Press Release: Frontline defenders travel to London to counter Mines and Money conference between 25-30 November

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 21/11/17. 

London Mining Network, War on Want, The Gaia Foundation. 


From the mining frontline, human rights defenders from Uganda, Philippines and Colombia are gathering in London to challenge the Mines and Money Conference taking place between 27-30 November.

Over 2,000 mining company representatives, investors and ‘thought leaders’ like Arron Banks and Nigel Farage (1) will meet at the exclusive conference in London, the largest global hub for mining finance.

Advertising itself as the place ‘where deals get done’, at Mines and Money, mining industry players will be shaking hands on deals to exploit new areas in response to emerging market opportunities, such as the global shift from a fossil fuels to a minerals and metals-based energy system.

For all the industry’s efforts to present mining as sustainable, responsible and a driver of development, for communities living on mineral-rich lands around the world, these new deals mean displacement, destruction and death. Mining remains the world’s most deadly industry for those who oppose it (2).

In a week of creative action, entitled Rise, Resist, Renew: Alternatives to Mines and Money, our speakers will be sharing alternatives to mining that prioritise the wellbeing of people and the planet, while opposing mining violence and extractivism in their communities.

Alice Kazimura, Ugandan farmer, community leader and Chairperson of the Buliisa Women’s Development Association said: “Oil mining in my community has led to involuntary displacement of people and land chunks of habitat destroyed with little or no mitigation or remedial action triggering negative environmental impacts on mother earth and people’s livelihoods”.

Clemente Bautista Jr, national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) in the Philippines said: “It is important to expose the environmental crimes and human rights violations perpetuated by big mining corporations in our country. We know these companies are attending the corporate-sponsored Mines and Money Conference in London’.

Camila Méndez, Colombian land and human rights defender and undergraduate student said: “Our movement defends water, territory and life in the small municipality of Cajamarca, which is recognized as a “breadbasket” of Colombia for its diverse and significant food production, being the world’s primary producer of arracacha.”

If you would like to arrange an interview with one of our speakers or report on our events listed below, please get in touch. Read the defenders’ biographies online: http://bit.ly/2hQZxDg

 

Frontline Voices: Alternatives to Mining from the Global South

Saturday 25 November, 9.00am – 5pm. Resource for London. Holloway Road, N7 6PA

 

Protesting Mines and Money: Lunch with Farage!

Tuesday 28 November, 12pm – 1pm. Business Design Centre. Islington, N1 0QH

 

Mines and Money: The Toxic Tour

Tuesday 28 November, 2.30 – 4pm. Outside Green Park tube station (Green Park exit)

 

Mourning Mines and Money: Gala Demonstration

Thursday 30th November, 6.30 – 8pm. Grand Sheraton, Park Lane, W1J 7BX

 

Hosted by: War on Want, The Gaia Foundation and London Mining Network.

 

Press contacts

Hal Rhoades, The Gaia Foundation: hannibal@gaianet.org 07909953431

Lydia James, London Mining Network: lydia@londonminingnetwork.org, 07860394233

Seb Munoz, War on Want: smunoz@waronwant.org


Notes to the editor

 

  1. Mines and Money speakers include Nigel Farage and Arron Banks(1). Both Brexiters, Banks is co-owner of the Isle of Man-based Conister Bank. The Paradise Papers found that this bank opened a potentially high-risk account for a businessman in 2012, as reported by the Guardian. Banks is also under investigation by the Electoral Commission while they establish if he broke the law when he donated and loaned £8.4 million to the Brexit campaign, as reported by the Financial Times.

 

  1. In 2016, at least 33 environment and human rights defenders were killed while defending, land, water and livelihoods from imposed mining projects. More than were killed opposing any other industry, according to Global Witness.