Oct 27 & Oct 29: New Film ‘DEFENSORA’ Premieres in Vancouver

“Defensora is a deeply moving testimony to incredible courage in the face of wanton brutality and a shining tribute to the human search for justice.” (Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians)

TORONTO, ON — 6kidsProductions and Girl Edge Films, in partnership with Rights Action, announces the lineup of premiere screenings of Defensora in Ontario, the Maritimes and British Columbia, October 26- November 1/2013.

Defensora Vancouver Poster

                        DEFENSORA documents the historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala, and their struggle for justice and remedy in Canadian courts against the nickel mining company Hudbay Minerals.
Winner of the International John Basham Award, at the 2013 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, Defensora follows the story of sisters Maria and Angelica Choc, who lead a Mayan Q’eqchi resistance in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and seek justice in Canada for the murder of Angelica’s husband, the shooting-paralyzing of German Choc Chub and the gang rapes of 11 Mayan women.

Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, where tensions run high against a backdrop and history of violence, intimidation and forced evictions, the stakes are high for the Mayan Q’eqchi people who risk their lives to protect their lands, speak the truth and seek justice in Canadian courts, and for Hudbay Minerals that continues to deny their allegations.

“Defensora is a timely documentary that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of Angélica, German and other Maya Q’eqchi’ women and men in El Estor, Guatemala who, faced with the grave harm that Canadian mining operations have brought about, are on the frontline of the battle for justice in Canadian courts.” (Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada)

VANCOUVER SCREENINGS:

Sunday October 27 in Vancouver, at Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre, Rm. 1900 SFU Harbour Centre at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Mining Justice Alliance, Media Democracy – CounterCulture, and SFU Institute for the Humanities. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action, and Lix Lopex, member of the Maya community and Mining Justice Alliance.

Tuesday October 29 at UBC (Point Grey Campus), Norm Theatre, Student Union Building (SUB) at 3pm. Sponsored by: UBC Latin American Studies Program, Mining Justice Alliance, and Not From My Campus. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell of Rights Action, and student members of Not From My Campus.

Watch Defensora’s preview trailer:

https://vimeo.com/41162423

www.defensorathefilm.com

Defensora on facebook: www.facebook.com/Defensora

Download the Vancouver-SFU/Downtown Oct 27 screening poster to share: Defensora Vancouver Poster

Download the UBC-Point Grey Oct 29 screening poster to share: DefensoraUBC Poster-29OCT

ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS – WHERE AND WHEN

October 26 in Toronto, Defensora premieres at OISE Auditorium at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Rights Action and Science for Peace. A panel presentation hosted by Rights Action will follow. Guests include Angelica Choc, Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors, and actress and activist Tantoo Cardinal.

In the Maritimes, screenings are sponsored by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and will feature special guest Angelica Choc.

Maritimes Dates and locations include:

October 27 in Halifax, Dalhousie Law School at 7 pm

October 28 in Antigonish, Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre at 7 pm

October 30 in Tatamagouche, Tatamagouche Centre at 7 pm

November 1 in Fredericton, Cinema Politica, Conserver House at 7 pm

In British Columbia screening dates and locations include:

October 27 in Vancouver, at Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre, Rm. 1900 SFU Harbour Centre at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Mining Justice Alliance, Media Democracy – CounterCulture, and SFU Institute for the Humanities. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt and Grahame Russell, Rights Action.

October 28 in Prince George, at the Canfor Theatre, Rm 6-213 University of Northern British Columbia at 7 pm. Sponsored by: UNBC Geography Program, Prince George Development and Peace,UNBC Guatemala Research Group, and UNBC Department of First Nations Studies. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action and Dr. Catherine Nolin, Associate Professor of Geography UNBC.

Tuesday October 29 at UBC (Point Grey Campus), Norm Theatre, Student Union Building (SUB) at 3pm. Sponsored by: UBC Latin American Studies Program, Mining Justice Alliance, and Not From My Campus. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action, and student members of Not From My Campus.

October 30 in Victoria, at University of Victoria, David Strong Building, Rm C103 at 7 pm. Sponsored by: UVic Social Justice Studies (SJS) and Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC). Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt and Grahame Russell, Rights Action.

November 1 in Castlegar, at Brilliant Cultural Centre at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Kootenay Region of the United Nations Branch (KRUNA), Sustainable Mining Alliance of the Kootenays (SMAK), Nelson Amnesty International, Nelson Development and Peace, Nelson Chapter of the Council of Canadians and CMAW Carpenters Local 2300. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action and local activists.

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Wed Aug 21st: Stand in Solidarity with the Tahltan people against open pit coal

Photo from facebook call

Photo from facebook call

From the call to action:

This Wednesday August 21 at 12:15 at Hornby and Robson (downtown Vancouver) there will be a gathering in solidarity to support the Tahltan people against Fortune Minerals.

Currently the Tahltan have a protest camp in the Sacred Headwaters where they are working on stopping the development of Fortune Minerals planned open pit coal mine.

Recently the Tahltan Elders served eviction notices to Fortune Minerals. However, they did not leave and are trespassing on Tahltan territory.

The Tahltan fought Shell for ten years from fracking the Headwaters before and now we must show our solidarity in stopping Fortune Minerals from creating an open pit coal mine in Tahltan territory.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1402475773303413/

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Thurs Jun 20, 2013: Alert Fortuna Silver Shareholders to the high cost of ignoring human rights!

At the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

Thursday, June 20, 2013, 9 AM

Oceanview Suite 4, Pan Pacific Hotel, 999 Canada Place (old convention centre)

Vancouver

Bernado Vasquez Sanchez

Bernardo Vasquez Sanchez, leading opponent of Fortuna Silver’s Mine in San Jose del Progreso, Mexico, assassinated March 15, 2012

Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver is operating the Cuzcatlán Silver Mine in the Ocotlán Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico against the wishes of many local residents who are concerned about the depletion and contamination of scarce water resources. Fortuna’s mine has sown deep divisions in neighbouring communities and since 2010, several opponents to the mine have been ambushed and shot.

People in Ocotlán are appealing to Vancouverites to support them in their struggle to get Fortuna to withdraw from their territories.

Join us in warning Fortuna Silver’s shareholders of the high costs of ignoring human rights violations at their Cuzcatlán mine!!

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55 wounded, 80 detained in clashes at Canadian mine in Kyrgyzstan (Associated Press)

A news article reports that approximately 2000 people stormed Toronto-based Centerra Gold’s Kumtor mine facility. According to the article, local communities have been calling for the mine to be nationalized and the company to provide more benefits.

The article details how company shares dropped, and a state of emergency was declared following the protests.

Read the Associated Press / CBC article here.

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Secwepemc and Ahoushat Reject Imperial Metals Mines & Unist’ot’en Soft Blockade

Two important actions this week and assertions of Indigenous sovereignty

Image

* Opposition at Imperial Metals AGM

Members of the Neskonlith Secwepemc Nation and Ancestral Pride Ahousaht Sovereign Territory voiced opposition to Imperial Metals and made clear no mining on unceded territories without free, prior and informed consent. After a rally outside the AGM, five Indigenous activists and a few allies gained access inside, but were grabbed and tossed out by VPD police officers.

Read their statements: http://noii-van.resist.ca/?p=5650

Or this link:
http://westcoastnativenews.com/imperial-metals-operating-without-consent/

Photos:
http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/sounding-against-mining-clayoquot/17705

On FB: http://on.fb.me/177HF9N

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* Unist’ot’en Soft Blockade

The Unist’ot’en People(a.k.a C’ilhts’ekhyu) of the Wet’suwet’en Nation maintain a “Soft Blockade” keeping pipeline workers and subcontractors out of their territories. The blockade is located 66km on the Morice West Forest Service Road south of the town of Houston BC.

Read more:
http://intercontinentalcry.org/the-unistoten-people-maintain-a-soft-blockade-on-the-morice-river/

Share on FB: http://on.fb.me/10Col0n

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Tahoe Resources Mining executive in Guatemala gives direct orders to kill protestors (Guatemala Times)

“The investigation of the mining conflicts in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, took a 180 degrees turn, after the Public Ministry submitted audio from wiretapping as evidence. In the audio it can be clearly heard how Alberto Rotondo, head of the San Rafael Mining Security outfit ordered to assassinate opponents of the mine.”

Update from @Sandra_Cuffe. See full article in The Guatemala Times.

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State of Siege: Mining Conflict Escalates in Guatemala (Upside Down World)

Article published today about the escalating violence in Guatemala, near Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine project. The article highlights how there is great reason to fear that the suspension of constitutional  rights under the State of  Siege leaves community leaders and mining opponents vulnerable to (even more) unchecked violence and repression.
 

[From the article by Sandra Cuffe:]

Security at the Escobal project site, mid April 2013. Credit: Resistencia Pacifica El Escobal / Upside Down World

Security at the Escobal project site, mid April 2013. Credit: Resistencia Pacifica El Escobal / Upside Down World

…. Fifty miles southeast of the capital, private security guards working for Vancouver-based  mining firm Tahoe Resources shot and wounded several local residents on  Saturday in San Rafael Las Flores, on the road in front of Tahoe’s El  Escobal silver mine. The mining  company’s head of security was arrested while attempting to flee the  country. A police officer and a campesino were killed during conflicts  earlier this week. Through it all, demonstrations against the mining  project have continued amid conflicting reports and government  misinformation.

Following  a Cabinet meeting late last night, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez  Molina declared a 30-day State of Siege in four municipalities around  the El Escobal mining project: San Rafael Las Flores and Casillas in the  department of Santa Rosa, and Jalapa and Mataquescuintla in the  department of Jalapa. The measure is in effect as of today. Initial  reports indicated that the constitutional rights suspended include  freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and protest, and certain rights  of detainees and prisoners.

Even  before the measure was declared, communities were denouncing army  mobilization in the region last night. When he announced the State of  Siege, Pérez Molina stated that security forces reported for duty at  three military bases last night and that operatives would begin early  this morning.

“We  fear for the lives of our leaders,” stated a message circulated online  by the Xinka People’s Parliament, denouncing the mobilization of armed  forces in Jutiapa with the alleged intention of arresting Xinka leaders  in Santa María Xalapán, Jalapa. “We’re returning to the 1980s, with the  persecution of leaders, extrajudicial execution and forced  disappearance.”…..  View the full article, with photos, here.

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