Every year on July 22nd groups and communities unite to demonstrate on the Global Day Against Mega Mining. Showing our support and solidarity, Gaia joined and supported actions happening planet-wide as part of this year’s protests. Together we sent a clear message- Yes to Life, No to Mining!
In both the Global South and The Global North, mining companies are plundering farmlands and forests, polluting water, displacing and exploiting people and their communities. The scarcity- real or manufactured- of metals speeds their extraction. For a few grams of metal, our governments sacrifice our territories, on the altar of productivism. With the promise of employment, a little increase in tax revenues and economic growth, they want to convince us to accept this madness and to believe in clean and responsible mining. But we know that where there is mining, there is misery and desolation.
As part of the collectively organised Global Day of Action Against Mega Mining, in defense of life and water (22 July) this year, as every year, we join to say a loud and strong:
NO to mining using toxic chemicals such as cyanide, mercury and sulfuric acid, which seriously contaminate drinking and agricultural water, air and soil, affecting the health of local communities and whole regions.
NO to mega mining that creates hundreds of millions of tonnes of toxic waste that causes contamination that lasts for centuries.
NO to the opencast mines that destroy ecosystems, agricultural areas, forests, glaciers, causing incurable diseases, leaving behind lunar landscapes and threatening food sovereignty. NO to underground mines that cause radioactive, toxic and carcinogenic elements to emerge from the earth.
NO to the mining industry that kills slowly and forces thousands of peasants off their land, depriving them of water and forcing many of them to become miners themselves.
NO to violence, poverty and inequalities that are produced by the infinite sacrifice zones suggested and created by the expansion of mining.
NO to the criminalization of protest and NO to the systematic of those brave individuals and communities who dare to say NO to mining.
NO to lies of those ‘experts’ who insist on telling us that highly destructive projects can be ‘clean’, ‘green’ and ‘responsible’.
NO to the thirst for profit, extreme productivism and unbridled consumerism and the misleading belief there is no alternative.
We say: YES TO LIFE, NO TO MINING!
YES to standing in solidarity with communities who choose to resist mining, however it affects them, and to defend their ancestral rights and responsibilities to future generations of all species.
YES to supporting indigenous and local communities who choose to maintain and strengthen their traditional knowledge, practices and governance systems; secure recognition for their territories, customary laws and ways of governing their lives, and protect their sustainable livelihoods.
YES to encouraging and developing initiatives- such as agroecology and reforestation- that protect and enhance living systems as alternatives to mining.
YES to initiatives attempting to move industrial society away from the amdness of a linear take-make-dispose culture towards a circular economic system. We support those empowering communities and society at large to reclaim their brains, change their attitudes to ‘stuff’ and create an ecological and meaningful materialism; Those designing and creating products to last; Those that minimize the use, or encourage the re-use, of minerals and metals; Those that implement a zero waste policy; Further investment in ecologically and socially just innovations for an end to throwaway consumer culture.
YES to advocacy strategies and initiatives to withdraw subsidies from the fossil fuel industry and invest in energy justice instead- in the form of reduced and more equitable consumption of energy, produced by small-scale, renewable and decentralised technologies, developed within principles of a circular, zero-waste economic system.
YES to initiatives that (re)establish legal strategies and precedents that build a body of law rooted in the laws of the Earth. These would enforce the recognition of the Rights of Nature, deter Ecocide and allow ecologically and socially just societies to emerge.
In solidarity with all struggles against destructive mining. Through all the means available to us, we will mark our opposition to this deadly industry.
To find out what we are for in more detail and to join us, visit www.yestolifenotomining.org and sign the pledge!