Breaking free from a mining giant

AGM Protest  Credit: London Mining Network

AGM Protest Credit: London Mining Network

Source: London Mining Network

"I am Misael Socarras Ipuana, of the Wayuu People. I live in the north of Colombia, in the peninsula of La Guajira, in the community of La Gran Parada. I am a human rights defender, indigenous communicator, director, cultural expert and leader of my community. I am 48 years old, married according to the traditions of my people to Moncia Lopez Pushaina. I have six children, for whom I struggle daily to give them a better future, free of contamination and mining. We want to be autonomous in our territories, free and able to enjoy Mother Nature without restrictions or fear."

Misael is one of the five human rights and environmental defenders joining the London Mining Network for a week of action12-20 October around the annual shareholder meeting of BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company. He will be speaking at events, meeting anti-coal campaigners in County Durham and holding BHP executives to account.

The London Mining Network, which highlights justice, peace and environmental issues related to extractive industries, is supported by religious and missionary groups with experience of the problems in countries where they work. Most of the world's biggest mining companies, and many smaller mining companies, are listed on the London Stock Exchange, and on its Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Communities all over the world are rising against mining violence and building alternatives that offer truly-sustainable futures, assert people's rights and are deeply rooted in custodianship of land and water. This week of action will be an opportunity to explore this resurgence. They call for the UK government to commit to a Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights to end corporate impunity.

As the world's largest multinational mining company, Anglo-Australian-owned BHP's AGM is an important moment to build these arguments. BHP's record of forced displacement, dispossession and catastrophic environmental damage stretches back decades. The company is so powerful it is seldom held to account for this devastation, while indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities are hardest hit.


Celebrating 516 years Indigenous Resistance
Saturday 13 October, time TBC
SOAS, University of London
organised by Plataforma 12 de Octubre

Coal and Colombia
With community and union speakers from Colombia
Monday 15 October, 6-8pm
George Street Social, 45-51 George Street, NE4 7JL, Newcastle upon Tyne

Protesting BHP's annual general meeting
Wednesday 17 October, 10-11am
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London SW1

Public meeting: Protecting lives from the world's largest mining giant
With speakers from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the USA and creative contributions from Threepenny Festival Arts Association
Wednesday 17 October, 6-9pm
University College London Institute of Education, University of London

On the Frontlines of Mining Conflict in the Americas
Friday 19 October, 4pm to 8pm
University College London, University of London

Extractivism, resistance and alternatives
All day event as part of the Gaia Foundation's We Feed the World 10-day long exhibition
Saturday 20 October, 11am-6pm
Bargehouse Gallery, Southbank, London

All events are free. For access details, please click on the event links or email us: [email protected] Follow and use the hashtag #BeyondBHP.

Beyond BHP is co-hosted by War on Want, London Mining Network, The Gaia Foundation, Coal Action Network, Colombia Solidarity Campaign and Threepenny Festival Association.


Tags: London Mining Network, BHP Billiton, Wayuu

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