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.


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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Film: Plundering Tibet – Sunday March 8th

Plundering Tibet – Environmental and Social Consequences of Resource

Film Screening and Discussion Forum

please share the info via the Facebook event page! (link below)


Date: Sunday March 8, 2015

Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: Library Square Conference Centre (350 West Georgia Street,

Room: Peter Kaye Room

 Suggested Donation: $10

 Sponsored by Canada Tibet Committee (www.tibet.ca)

 From Wild Yak Films (http://www.wildyakfilms.com/)

A film by Michael Buckley
A personal take on mining in Tibet
How much can an ecosystem take before it collapses?

Length: 24 minutes

Plundering Tibet is a short documentary about the dire consequences of  China’s ruthless mining in Tibet. As a Canadian filmmaker, the narrator  has a personal take on this because of the involvement of Canadian  companies in mining in Tibet—and the railway to Lhasa. Following the  arrival of the train in Tibet in 2006, large-scale mining of lithium,
gold, copper, lead, crude oil, natural gas and other resources is under way to feed China’s voracious industrial sector. Tibetans have vigorously protested the defilement of their sacred mountains by Chinese mining operations. None of the mining operations benefit Tibetans. In fact, mining pollutes drinking water, kills the livestock, and degrades the
grasslands on which Tibetan nomads depend. A disaster of Biblical proportions is unfolding in Tibet—so big you can see it happening on Google Earth—the mines, the pollution, the environmental damage.

The environmental impact may go far beyond Tibet’s borders because of rivers that run downstream to ten Asian nations—including India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Burma and Vietnam. Tibet’s abundant rivers supply large quantities of both water and power for mining operations. Chinese engineers are heavily damming Tibet’s mighty rivers to supply
power for large-scale mining operations: the building of mega-dams will immediately affect the nations downstream. The documentary uses undercover  footage and still photography shot on location in Tibet—including  cellphone footage of an anti-mining protest smuggled out of Tibet.  Although some photography of mine sites was shot within Tibet, it is extremely difficult to get to mining sites due to tight security in remote locations. For mining sites in Tibet, the film uses Google Earth flyovers to show what is happening on the ground, hidden from view.

Posted in Environment and Health, Local and Indigenous Rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

COMING SOON to a mining city near you… March 28 Toxic Tour!

toxic web 1

amazing poster by: murray bush, flux design

Soon, Indigenous leaders, academics, scientists, activists and public intellectuals will converge in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territories, to explore global resistance to the new face of resource capitalism in Canada as a State of Extraction.

On March 28th, in conjunction with the State of Extraction conference-convergence, please join us for:

Extractive Industries and Voices of Resistance:

A Toxic Tour of Vancouver

MARCH through the streets! in a lively procession to stand up for community self-determination.

SEE the sites! of fancy offices where corporate decisions lead to social and environmental injustices.

HEAR from indigenous and global communities! affected by Vancouver’s extractive companies.

Music! Snacks! Dance! Street Theatre! Testimonies! Family-friendly! Bring your drums and regalia!

Saturday March 28

12pm – 3pm

Starts at Vancouver Art Gallery (North side, Georgia and Howe)

Unceded Coast Salish Territories

RSVP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/348463725348425/

Organized by: Mining Justice Alliance, Café Rebelde, Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Council of Canadians, No One Is Illegal-Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Coast Salish Territories

Endorsed by: Alliance for People’s Health; Beyond Boarding Collective; Canada Tibet Committee; Critical Criminology Working Group at KPU; In Solidarity With All Land Defenders; INDIGENOUS ACTION MOVEMENT-Coast Salish Territories; International Allies Against Mining in Latin America; International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS); Migrante BC; Red Sparks Union; Rights Action; Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG); SocialCoast; South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD); Stop Enbridge, Stop Kinder Morgan-Call to Action; Streams of Justice; Teaching Support Staff Union at SFU, The Purple Thistle, Vancouver Solidarity with Ayotzinapa, We Love This Coast, Wirikuta Vancouver Alliance

Thanks to: CUPE BC

Want more information? Is your group willing to endorse this event? Please get in touch!


miningjustice@gmail.com | @miningjustice

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carr clifton valley photo


The BC Government is expected to soon grant Imperial Metals a permit to discharge tailings at the Red Chris Mine site in the Sacred Headwaters area of northwestern BC. This area is one of the last intact ecosystems and source of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. Approval of this permit is the final step Imperial Metals needs to begin large-scale industrial mining at the Red Chris Mine. Do you think this is a good idea?

Did you know that Imperial Metals operates the Mount Polley Mine, site of the August 2014 tailings pond spill, one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern Canadian history? The tailings pond proposed for the Red Chris Mine is based on the same design as the one that failed at the Mount Polley Mine. An outside review of the Red Chris Mine tailings pond has cited technical design flaws. Do you trust the safety record of Imperial Metals?

Indications are the BC Government will provide the final mining permit to Imperial Metals early in 2015. There has been further speculation that Imperial Metals will use the profits from the Red Chris Mine operation to finance two other mine projects in Clayoquot Sound. Do you remember the historic fight to protect Clayoquot?

Send a clear message to the BC Government before it issues a permit for Imperial Metals to start operating its Red Chris Mine in the Sacred Headwaters. We do not want another Mount Polley disaster, or worse! Take action now!

Stand firmly against this mining operation and destruction of the Sacred Headwaters, yet another pristine Canadian and BC wilderness. Join us in an act of peaceful solidarity to show the BC Government and Imperial Metals that we are opposed to corporations implementing more mining, tailings ponds, and further degradation of our environment.

January 22, 2015, 12-1:30 pm

on the sidewalk outside the offices of Imperial Metals at 580 Hornby Street

Environment Committee / Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Church of Vancouver


Posted in Environment and Health, Imperial Metals, Local and Indigenous Rights, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rally to Support the Wilderness Committee for speaking out on Fish Lake

Wilderness committee graphic
You are invited to a gathering on the steps of the courthouse at Nelson and Hornby, Monday, January 19th, 8:30-9:30am.
The rally is  a gathering of friends and allies in defense of the right to speak and public participation, held in response to Taseko Mines Ltd.’s defamation suit against the Wilderness Committee.
The defamation suit was launched in 2012 at the time of a public comment period for the New Prosperity Mine. For background information you can check out the Wilderness Committee’s press release: https://www.wildernesscommittee.org/press_release/wilderness_committee_defends_against_taseko_slapp_over_fish_lake_fight
Joe Foy from the Wilderness Committee, Devon Page from Ecojustice and Grand Chief Stewart Philip will each say a few words. Media will be in attendance.
Posted in Community Resistance, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Taseko Mines Ltd., Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Interactive map shows scope of natural resource concessions in Guatemala (NISGUA)

From Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala‘s blog:

Those of you following NISGUA’s work on defense of land and territory over the past seven years may remember the story of how Goldcorp’s Marlin mine first gained access to indigenous lands in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos. Company representatives told residents that they were interested in starting an orchid farm, when in reality they planned to open a massive, open-pit gold mine.
This first encounter – characterized by the withholding and distorting of information about the mine by the Guatemalan government and trans-national companies – has come to represent one of the key issues facing affected communities: Lack of access to clear, accurate and unbiased information about potential resource extraction on their territory, before extraction activities begin.
In an effort to confront this ongoing problem and to better understand the immensity of resource concessions in Guatemala, NISGUA supported the development of an online, interactive map entitled: Authorization of Natural Resource Exploitation.
How to use the map
To access the map online where it’s hosted on the Western Peoples’ Council (CPO) website, click here.
To access a downloadable copy to run offline, click here.
First, make sure the Google Earth plugin is downloaded onto your computer. The left-hand side of the map page includes the scope of information available. Select the category to be displayed (mining licenses, hydro-dams, protected areas etc.). You can choose the color for each layer of information by clicking the color square. For several subjects there is the option to select a group of records with specific characteristics. Finally, hit the “update map” button at the bottom of the page or use the map offline by selecting the “export KML” file button.
When the map is loaded, click on different concessions for additional information about the territory impacted, companies involved and resource sought.
Depending on the speed of the Internet connection, the type of information and the scale (i.e. the whole country or just one department), it may require more or less time to load/download the information from the maps. If needed, it is worth the effort to wait several minutes.
Outline of protected areas, mining licenses and areas that have held community consultations in northwestern Guatemala.
The map includes data about  mega-projects that are in the operation, construction or investigation phases, including difficult-to-find information on who owns the concession or license. The information included on the map was collected using government databases and public records, and as such, does not include projects by companies that are not officially registered in Guatemala. The map also highlights protected areas and territories and municipalities that have carried out community consultations. All the information comes from relevant parties: protected areas from the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), mining and hydrocarbons from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), and community consultations from the committees charged with their undertaking.

NISGUA support for community mapping and information sharing

The online map is one part of an ongoing process to support access to and sharing of information about government concession of licenses for mega-projects to multi-national companies. Since 2008 NISGUA has participated in community mapping projects in departments impacted by Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine, including Huehuetenango and San Marcos, and more recently in Santa Rosa,Jalapa and Jutiapa as a result of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine.

Community members participate in community mapping in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa  (Photos NISGUA)
The imposition of natural resources exploration and exploitation projects in Guatemala without accurate and timely information for impacted communities has led to an increase in conflict throughout the country. The conflict has manifested itself in intimidation and violence against communities, organizations and individuals opposing these projects, and the criminalization of their leaders. The lack of information and consultation is a violation of indigenous rights as outlined in ILO Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Posted in Community Resistance, Environment and Health, Goldcorp, Local and Indigenous Rights | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Stop The Institute

VANCOUVER, BC – Over 1000 individuals and civil society organizations are signatories to a letter petitioning coalition universities to dissolve the mining, oil, and gas think-tank headquartered at UBC.

Among the signatories are professors Glen Coulthard (UBC), David Suzuki (UBC, emeritus), Stephen Collis (SFU), Stephen Brown (U. of Ottawa), and Boaventura de Sousa Santos (U. of Coimbra), and author Naomi Klein. Many other professors and hundreds of students at the coalition universities join them. Additionally, hundreds more community members, stakeholders, and public intellectuals have added their names to the petition, including Hugo Blanco, community organizer and editor of Peru’s Lucha Indigena; Alberto Acosta, economist and former member of Ecuador’s Constituent Assembly; and Uruguayan journalist Raúl Zibechi.

Funded $24.6M by the federal government, plus roughly $21M more by coalition universities and strategic partners, the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute—CIRDI (formerly known as CIIEID)—has received consistent opposition by academics and civil society alike.

Addressed to the Presidents and Boards of Governors of UBC, SFU, and École Polytechnique de Montréal, the petition specifically lists a loss of academic freedom, biased representation and conflicts of interest, lack of credibility and trust, and a lack of accountability as the reasons to pull out of the agreement with the federal government. It states that the signatories do not want their universities “linked with an industry currently being rejected by many communities in Canada and around the world because of its destructive impact on their lives and on the environment.”

A project with origins in the Prime Minister’s Office, in 2013 the coalition of three universities signed an agreement with the federal government to run the institute mandated to intervene in developing countries’ “policy, legislation, regulatory development and implementation, training, technical assistance, and applied research related to their own extractive sectors.”

A fundamental disconnect in CIRDI’s mandate, however, is that these so-called developing countries’ own extractive sectors are comprised in their majority by Canada-based transnationals. Indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and grass-roots organizations in solidarity with those affected by extractive projects have long been calling for an end to the impunity that Canadian companies have, and demand mechanisms of accountability in Canadian legislation to hold the companies accountable in our courts for abuses committed abroad.

Now academics, alumni, rights-holders, and stakeholders across Canada and in Latin America have made it clear to the decision-makers at the universities that, rather than attempting to overhaul a fundamentally flawed experiment, it is now time to take the precedent-setting step of dissolving CIRDI, advocating rather for research into the role and impacts of Canadian extractivism abroad that is truly independent from conflicted interests.

The letter states that “an appropriate institute would rather be accountable to communities impacted by extractive projects, and emphasize their rights to free, prior, and informed consent, which includes the right to legislate against or reject a given extractive project. The appropriate problem to be addressed by such an institute is Canada’s responsibility in resource extraction conflicts both here and abroad, and the lack of accountability for Canadian companies accused of abuses abroad.”

Signatories to the petition expect the Boards of Governors to write off the sunk cost resulting from the 2013 decision and ultimately to dissolve the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute.

Posted in Community Resistance, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy | Tagged , | Leave a comment