Kindling an international correspondence across 5,000 miles of land and sea, last week anti-mining activists from Doima (Colombia) and Krobo (Ghana) reached out to one another to express solidarity in their shared struggles against the extractive industries.
For both communities this exchange is the latest in a series of efforts to reach out to other mining affected communities who are defending their land, water and livelihoods.
Last year we featured the Doima community’s stirring letter to the inhabitants of Balcombe, UK; expressing their admiration for Balcombe residents’ struggle against fracking in their village. Since then the people of Doima, who are opposing mining behemoth Anglo Gold Ashanti and the La Colosa gold mine, have continued to reach out to those communities resisting the extractive industries. They have sent letters all around the world, from Alaska to South Africa, sharing their story, seeking and offering support and beginning to web up a movement to protect Earth from the increasingly brazen extractive industries.
Thousands of miles away, community members from Krobo also wrote to the residents of Balcombe, and seeing the parallel letter sent from Colombia, contacted The Gaia Foundation through allies at the Global Justice Forum. Struggling against the presence of HeidelbergCement/Scancem on their lands, the community wanted to connect with the people of Doima, to let them know that they are supported every step of the way.
We were able to put them in touch, and a letter from the Doima community to Krobo swiftly followed in September 2013. Last week, having overcome significant obstacles, the people of Krobo and their allies responded with their own letter of solidarity which was gratefully received in Doima.
In the struggle to end the ecocide perpetrated by extractive industries worldwide, the value of these kinds of connections cannot be underestimated. For often isolated communities messages of solidarity affirm that they are not alone, that they are supported, energising their future resistance. They provide the opportunity for communities to learn from one another, to discuss how they are resisting, what has worked and why. Ultimately, they can help geographically disparate groups coalesce and emerge as larger social movements for justice, with greater power to realign our societies into a life-enhancing relationship with Earth.
You can read the letters between Doima and Krobo, and find out more about their stories here: