In her theory of change known as ’emergence’, the academic scholar Margaret Wheatley reminds us that: “The world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.”
Emulating this vision, today we release In Solidarity, a short film sharing the poignant story of communities separated by geography but united in their resistance against the extractive industries. The film depicts the simple act of a letter exchange from Colombia to the UK; a community struggling against gold mining, taking inspiration from the powerful images of united community resistance against fracking; a story of the power and the simplicity of solidarity.
If you’re inspired by the film and would like to share your own message of solidarity you can visit the website: www.yestolifenotomining.org to do just that. Share words of support and encouragement with communities the world-over who are standing together to resist the extractive industries and protect life on our planet.
Yes to Life, No to Mining invites you to reach out to connect In Solidarity with communities resisting mining by reading their stories and clicking on the ‘send a letter’ icon or leaving a comment beneath the article. You can share a letter with the community of Doima, Colombia, who feature in the film by following this link and looking out for the ‘send a letter in solidarity’ button.
“The world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.” -Margaret Wheatley
More about the Story that inspired the Film
Kindling an international correspondence across 5,000 miles of land and sea, over the past year Yes to Life, No to Mining activists from Doima (Colombia), Balcombe (UK) and Krobo (Ghana) have been reaching out to one another to express solidarity in their shared struggles against the extractive industries.
For all three 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 the Doima community’s stirring letter to the inhabitants of Balcombe, UK was featured on The Gaia Foundation’s website. The letter, written by Mariana Gomez, an anthropologist and activist who has been central in the community’s resistance to a gold mine, expressed her and fellow activists’ admiration for the Balcombe residents’ struggle against fracking which they had seen in the media. This acted as a powerful message, affirming that struggles against the juggernaut of the extractives sector were by no means limited to Colombia or Latin America, but were, in their bid to expand at any cost, a truly global issue facing.
Since their letter exchange 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, to which the people of Krobo and their allies responded.
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. This energises their future resistance and is a principle which is echoed across those participating in the Yes to Life, No to Mining movement. These letters 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 also read the letters between Doima and Krobo, and find out more about their stories here: