Jan 31: Fundraiser for Tsilhqot’in legal defense against Taseko Mines

Support Tsilhqot’in Nation in defending  Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)!

Tuesday, January 31, 7pm

The WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac St, Vancouver

Next week (Jan 30 to Feb 3) is the federal court hearing Taseko Mines’ judicial review of the federal rejection of Taseko’s New Prosperity proposal. The court hearing is at 701 West Georgia St.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/235435026884433/?ti=as

2017-01-30-fishlakepostervancouver

 

 

 

 

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Jan 26: Flin Flon Flim Flam (Film Screening)@KDocs

Join members of MJA for a screening of John Dougherty’s documentary on HudBay Minerals. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the Director and local panelists.

2016-01-26-flin-flon-flim-flam-poster

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Jan 24: Blood of Extraction (Book Launch)

Please join us for the Vancouver Launch of a new book by Todd Gordon & Jeffery R. Webber

blood-of-extractiion-evite-vancouver

FB page for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1228749503847091/

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News Release: Murder of Young Assistant from Guatemalan Environmental Organization is Evidence of Escalating Risk to Human Rights Defenders

(Ottawa/Toronto/Vancouver/Reno/Washington/Guatemala) North American organizations are dismayed and deeply troubled by the execution-style murder of 22 year-old Jeremy Abraham Barrios Lima, assistant to the director of the Guatemalan Centre for Legal, Environmental and Social Action (CALAS), on Saturday in Guatemala City.

A group of Canadian and US legal, environmental and social justice organizations, and solidarity networks publicly express their condolences for the victim’s mother and two young sisters. In addition, they are profoundly worried about the safety and continued work of CALAS and the mining-affected communities that this organization collaborates with. There is no denying the significance of this brutal murder amidst escalating violence against land and environment defenders, journalists and citizens involved in important environmental and social justice struggles in the country and the region.

Jeremy Barrios was cruelly assassinated by unknown assailants with two bullets to the head while doing errands in zone 4 of Guatemala City. He was responsible for managing sensitive information at CALAS and had not received any prior threat or warning of this attack. None of his personal belongings were stolen. His murder is understood as a direct message to CALAS’ director and other personnel. The precise motive for his murder is not yet known. …

Read the full release here

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Book Review: More than a few bad apples (Jen Moore)

Jen Moore reviews the new book Blood of Extraction by Todd Book & Jeffery R. Webber:

“Militarized neoliberalism” and the Canadian state in Latin America

By Jen Moore

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Military responds to mining protest in Peru. (Photo by Thomas Quirynen and Marijke Deleu, CATAPA)

Stories of bloody, degrading violence associated with Canadian mining operations abroad sporadically land on Canadian news pages. HudBay Minerals, Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, Nevsun and Tahoe Resources are some of the bigger corporate names associated with this activity. Sometimes our attention is held for a moment, sometimes at a stretch. It usually depends on what solidarity networks and under-resourced support groups can sustain in their attempts to raise the issues and amplify the voices of those affected by one of Canada’s most globalized industries. But even they only tell us part of the story, as Todd Gordon and Jeffery Webber make painfully clear in their new book, The Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America (Fernwood Publishing, November 2016).

“Rather than a series of isolated incidents carried out by a few bad apples,” they write, “the extraordinary violence and social injustice accompanying the activities of Canadian capital in Latin America are systemic features of Canadian imperialism in the twenty-first century.” While not completely focused on mining, The Blood of Extraction examines a considerable range of mining conflicts in Central America and the northern Andes. Together with a careful review of government documents obtained under access to information requests, Gorden and Webber manage to provide a clear account of Canadian foreign policy at work to “ensure the expansion and protection of Canadian capital at the expense of local populations.”

Fortunately, the book is careful, as it must be in a region rich with creative community resistance and social movement organizing, not to present people as mere victims. Rather, by providing important context to the political economy in each country studied, and illustrating the truly vigorous social organization that this destructive development model has awoken, the authors are able to demonstrate the “dialectic of expansion and resistance.” With care, they also show how Canadian tactics become differentiated to capitalize on relations with governing regimes considered friendly to Canadian interests or to try to contain changes taking place in countries where the model of “militarized neoliberalism” is in dispute. 

The spectacular expansion of “Canadian interests” in Latin America

We are frequently told Canadian mining investment is necessary to improve living standards in other countries. Gordon and Webber take a moment to spell out which “Canadian interests” are really at stake in Latin America—the principal region for Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) in the mining sector—and what it has looked like for at least two decades: “liberalization of capital flows, the rewriting of natural resource and financial sector rules, the privatization of public assets, and so on.”

Cumulative CDIA in the region jumped from $2.58 billion in stock in 1990 to $59.4 billion in 2013. These numbers are considerably underestimated, the authors note, since they do not include Canadian capital routed through tax havens. In comparison, U.S. direct investment in the region increased proportionately about a quarter as much over the same period. Despite having an economy one-tenth the size of the U.S., Canadian investment in Latin America and the Caribbean is about a quarter the value of U.S. investment, and most of it is in mining and banking.

Canadian mining investment abroad

Canadian mining investment abroad

SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada

To cite a few of the statistics from Gordon and Webber’s book, Latin America and the Caribbean now account for over half of Canadian mining assets abroad (worth $72.4 billion in 2014). Whereas Canadian companies operated two mines in the region in 1990, as of 2012 there were 80, with 48 more in stages of advanced development. In 2014, Northern Miner claimed that 62% of all producing mines in the region were owned by a company headquartered in Canada. This does not take into consideration that 90% of the mining companies listed on Canadian stock exchanges do not actually operate any mine, but rather focus their efforts on speculating on possible mineral finds. This means that, even if a mine is eventually controlled by another source of private capital, Canadian companies are very frequently the first face a community will see in the early stages of a mining project…

Read the full post here, in the magazine The Monitor, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Posted in Community Resistance, Conflict and Repression, Corporate Impunity, Environment and Health, Goldcorp, Local and Indigenous Rights, Nevsun Resources, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Property and Livelihoods, Social Costs, Private Profit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

News Release: Guatemalans to Appeal Case Against Tahoe Resources in B.C. Court: Reminder that Canada Must Be Open for Justice

On November 1st, the BC Court of Appeals will revisit a procedural motion in the case of seven Guatemalans who have brought a civil suit for battery and negligence against Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources. The suit concerns the company’s role in a violent attack in April 2013 when Tahoe’s private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the controversial Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala. Video footage shows that the group of men were shot at close range while attempting to flee the site.

In June 2014, seven men wounded during the violent incident filed the lawsuit in Canada against the company. In November 2015, a BC Supreme Court judge refused jurisdiction and said the case should be heard in Guatemala.

“The November 2015 decision ignored the fact that Guatemala has one of the highest rates of impunity in the world,” stated Jackie McVicar of United for Mining Justice. “The possibility to bring Tahoe’s then chief of security, much less the company itself, to justice in Guatemala for its role in the armed attack is slim, especially considering how State officials have worked to ensure impunity in this case.”

The lead suspect in the criminal case in Guatemala, former head of security for Tahoe, escaped police custody and fled the country just weeks after the BC Supreme Court decision was released in November 2015. Five police officers have been accused of enabling his escape.

“What we are seeing is not a matter of a few ‘bad apple’ companies as the Canadian government has tried to suggest,” commented Jen Moore of MiningWatch Canada. “Rather, communities are facing intensifying repression when they defend themselves and their well being from harms by mining operations throughout the region, while companies enjoy favourable laws and strong backing from Canadian authorities.”

Tens of thousands of area residents have peacefully voiced opposition to Tahoe’s project in Guatemala despite the threat of violence for doing so. A recent report from the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) charts hundreds of murders, injuries, arbitrary arrests and detentions throughout Latin America in the past 15 years associated with Canadian mining projects and the failure of the Canadian government to act to redress or stop the violence being perpetrated.

The suit against Tahoe Resources is one of several cases that have been brought to Canada in hopes of finding justice for communities negatively impacted by Canadian mining operations overseas. In 2010, another group of Guatemalans filed a series of lawsuits in Ontario against Hudbay Minerals for negligence in incidents of murder, rape, and shooting causing serious injury near its Fenix nickel project. In 2014, Eritrean victims filed a civil case in BC against Nevsun over the use of forced labour, crimes against humanity and other abuses at the Bisha mine. Earlier this October, a BC Court ruled that the Nevsun case can proceed in Canada leading dozens more victims to step forward….

Read the full release here.

Posted in Community Resistance, Corporate Impunity, Nevsun Resources, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Tahoe Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oct 18th: Breaking the Silence – 20 Years After Invasion & War in the Congo

Congo Week Event with Maurice Carney, Friends of the Congo

Tuesday October 18th @ 6:30 pm

1803 E 1st Ave, Vancouver

Grandview Calvary Baptist Church

unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlil̓wətaʔɬ territories

On Facebook: http://bit.ly/2daWVtI

** This is a free event. The event is child friendly. Side entrance is street level and wheelchair accessible. Washroom has a stall that can accommodate a wheelchair (washroom door is 86 cm, the stall door is 61 cm). Sign language interpretation will also be a part of the program.

This year marks the 20 Year Anniversary of the invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Uganda and Rwanda in 1996 that resulted in what is commonly described as the bloodiest war since World War 2. The conflict has torn apart the region. It is responsible for more than 5 million lives lost, many of them children. Rape has widely been used as a tool of war.  While western governments have been complicit in supporting the war, the occupation of the eastern Congo and the plunder of the resources for multinational corporations, the conflict and region have been largely ignored. Vancouver is also headquarters to mining companies operating in the Eastern Congo and benefiting from the war as well as imperial strategies in the region.

Congo week events are being held in various communities to help educate and encourage activism. In Vancouver this event hopes to help provide a deeper understanding of the conflict, the geopolitical struggle for power, industrial interests, the human costs and the role of solidarity campaigns.

PROGRAM:

Maurice Carney – Co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He has worked with Congolese for over fifteen years in their struggle for peace, justice and human dignity. Friends of the Congo works to educate people about the challenge of the Congo, mobilize a global movement in support of the people of the Congo and support local Congolese institutions working in the interest of the people. Maurice has also been involved in organizing around Congo Week and conflict minerals campaigns.

Kim Haxton – Is involved in community healing work as co founder of Indigeneyez, emphasizing leadership development, embodied awareness and ‘betrayal-to-trust’ rites of passage, de-escalation, de-colonization, diversity and anti-oppression training using the arts and the natural world.  Currently, Kim volunteers her services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, developing training programs for Peace and Conflict Resolution, where Ms Haxton is training local Congolese women who have been affected by civil war, poverty and sexual violence as trainers to work with others in their communities.

A speaker from the former United Congolese Community of BC organization. The United Congolese Community of BC organization has formally disbanded but a member of the community network will be presenting.

Territorial welcome and words from Cease Wyss, a Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/ Hawaiian/Swiss media artist, community organizer and activist. She has produced various formats of media art, as well as being a mentor in her field for close to 15 years. She is also an ethno-botanist, traditionally trained in this field by Indigenous Elders. Her work involves site-specific and culturally focused teaching with storytelling as her means to sharing knowledge.

The event is being organized in partnership with Friends of the Congo. Friends of the Congo is “a majority Congolese institution made up of members of the Congolese diaspora in Africa, US, Canada, Europe.” Friends of the Congo: http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/

Events around the world are being organized in response to the call for global solidarity and mobilization towards Congo Week IX events called for by Friends of the Congo, a majority Congolese institution. The local event is supported by Friends of the Congo, members of the former United Congolese Community of BC, SFU’s Institute of Humanities, Mining Justice Alliance, Streams of Justice, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Stop the War Coalition.

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