From October 31- November 12, 2015, together with SURCO, ENGAGE sponsored a delegation of mine-affected people and anti-mining activists from Northeast Thailand, the United States, and First Nations groups in Canada to Oaxaca, Mexico, where they exchanged with three different mine-affected communities. The “Si! A la Vida, No! A la Mina” mining resistance delegation participated in an inspiring two-week exchange, where they demonstrated international solidarity in the fight to bring justice to mine-affected people around the world. ENGAGE is committed to working with our new friends and allies to build an international network against mining and for the health of the environment.
Support Community Rights: Mining Resistance Campaign
A note from our Network Coordinator
Greetings to the Network,
As of a few weeks ago we have officially wrapped up the Support Community Rights: Mining Resistance Delegation to Mexico. First and foremost we want to thank every single ENGAGE member who worked to make this delegation happen, volunteered time, or made generous donations. This wouldn't have been possible without the incredible support of the amazing people who make up this network. We can say with huge pride that the entire experience and process of the campaign/delegation surpassed our goals and has invigorated old and new members within ENGAGE. Along with the allies we've made in Mexico we have vowed to take a fierce stand against mining and ENGAGE will play a key role in an emerging international network of mine affected peoples and their allies. ENGAGE will be integral to ongoing communications between global/local movements fighting to reclaim territory, stop mining, and foster a resistance that is organized and globalized just like the transnational corporations that are exploiting our resources, and the communities and livelihoods of our friends.
If you didn't have a chance to follow the delegation as it was happening I invite everyone to visit our Facebook page and look back at the past few weeks to see pictures and notes from our time abroad.
This is a very exciting time for our network as we have allied with a number of international organizations:
Secwepemc'ulecw Grassroots Movement
Colectivo Sumaj Kawsay
Los Pueblos Unidos Del Valle Ocotlan
La Guardia Indigena Nacional
Kloom Rak Ban Kerd
Human Rights Law Center Khon Kaen
We are honored to be working with all of the organizations listed above and take this responsibility extremely serious as we understand that people's movements that fight back against gold mining are often violently repressed. As extractive industries move forward to divide and conquer communities in the name of every last ounce of gold or other minerals, it is more imperative than ever that we stand with groups who are fighting to preserve the lives of their people, local languages, cultures, community, land, water and livelihood. We stand firm with our brothers and sisters resisting this type of exploitation and will work to expose the truth about mining and its trail of death and destruction around the world.
We invite all ENGAGE members to get involved and join this movement, and we see this campaign as a branch of the larger movements of our time - the Divestment Movement, Black Lives Matter, and Climate Change. There are so many ways to participate and in the coming weeks and months we'll introduce more ways for ENGAGE members to join our campaign for mining justice.
To get involved please contact us at : Engagerusa@gmail.com
And if you would like to donate by joining our grow the roots campaign please check out: https://commitchange.com/ca/los-angeles/engage/campaigns/grow-the-roots-giving-circle
A Collective Statement from the “Si! A la Vida, No! A la Mina” Delegation in Oaxaca in November 2015:
"We begin by offering our sincere thanks to the many communities and organizations who have opened up their homes and hearts to us during our time in Mexico. It is far too rare for those who are directly-impacted by mining to transcend borders and look into the eyes of fellow fighters.
The “YES! to Life and Mother Earth, NO! To Mining” delegation is an international group from Thailand, First Nations communities in Canada, and the US who stand in opposition to destructive mining practices that harm our communities, our cultures, and our Mother Earth. Corporations like Fortuna Silver, Sundance Resources, Plata Real Minerals, Tungkum Limited, Imperial Metals Corporation, Taseko Mines Ltd, Barkerville Gold Mines, CONSOL Energy, and the A&G Coal Corporation have polluted our water, displaced and divided our communities, and claimed our leaders, leaving us and our future generations to bear the costs. We have seen how government policy encourages profit over the health, safety, and freedom of the people they claim to represent. We realize our local struggles are interconnected as common people. And just as capital is globalized, our resistance must also reach worldwide as we strive for a future without mining in all its forms.
Land is life. Without the land we cannot exist. We know mega-mining challenges our inherent right to live in and defend our territories as autonomous and self determined people. We do not place trust in the governments and corporations who hide their dirty practices behind the language of social responsibility and the false promises of development. Instead, we trust our own experiences and what we have seen here in Oaxaca. In the spirit of our trust in you as fellow affected communities, we offer a desire to walk with you in creating alternatives that recall our past and ensure our future survival.
We have learned a great deal from San Jose del Progreso, Capulalpam de Mendez, and Magdalena Teitipac communities who face the same risks and consequences as we do. You have inspired us in our work and we invite you to visit us in our territories in Thailand, Canada, and the United States to continue sharing our unique knowledge as mining-affected peoples, to exchange experiences rooted in our cultures and shared humanity, and to defend life and community.
Yes to Life, No to Mining --Another World is Possible!"