Toxic Tour: Hundreds Gather to Expose “Greenest City’s” Dirtiest Secret (Press Release and photos)

Toxic tour participants listen to a moving musical performance at one of the tour stops. Photo credit: dgSolidarity

– For Immediate Release –

Hundreds Gather to Expose “Greenest City’s” Dirtiest Secret

Vancouver Mining Justice Alliance’s “Toxic Tour” ends with “Peoples’ Gala” at BC Mining Week

April 29, 2013, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories – A “Toxic Tour ” took over 200 people through the streets of Vancouver today, stopping at mining company headquarters for performances, testimonies and street actions. The Toxic Tour, organized by Mining Justice Alliance and endorsed by over 30 organizations, was held in contrast to BC Mining Week. The Toxic Tour ended with a “Peoples Gala” and banquet outside the lavish hotel hosting the official BC Mining Week Opening Reception.

“BC Mining Week is touted as a ‘celebration’ of an industry that is wreaking havoc across the globe,” said Mining Justice Alliance Spokesperson Beth Dolloga. “The ‘Toxic Tour’ exposed some of the overwhelming environmental devastation and human rights violations that communities are facing while celebrating resistance movements growing across the globe.”

Stopping at the corporate offices of Goldcorp Inc., China Gold, Barrick Gold, Taseko Mines and Pacific Rim – to name but a few – the “Toxic Tour” featured voices from communities directly impacted by BC mines.

“China Gold is mining Tibetan land without consent from Tibetan people, and against Tibetan spiritual values and beliefs”, said Tashi Tseten of the Canada Tibet Committee at the office of China Gold, the owners of a mine where a landslide buried 83 people. “They have disregarded safety and environmental concerns. Local farmers have been pushed off their land, water sources have been contaminated, and protesters have been arrested and tortured”.

“Teztan Biny is our life”, Blaine Grinder, who made the trip from Tsilhqot’in territories, in central BC, to voice his community’s opposition to Taseko Mine’s proposed Prosperity Mine. “The most important thing here and the message I have from other First Nations is that we stand together as one.

Mario Mazariegos spoke about Vancouver-based corporations Goldcorp Inc. and Tahoe Resources Inc. “Transnational mining companies are extracting metals from our sacred mountains, killing animals, cutting thousands of trees and poisoning our rivers with cyanide and mercury. Mining companies have been breaking the sacred relation between the mother earth and the Mayan people.”

Mining Justice Alliance is a group of Vancouver residents that works in solidarity with communities affected by the practices of Vancouver-based mining companies in Canada and around the globe.

-30-

Links:

Photos of the Toxic Tour, courtesy of DGSolidarity (Vancouver Media Co-op)

Video: Exposing Vancouver Mining Companies. (Vancouver Media Co-op)

Article: Activists say Mining Week not occasion for celebration (News 1130)

Article: Council chapter marches against Pacific Rim, other Vancouver-based mining companies (Rabble)

Video: Toxic Tour Unis’tot’en Land Defenders (dgSolidarity)

Video: Toxic Tour Performance – O Mother Earth (dgSoldarity)

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