October 12, 2009 (the 517th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Western Hemisphere) is the first day of the Global “Minga”/Mobilization in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples, called by the IV Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples Abya Yala. Rallies, protests and other actions are being carried out around the world in response to the call, including:
Labrador, Canada: Inuu elder and activist Elizabeth Penashue launched a week-long walk along the Mitsa-Shipu (Churchill River) from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Gull Island, in opposition to the proposed Lower Churchill Hydro Project. If built, the two dams would cause vast environmental devastation and irreparable loss of Innu land, history and culture.
USA: The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is holding a weeklong mobilization against the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements (NAFTA/CAFTA) and against gold mining in El Salvador. Events are planned for Seattle, Olympia, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Washington (DC), Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Find out more information here.
London, England: Protests were held at the Colombian, Peruvian and Spanish embassies, the UK Foreign Office and the Department for Energy and Climate change, demanding and end to EU-Latin America free trade agreements and an end to UK agrofuel subsidies.
Melbourne, Australia: A Latin American Solidarity Network space was launched at Trades Hall. A documentary film night will be held October 15.
Colombia: More than 25,000 indigenous People have begun to March to the city of Cali to protest for respect for their territory and against the harmful social policies maintained by the Uribe government. The protesters are expecting to arrive on October 16. 115 indigenous councils have ceased ongoing dialogues with the Government For the occasion. (For updates, keep an eye on:www.cric-colombia.org, www.onic.org.co). Approximately 2000 Uwa have also begun an “armed strike” in opposition to Ecopetrol, who has been exploiting natural resources from their ancestral sanctuary for the past 13 years.
Paris, France: Social groups have organized a week of solidarity actions for the Minga, including public debates, forums, a one-day festival, and protest rallies in support of Indigenous Peoples.
Call for action against Transnationals.
Argentina: A Global Week of Action against Debt and International Finance Institutions (IFI’s) is running in conjunction with the Minga. Opposing the new agreement between the Government and the International Monetary Fund, participants will be rallying for climate justice (October 13), rural women and the repudiation of debt (15 October), food sovereignty (16 October) and the eradication of poverty (October 17). A memorial was also held on October 11, honoring the martyrs of resistance.
Cuba: A one day event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Cry of the Excluded was held in Havana.
Bolivia: The First hearing of the International Court of Climate Justice will be running at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Cochabamba, from October 13 to 17. The event will be transmitted LIVE on the internet. An Assembly of Social Movements will also be held in Cochabamba on the 15th, immediately followed by a Regional Meeting Against Climate Change.
Peru: Delegations from around the country marched to the headquarters of the UN in Lima on October 12, to present a series of demands and proposals by indigenous peoples to stop global warming. This will be followed by 3 days of workshops led by indigenous communities.
Other events, including festivals, workshops, protests, Ceremonies and other actions are taking place in Spain, Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil, and elsewhere.
Via Campesina has also called for an International Day of Action Against Multinational Corporations for the final day of the Minga: October 16, 2009.