We are heeding a call from communities in the global south that have organized and are resisting the exploitive practices of the mega resource extractive industry. The organizations below, in solidarity with communities impacted by the Canadian extractive industry throughout the Americas call for a Continental Day of Action on August 1st, 2012 to demand an end to exploitative and unjust mining practices.
Civil society along with communities from Canada to Argentina will conduct coordinated actions including rallies, demonstrations, community radio coverage, letter writing campaigns and other alternative and imaginative actions of protest in front of mining corporate offices and Canadian embassies across the Americas.
• 60% of the world’s publicly traded mining companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. These corporations account for over 3200 exploitation projects in over 100 countries. Canada is the largest stakeholder in the resource extraction industry in the Americas accounting for 37% of the total investment.
• Canadian financial markets in Toronto and Vancouver are the world’s largest source of equity capital for mining companies undertaking exploration and development.
• Canadian-based mining operations have deeply impacted territories, communities, and life. Resource exploration and exploitation activities have caused displacement, widespread destruction of livelihoods (compromising water and food security), caused long- term health issues , disregarded sacred indigenous territories and rights, exacerbated human rights violations especially in contexts of internal conflict, and contributed to the criminalization of artisanal miners, union and environmental activists and community activists. Large-scale mining explorations and exploitations have also led to an irreversible loss in biodiversity.
• Despite the fact that large-scale mining is usually presented as a driving force of sustainable development by mining companies, governments throughout the Americas, and international institutions such as the World Bank, the long-term negative impacts on peoples and territories contrast with the vague promises of jobs, and national economic growth and development.
Divestment: The Canadian government should divest public funds from resource extraction industries. (i.e pension funds invested in GoldCorp and other corporations) and call for public funds to be invested in social programs like free education, affordable housing and universal healthcare .
Regulation: The Canadian government should enable legislation that establishes corporate accountability standards for Canadian corporations operating abroad. This legislation should penalize corporations linked to human rights violations and should allow foreign nationals to pursue legal action for damages in Canadian courts (Bills C-300 and C-323).
Stop Complicity: Stop utilizing public institutions to assist with high profile public relations campaigns conducted by resource extraction companies (such as the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, York University, CIDA-funded projects such as the Devonshire initiative .
Binding Community Consent Mechanisms: That governments and courts of the region respect and adhere to the internationally recognized right of free prior and informed consent for Indigenous communities.
People Before Profit: End free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties that enshrine the right of corporations over citizens and communities.