Nov 20 & 21 – Pan American Silver: Stop UnderMining Indigenous Rights!

 

On November 20th and 21st, delegates of the Indigenous Xinka Parliament of Guatemala will visit Vancouver to share their stories of resistance to Canadian mining, to communicate their longstanding practices of self-determined development, and to call on Vancouver-based Pan American Silver to “Stop UnderMining Indigenous Rights!” 

Please join us! 

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Wednesday November 20, 2019

6:00-8:00pm

UnderMining Indigenous Rights: Pan American Silver in Guatemala

Panel Presentation with Luis Fernando, Xinka Parliament delegate, in conversation with Chief of the Neskonlith First Nation and UBCIC secretary-treasurer Judy Wilson.

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 2270. 515 W Hastings St. Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories

Updates, accessibility, and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/710768652750913/

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Thursday November 21, 2019

12:30-2:30pm

Pan Am: Stop UnderMining Indigenous Rights! Drop the Escobal Mine.

Panel Presentation with Luis Fernando, Xinka Parliament delegate, with Joe Fiorante, counsel in Garcia v. Tahoe Resources Inc., 2017 BCCA 39, and Mark Harris, UBC Social Justice Institute

Peter A. Allard School of Law (Lew Forum), UBC, unceded Musqueam territory

Updates and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2497419167206826/

 

2:30pm 

Rally in Solidarity with Xinka and Community Resistance to the Escobal Mine

Beaty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 Main Mall, UBC, unceded Musqueam territory

Updates and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2393954274158685/

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Stop UnderMining Indigenous Rights! Events are being held on the unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

Luis Fernando García Monroy is from the San Rafael las Flores, Santa Rosa region in Guatemala and has been active in the resistance to the Escobal mine for nearly a decade. Luis, his father, and other community members were shot outside the mine while participating in a peaceful protest in 2013. He was a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Tahoe Resources, which was concluded earlier this year. Currently, he works as a paralegal and community organizer with the Xinka Parliament.

Organized by: 

Amnesty International | Breaking the Silence (BTS) | Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters | Central America Support Committee (Victoria) | CoDevelopment Canada | Earthworks | Institute for Policy Studies – Global Economy Program (IPS) | KAIROS (Victoria) | MiningWatch Canada | Mining Injustice Solidarity Network | Mining Justice Alliance (Vancouver) | Mining Justice Action Committee (Victoria)| Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) | SFU Institute for the Humanities | Students for Mining Justice (UBC) | Sum of Us

Endorsed by: 

BAYAN Canada | BC-Central America Student Alliance (BC CASA)/Cafe Justicia | Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights | Care for Colombian Leaders | Gabriela Women’s Collective | MIGRANTE BC | Place + Space Collective, SFU | Rights Action | Stop the Institute | UBC Social Justice Centre | UBC Social Justice Institute

Show your solidarity:

Background:

For nearly a decade, the Indigenous Xinka people in Guatemala have peacefully opposed the Canadian-owned Escobal silver mine–protecting their lands, waters, and ways of life. The Escobal mine is one of the most contentious mines in Latin America, and the focus of a precedent setting lawsuit in BC courts over a 2013 attack against peaceful protestors. For their resistance, Xinka community members have been killed and jailed. Some have been forced to abandon their homes and land.

In 2017, community direct action stopped activity at the mine and, shortly after, the Guatemalan courts recognized that the Guatemalan government discriminated against the Xinka and ordered the state to consult them. Incredibly, the Escobal mine–one of the most contentious silver mines in Latin America–was suspended mid operation.

In February 2019, the halted Escobal mine was purchased by Vancouver-based mining giant Pan American Silver.

Now, instead of implementing the open, inclusive consultation process ordered  in the Court ruling, the Guatemalan government appears to be working in the interests of the Canadian mining company–by fast tracking an exclusionary, potentially illegal process that seems aimed at reopening the mine without the Xinka People or their consent.

For more information: 

Posted in Local and Indigenous Rights, Pan American Silver | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 BC Mining Resisters of the Year: Awards and Counter Gala

May 1, 2019, unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

On May 1 as millions around the world rallied against corporate power on International Workers’ Day, the Mining Justice Alliance (MJA) gathered with supporters and allies outside the BC “Mining Person of the Year” gala. We held a “counter-gala” to celebrate “Mining Resisters of the Year”—communities and individuals standing for justice and self-determination in the face of threats posed by Canadian mining projects.

Our “counter-gala” took place in a plaza and on the sidewalk outside the industry event at Vancouver’s upscale Terminal City Club. The counter-gala opened, with platters of hors d’oeuvres, to the lively Colombian Rhythms of the Breaking Boundaries Band. Volunteers displayed the beautiful 30 ft. mural: SI A LA VIDA (yes to life)’ that was created by sixty young adults from San Miguel Ixtahuacan and nearby towns in Guatemala. The mural conveys a powerful message about how Vancouver-based Goldcorp has impacted these young artists’ lives. 

Our program started with a solemn note, as all present shared in a moment of silence to recognize those who have been injured or killed while opposing Canadian mining projects. We then held an awards ceremony to honour the following 2019 Mining Resisters of the Year:

Unión de Ejidos y Comunidades en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y la Vida, Atcolhua (Ixtacamaxtitlan, Puebla, México)

Colectivo Defensores del Agua y La Vida—Water and Life Defenders Collective (Loja Province, Ecuador)

Azacualpa Environmental Committee and ASONOG allies (Copán, Honduras)

Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares (Philippines)

Secwepemc Communities impacted by Mt. Polley Mine (Secwepemc Territories)

Alliance of Solwara Warriors and allies (New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea)

Tŝilhqot’in Nation, Tl’esqox First Nation (Chief Francis Leceese)

Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern (MACEC) (Marinduque, Philippines)

Xinca Parliament (San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa Department, Guatemala)

IMG_6386

During the ceremony, we heard about these grassroots struggles from speakers who nominated the 2019 resisters or from representatives of the communities themselves. We heard directly from representatives of the Tsilhqot’in Nation and from a community member of Loja Province, Ecuador. We read a statement sent by the Alliance of Solwara Warriors in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea and we listened to a series of powerful audio recordings sent by members of the sovereign Indigenous Xinca Parliament in Southern Guatemala.

IMG_6378

The event drew to a close with announcements about how to stay in touch, with an urgent call to push for public mechanisms that could hold Canadian corporations accountable,_and with a creative expression of resistance through parody.

Music and dancing continued until the arrival of the Vancouver and District Labour Council’s MayDay march – when we joined allies in marching for workers’ rights on International Workers’ Day.

For more photos: https://www.facebook.com/MiningJusticeAlliance/

Thank you to all those who attended and supported this inspiring event! 

International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada) | Migrante BC | Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) | the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU), Simon Fraser University | the Reverend Emilie Smith, co-president SICSAL, (The Oscar Romero International Christian Network in Solidarity with the Peoples of Latin America) | BC-Central America Student Alliance (BC CASA) | Place + Space Collective, SFU | Mining Justice Action Committee (Victoria) | Gabriela BC (Women’s Collective) | Rights Action | Social Justice Centre – UBC | Stop the Institute

Background: 

Every year in May, BC Mining Month announces a smattering of galas, charity pie throws, networking events and fancy luncheons. All of this is to celebrate an industry that too often destroys communities, exploits workers, and devastates ecosystems while funneling profits into tax havens.

The pinnacle of this celebration is the BC Mining Person of the Year Award which recognizes “an outstanding individual who has shown leadership in advancing and promoting the mining industry. Illustrious past winners include Pierre Lebel of Imperial Metals (whose Mount Polley Mine spilled an estimated 25 billion litres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake), and John McManus of Taseko Mines (which has repeatedly pushed to build their New Prosperity Mine, despite firm opposition from the Tsilhqot’in Nation).

No, we are not making this stuff up.

About us:

Mining Justice Alliance is an all-volunteer, grassroots collective on unceded Coast Salish Territories that organizes with communities—on turtle island and across the globe—affected by Canadian mining corporations. We organize actions that raise awareness around endemic injustices within Canada’s state-supported mining industry. Our organizing work prioritizes the perspectives and social-environmental justice concerns expressed by directly-affected communities: most of the actions and events we organize respond to direct requests made by communities facing Canadian mining projects and their allies.

We organize from where we live and work, on unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

Posted in Almaden Minerals, BC Mining Resisters Award, Community Resistance, Imperial Metals, Placer Dome, Tahoe Resources, Taseko Mines Ltd. | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mining Resisters of the Year: Xinca Parliament

Copy of AzacualpaPhoto credits to Lisa Rankin and Xinca Parliament.

BC Mining Resisters: Xinca Parliament

Location: San Rafael Las FloresSanta Rosa Department, Guatemala

Mining Company: Tahoe Resources and Pan American Silver

Written By: Amy Hope

The Xinca Parliament of Southern Guatemala have been resisting mining operations in their region since Goldcorp began exploration activities in 2007. Though ownership of the El Escobal mine has moved from Goldcorp to Tahoe Resources, and most recently to Vancouver-based Pan American Silver, community resistance has never wavered. Xinca Parliament have taken their fight to the streets and to the courts to ensure the harmful activities from Escobal’s mine are halted for good. Blockades on the road leading to the mine have successfully halted activities by turning away vehicles carrying supplies or equipment bound for the mine. The communities have also won a court injunction, ordering suspension of mining activities due to a lack of prior consultation. Residents in affected communities also set up a number of referendums when it was clear that adequate consultation was not taking place. Over 90% of participants rejected the mine.

In response to the resistance facing their activities, Tahoe Resources-sponsored security forces violently opposed peaceful protests. In 2013, protesters were shot with rubber bullets and live rounds when security forces encountered them.

Victims are currently plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit in Canada, which is one of the few instances of a Canadian company being brought to Canadian courts over their activities abroad. A win could set an important precedent discouraging mining companies and firms in other sectors from engaging in activities that could land them in court.

Though they have endured violence, coercion, and have even had their very existence denied by mining companies and the governments that support them, the Xinca people have endured and continued the struggle. They have successfully halted mining operations that would put their way of life in peril. They have protected their waters and their lands for their children. From blocking trucks, to marching in the streets, to engaging in legal battles both in Guatemala and Canada, local and indigenous communities surrounding the mine have found ways to resist from every angle possible.

For more information:

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Join us to celebrate BC Mining Resisters of the Year at the GALA OF RESISTANCE on Wednesday, May 1st in Vancouver, BC, unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Posted in BC Mining Resisters Award, Community Resistance, Conflict and Repression, Corporate Impunity, Environment and Health, Local and Indigenous Rights, Property and Livelihoods, Social Costs, Private Profit, Tahoe Resources, Topics & Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 1: 2019 BC Mining Resisters of the Year: Awards and Counter Gala

MiningResistersAward

Wednesday May 1, 2019

4:30pm-7:00pm

Terminal City Club, 837 W Hastings St, Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories

Family friendly. Regalia and gala attire welcome!

Updates and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2660744783967079/

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Every year in May, BC Mining Month announces a smattering of galas, charity pie throws, networking events and fancy luncheons. All of this is to celebrate an industry that too often destroys communities, exploits workers, and devastates ecosystems while funneling profits into tax havens.

The pinnacle of this celebration is the BC Mining Person of the Year Award which recognizes “an outstanding individual who has shown leadership in advancing and promoting the mining industry. Illustrious past winners include Pierre Lebel of Imperial Metals (whose Mount Polley Mine spilled an estimated 25 billion litres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake), and John McManus of Taseko Mines (which has repeatedly pushed to build their New Prosperity Mine, despite firm opposition from the Tsilhqot’in Nation).

No, we are not making this stuff up.

In response, the Mining Justice Alliance is once again holding a “gala” of mining resistance!

On May 1, as millions around the world rally against corporate power on International Workers’ Day, we will gather outside the BC “Mining Person of the Year” gala. We’ll be celebrating “Mining Resisters of the Year”—communities and individuals on the frontlines who have stood up for justice and self-determination in the face of this powerful industry.

Please join us on May 1!

Endorsed by:

International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada) | Migrante BC | Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) | the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU), Simon Fraser University | the Reverend Emilie Smith, co-president SICSAL, (The Oscar Romero International Christian Network in Solidarity with the Peoples of Latin America) | BC-Central America Student Alliance (BC CASA) | Place + Space Collective, SFU | Mining Justice Action Committee (Victoria) | Gabriela BC (Women’s Collective) | Rights Action | Social Justice Centre – UBC | Stop the Institute

About us:

Mining Justice Alliance is an all-volunteer, grassroots collective on unceded Coast Salish Territories that organizes with communities—on turtle island and across the globe—affected by Canadian mining corporations. We organize actions that raise awareness around endemic injustices within Canada’s state-supported mining industry. Our organizing work prioritizes the perspectives and social-environmental justice concerns expressed by directly-affected communities: most of the actions and events we organize respond to direct requests made by communities facing Canadian mining projects and their allies.

We organize from where we live and work, on unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

Posted in BC Mining Resisters Award, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Image may contain: 4 people, text

May 1: Mining justice groups to confront BC Mining Person of the Year Award Reception with “Counter-Gala” and “Mining Resister” awards

Date: May 1, 2019

Time: 5-7 pm

Place:Terminal City Club, 837 Hastings St., Vancouver

April 29, 2019 (Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories, BC) – Local activist groups are holding a gala of their own on the street outside the industry-led Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC)’s “BC Mining Person of the Year Award Reception.”

Inside the Terminal City Club, MABC will honour people who are profiting immensely off mines that often have devastating impacts on the environment and communities. Outside, the “Counter-Gala” will grant “BC Mining Resisters” awards to those who are resisting BC-based mining companies around the world.

The second annual BC Mining Resisters of the Year Awards and Counter-Galais organized by Mining Justice Allianceand UBC’s Students for Mining Justice.

The BC mining industry has faced immense setbacks across the globe, with community resistance and legal issues putting a damper on profits for companies. The 2018 “Mining Resisters of the Year” include:

  • The Tsilhqot’in First Nation in BC, who scored another victory in the courtroom when the BC Court of Appeal granted an injunction against Taseko Mines’;
  • The Azacualpa Environmental Committee in Honduras, who are stalling the expansion of Aura Minerals’ open pit mine onto their traditional burial grounds;
  • The Ixtacamaxtitlán Community in Mexico, who won a claim in a Mexican federal court that Almaden Minerals had failed to consult them in a bid for a mining concession;
  • The Alliance of Solwara Warriors and allies in Papua New Guinea, whose ongoing resistance helped sink Nautilus Minerals dreams of operating the world’s first deep sea mine.

Award recipients will give or transit speeches at the Counter-Gala.

VISUALS: Banners, art, music, speakers, people in gala attire.

Mining Justice Alliance is an all-volunteer, grassroots collective on unceded Coast Salish Territories that organizes with communities on Turtle Island and across the globe that are affected by Canadian mining corporations. We organize actions that aim to raise awareness around endemic injustices within Canada’s state-supported mining industry.

Students for Mining Justice is a group of law school, graduate, and undergraduate students working to bring awareness around mining injustices to UBC campus, and building a movement among youth, students and the university community around ending extractivism, resource imperialism and corporate unaccountability.

Both groups organize on the unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

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Press contacts: Please email our media team at miningjustice@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mining Resisters of the Year: Marinduque People and the Marinduque Council of Environmental Concerns

4Photo credits and descriptions to: Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada: The top photo depicts: “Tapian pit, the first of two copper-gold mines operated by Placer Dome on Marinduque.” The bottom photo depicts: “The first piping tailings into Calancan Bay where Placer Dome dumped mine tailings from the Tapian mine into the sea between 1975-1991 – leading to the destruction of two major coral reefs, loss of food security for 12 fishing villages and an impacted ecosystem that has never been remediated.”

Mining Resisters: Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern (MACEC).

Location: Marinduque, Philippines

Mining Company: Marcopper/Placer Dome/Barrick Gold

Nominated By: Beth Dollaga

Written By: Beverly Ma, with the support of Dr. Catherine Coumans & Beth Beth Manggol (MaCEC Secretariat)

Twenty-three years ago in the province of Marinduque, Philippines, a poorly sealed pipe at the base of the Taiping Marcopper mining pit burst; forcing 1.6 million cubic meters of toxic tailings waste into the surrounding Boac River. This disaster attracted worldwide attention and to date, the Canadian mining company responsible for the spill (Placer Dome/Barrick’s Gold) has yet to make any reparations.

In response, The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern (MACEC) was established, and they have relentlessly been calling for justice alongside locals and community members ever since. Not only are they advocates for environmental restoration and supporting the health of locals affected by this particular disaster, but they are also advocates for opposing mining of any kind for the Philippines. In 2015, they asked their representative in congress to protect Marinduque against future mining projects. This led to a passing of a bill that banned mining projects across the province. Currently, MACEC is campaigning for this bill to pass into law.

In a statement for the 23rd anniversary of the Placer Dome Marcopper disaster, MACEC proposes the following calls to action for present and future leaders of the Philippines:

  1. Announce the entire province of Marinduque’s mining-free zone;
  2. The case of the Provincial Government against the Placer Dome / Barrick Gold is immediately filed in Canada;
  3. Perform a comprehensive health and environmental assessment of the affected communities in the province;
  4. Place footbridges and warnings on rivers and seals contaminated with toxic chemicals to prevent massive illness by residents of Boac, Mogpog and Sta. Cruz.
  5. Conduct rehabilitation of the Boac river and river of Mogpog as well as Calancan Bay to gradually allow citizens to resettle.

Sources:

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Join us to celebrate BC Mining Resisters of the Year at the GALA OF RESISTANCE on Wednesday, May 1st in Vancouver, BC, unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Posted in BC Mining Resisters Award, Community Resistance, Conflict and Repression, Corporate Impunity, Environment and Health, Placer Dome, Property and Livelihoods, Social Costs, Private Profit, Topics & Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mining Resisters of the Year: Tŝilhqot’in Nation

AzacualpaPhotos retrieved from APTN News

BC Mining Resisters: Tŝilhqot’in Nation, Tl’esqox First Nation (Chief Francis Leceese)

Location: Fish Lake (known as Teztan Biny)

Mining Company: Taseko Mines Limited (Prosperity Mine project)

Written By: River Sun

Teztan Biny, an area of cultural and spiritual significance to the Tsilhqot’in Nation, is near the salmon-rich Dasiqox. Teztan Biny also provides critical wetlands and lake habitat for wild rainbow trout, moose, grizzly bear and many other mammals and migratory birds. Now the area is threatened by a proposal for a huge, open-pit copper-and-gold mine called the New Prosperity Mine. Although the mining proposal was approved for development by the provincial government in 2010 and received a drilling permit in 2017 to collect geotechnical information, it is still an ongoing battle.

The project has repeatedly been found–by communities and by the courts–to pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and specifically to Teztan Biny (“Fish Lake”). Yet, Taseko continues to disregard stanch community opposition, instead repeatedly pushing the mine project for many years, through its various incarnations as “Prosperity” and then “New Prosperity.”

Tsilhqot’ in Nation showed their disagreement through protests and bringing the case to the Federal Government which granted two injunctions against the company. On March 22nd, 2019, around 100 people gathered in front of the courthouse in downtown Vancouver to show support for the Tŝilhqot’in Nation.

“What I call it is genocide. You know with our history that’s what happened and today is no different – the genocide is still here,” said Chief Francis Leceese of the Tl’esqox First Nation when he addressed the gathering.

Source:

Additional sources:

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Join us to celebrate BC Mining Resisters of the Year at the GALA OF RESISTANCE on Wednesday, May 1st in Vancouver, BC, unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Posted in BC Mining Resisters Award, Community Resistance, Conflict and Repression, Environment and Health, Local and Indigenous Rights, Property and Livelihoods, Social Costs, Private Profit, Taseko Mines Ltd., Topics & Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment