 37 King St. E., Toronto
CONTACT: Sakura Saunders, sakura.saunders@gmail.com, cel: 530-304-8297 ; Grahame Russell, info@rightsaction.org, cel: 250-231-5158 ;

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 21: PUBLIC EVENT: “Indigenous resistance to Canadian mining corporations in Latin America”
@ 7pm

An evening with Sergio Campusano, Chief of the Pueblo Diaguita Huascoaltinos, indigenous people of Chile and additional speakers from Guatemala and Honduras also resisting environmental devastation and human rights violations at the hands of Canadian gold mining corporations on their lands. In a rare visit to Canada, Sergio Campusano — an eloquent speaker on the subject of indigenous resistance to industrial development — will share the struggle of his people against Canadian gold, uranium and copper extraction industries on ancestral lands. There will be special mention of the infamous Pascua Lama mine, which threatens the water supply for 100,000 farmers at the drought-ravaged border of Chile and Argentina.

The Diaguita community has pressed charges against the Chilean State for its complicity with these corporations, including a notice to appeal before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Their fight is not only for survival and human rights, but also to preserve the living systems of the Earth, which they regard as sacred. Community leaders from Guatemala and Honduras, in Toronto for the Goldcorp AGM, will also share their struggles to protect the land against open-pit industrial mining.

This event is the final evening in a two week long series of events focused on international indigenous resistance to indigenous resistance to Canadian corporations Barrick Gold and Goldcorp. For more information see http://www.protestbarrick.net and http://www.rightsaction.org/

LOCATION: Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto (south west of Museum subway, off of Harbord St)
CONTACT: Paul York, pyork_2002@hotmail.com, cel: 647-342-7995

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NEW REPORT: “INVESTING IN CONFLICT: Public Money, Private Gain – Goldcorp Inc in the Americas”
http://www.rightsaction.org/Reports/Mining_Goldcorp_BW_042608.pdf

Written by Dawn Paley (dawnpaley@gmail.com), with Mining Watch (www.miningwatch.ca) and Rights Action, and edited by Sakura Saunders, Investing in Conflict is about the “nexus of mining companies, the mainstream media, the Canadian government, International Finance Institutions and bought off NGOs” that are working “hard to keep the reality of large-scale, open pit mines out of picture, keep[ing] community resistance marginalized, and no matter what, to keep talking about “development”.” Focusing on Goldcorp Inc., Investing in Conflict brings “hard facts and community perspectives together to help North Americans become more informed about the nature of the mining industry.”

FREE COPY at www.rightsaction.org. Go to our website and read the report on line, or print your own copy. Feel free to print and distribute copies to family and friends, investors and politicians.

Facebook site:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=19201587135

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‘Canada does not yet have laws to ensure that the activities of Canadian mining companies in developing countries conform to human rights standards, including the rights of workers and of indigenous peoples.’
– Canada’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. June 2005

‘Canadian mining companies are taking advantage of [inadequate and poorly enforced regulatory controls] to expand into all corners of the globe, manipulating, slandering, abusing, and even killing those who dare to oppose them, displacing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike, supporting repressive governments and taking advantage of weak ones, and contaminating and destroying sensitive ecosystems.’
– Jamie Kneen, MiningWatch Canada. November 2006

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Resistencia a la minería aurífera canadiense en América latina

domingo, el 18 de mayo, a las 7pm.
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Vengan a escuchar las historias de los lideres Fausto Valiente de Guatemala y Carlos Amador de Honduras sobre la resistencia de sus comunidades en contra de las operaciones de la empresa minera canadiense Goldcorp en sus tierras. Presentacion multimedia.
– Steelworkers’ Union Hall, 25 Cecil, Toronto

lunes, 19 de mayo, entre las 3pm y las 10pm.
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!!!La fiesta de afiches y mantas!!! Vengan a charlar con los y las organizadores mientras todos y todas hagamos materiales para la protesta del dia siguiente.
– Sala 2198, edificio OISE, Universidad de Toronto
– 252 Bloor St W (estacion de metro St George, salida calle Bedford)

martes, 20 de mayo, 1pm a 3pm
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Vengan y apoyen la delegacion internacional con el festival de resistencia y de educacion popular. !Traigan sus mantas, afiches, instrumentos, consignas, y voces! Estaremos frente al hotel King Edward, donde la Goldcorp llevara a cabo su reunion anual general.
– 37 King St. E., en el centro de la ciudad de Toronto

martes, 20 de mayo, 7pm
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‘No todo lo que brilla es oro – Una historia de explotación y resistencia’: Vengan a ver el nuevo documental sobre la grave situacion que enfrentan las comunidades afectadas por la mina de oro a cielo abierto San Martin en el Valle de Siria, Honduras. El documental se discutara con la participacion de Steven Schnoor, activista de video, y Carlos Amador, lider ambientalista de la zona.
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Para mayor informacion, contacten a Derechos en Accion (info@rightsaction.org) o a Sakura Saunders (sakura.saunders@gmail.com).


Rare opportunity to meet international aboriginal leaders here to protest Barrick Gold’s abuses

May 7, 2008

I am posting this information in the hopes that a few people in the GTA and Ottawa area may be interested in meeting these folks before they return to their countries of origin. There are opportunities to meet them Wed., Thurs. and Fri. in Toronto. On Saturday they are travelling to Ottawa with a detour to meet those protesting the proposed uranium mine near Sharbot Lake. Contact Natalie (info. below) for details if you wish to meet them or offer support.

Aboriginal leaders from Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Western Shoshone territory (in Nevada) are in Toronto on a rare visit to Canada. They are heading to Ottawa on Saturday.

The Papua New Guinea contingent have flown 32 hours to get here, and risked their own safety and the safety of their families to so do. At home they have suffered outright murder (villagers shot by Barrick security) and rape of women villagers.

In all cases, sacred lands are being desecrated and massive water systems and ecosystems destroyed irreparably. Some of the water systems destroyed are so large the mine tailings can be seen in satellite photos.

Sadly, their stories were not covered by mass media outlets at the Barrick Gold Annual General Meeting yesterday even though all the leaders obtained proxies to get in and all spoke up at the meeting and told invesors what was happening to them.

By not covering their stories, the mass media in Canada are indirectly responsible for the continued murder of their people by Barrick Gold. To arrange an interview with the Papua New Guinea and Australian contingent contact Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth (Australia), 416 809 2755 – natalie.lowrey@foe.org.au

To arrange an interview with the Western Shoshone contingent contact Julie Fishel, Western Shoshone Defence Project (USA) – 775 397 1371 – wsdp@igc.org

Below is a news story printed in the independant media which serves as an example of the kind of coverage that responsible news outlet would publish:


International Indigenous leaders attend Barrick Gold’s Shareholder’s meeting

Tuesday 6th May, 2008 at 10am

Indigenous leaders from Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the United States traveled to Canada this week to attend the shareholders’ meeting of Barrick Gold to make statements against Barrick’s unregulated operations on their lands.

Complaints include the killing, rape and arbitrary detention of local village people in Papua New Guinea by Barrick security, the destruction of spiritual sites in Australia and the United States, and the pollution of water resources at all of Barrick’s mines. The tour is heading to Ottawa after the shareholders’ meeting where they have arranged meetings with members of parliament.

At Lake Cowal, Australia, Barrick is importing 6090 tonnes of sodium cyanide into the flood plain renowned for severe flooding. ‘Barrick Gold has absolutely no respect for our cultural heritage and the very essence of our cultural being is at stake,’ stated Neville ‘Chappy’ William, Wiradjuri elder and spokesperson for Mooka and Kalara United Families, the traditional owners of the Lake Cowal area. In addition to creating an open-pit mine in the ‘Sacred Heartland of the Wiradjuri Nation,’ Barrick has confiscated thousands of Wiradjuri cultural objects from the mine site and refuses to return them to the traditional owners.

According to Jethro Tulin, Executive Officer of the Akali Tange Association, a human rights organization in Papua New Guinea, ‘Barrick’s Porgera Mine is a textbook case of what can go wrong when large-scale mining confronts indigenous peoples, ignoring the impacts of its projects and resorting to goon squads when people rebel against it. This outrages the conscience of local Indigenous communities, especially when the mine is right next to our homes; my people are exposed to dangerous chemicals like cyanide and mercury; some of our people down in the tailings and waste during floods; and fishing stocks, flora and fauna are depleted down the river systems, leading to indigenous food sources being threatened.’

‘The international community has spoken quite clearly on these matters. The United States has been told on two separate occasions to cease and desist the destructive activities on Shoshone lands and Canada has been told to rein in its corporate giants like Barrick,’ stated Larson Bill, Western Shoshone Community Planner, referencing the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) in their review of Canada last year.

According to a 2005 Parliamentary Standing Committee report, ‘Canada does not yet have laws to ensure that the activities of Canadian mining companies indeveloping countries conform to human rights standards, including the rights of workers and of indigenous people.’ As of 2008, these regulatory issues have yet
to be resolved.

The leaders include:

Larson R. Bill, Community Planner, Western Shoshone Defense Project, USA

Neville Williams, Mooka/Kalara United Families within the Wiradjuri Nation, Lake Cowal, Australia

Jethro Tulin, Executive Officer, Akali Tange Association, PapuaNew Guinea

Mark Ekepa, Chairman, Porgera Landowners Association,

Anga Atalu, Secretary, Porgera Landowners Association, Papua New Guinea

This effort is supported by:

ProtestBarrick.net
Western Shoshone Defence Project (USA)
Mining Watch Canada (Canada)
SaveLakeCowal.org (Australia)
Mineral Policy Institute (Australia)
Friends of the Earth (Australia)
Porgera Land Owners Association (Papua New Guinea)
Atali Tange Association (Papua New Guinea)

Contact:
Julie Fishel, Western Shoshone Defence Project (USA)

&nbs; 775 397 1371 – wsdp@igc.org

Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth (Australia)
416 809 2755 – natalie.lowrey@foe.org.au