GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST OPEN-PIT MINING (co-sponsored by BAYAN-Canada)

open-pitEvery person should be concerned, open pit mining is responsible for countless human and environmental rights violations.

Every Canadian should be concerned, over 70% of all mining companies IN THE WORLD are traded out of Toronto.

Every Filipino should be concerned, the Phils has the SECOND largest gold deposits (for it’s land area) in the world.

The Philippines currently allows for 100% ownership by foreign companies, provides long renewable tax holidays, and 100% repatriation of profits.  Canadian companies are responsible for the militarisation of communities, displacement of peoples (including minority communities), deaths, disappearances, and the destruction and poisoning of the environment and thus the people that depend on it.

Take for example Marinduque island.  Canadian company PlacerDome (now bought out by Barrick Gold) dumped toxic mine waste on the surface of Calancan Bay (which is home to many communities of fisherfolk) 24 hours a day for 16 years.  Today the entire island and it’s waterways are toxic and the population live in great danger of heavy metal poisoning.  Many have already died from the contamination.  Despite the almost half century of mining on the island it remains one of the poorest regions in the country.

***For some images and an overview of the situation please take a look at some of the recent work of activist and photographer, Mr. Alex Filipe, with mining in the Philippines: http://alexfelipe.com/2009/06/07/all-that-glitters-nominated-for-a-natl-mag-award/* * *

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST OPEN-PIT MINING (co-sponsored by BAYAN-Canada)

Date:
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Time:
16:00 – 17:30
Location:
130 King St W
Town/City:
Toronto, ON

The methods and technology used in open-pit mining operations causes the destruction and exhaustion of the planet’s ecosystems. Removing forest cover, destroying soils, contaminating both water and underground
reservoirs, dividing communities, bribing officials, threatening, blackmailing, and violating human rights are all common practice for open-pit mining projects around the world.

The mining industry has a long history in Mexico. The region’s mineral wealth was one of the main motives behind European conquest in the 16th century. As in other indigenous lands around the world, mining was of utmost
importance for the colonial powers but for the indigenous communities themselves, it meant injury, death, environmental destruction, and impoverishment. Despite a long struggle for land and the eventual victory of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, this historical injustice persists to this day. Today?s colonial powers are the mostly Canadian mining companies who continue to extract resources from the Global South as well as from Canada?s
own indigenous peoples.

In contrast with its self-proclaimed environmental awareness, Canada is the global leader in open-pit mining.  Canadian-based transnational corporations (TNCs) control 51% of global mining capital and Mexico in
particular had a big role to play in Canada?s rise to become the world mining champion.

The neoliberal policies implemented in Mexico since the mid-1980s, codified and consolidated by the creation of NAFTA, were of great importance for Canadian mining companies. The erosion of labour rights aside, it is the
repression of environmental movements, increasing militarization and autocracy, and the forced eviction of entire communities that have allowed for the establishment and survival of mining projects.

As of 2007, the Mexican government has granted 438 mining concessions, most of them going to Canadian companies. In the state of Chiapas alone, 72 projects cover 727,435ha of land (slightly larger than the Palestinian
Occupied Territories). Half of this territory is now owned by two Canadian companies: Linear Gold and the Frontier Development Group. The territory passed into private ownership without the knowledge, let alone consent, of
the communities located there, most of whom are peasants and indigenous people. The same is happening in the states of Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Sonora, Oaxaca, and Coahuila.

A similar fate awaits much of the world. Canadian mining companies are at work in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Brasil, Panama, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Philippines, Surinam, Ghana,
Congo, Tanzania, Sudan, Zambia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the United States, and Canada itself?

*It is for these reasons that we call for a Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining on July 22nd. Given Canada?s leading role in the global mining industry, we call for peaceful demonstrations in front of Canadian
embassies across the world in order to show our condemnation of these mining projects that only leave behind desolation, poverty, and death for our people while enriching the few.*

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