Underreported Struggles #34, January 2010
United Nations Story 166

Underreported Struggles #34, January 2010

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John Ahni Schertow
February 1, 2010
 

In this month’s Underreported Struggles: Philippine community blocks entry of large mining firm; First Nation begins blockade in northern Ontario; Malaysian authorities destroy homes in Iban village; US Dept. rules against native rights; Indigenous People in Algeria March for Autonomy

Jan 28thBurma: Gold mining leads the way to Irrawaddy destruction – Several large companies are working “day and night” to mine for gold in areas that will soon be flooded by the infamous Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project in Burma’s Kachin State.

Jan 27thVillages burnt, Karen villagers hide in jungles – Villagers are being killed and houses being burnt to the ground in Karen state by the Burmese Army to occupy territory and to divert the attention of people opposing the proposed 2010 elections in Burma, the Karen Nation United (KNU) alleged.

Jan 27thURANIUM MINING IN ZAMBIA: Signing the Contract of Death – Zambia is yet to make another big mistake of not taking the concerns of the people at heart when striking deals on Uranium Mining. Dennison Mines is Canadian and African Energy Resources is Australian, are there not Uranium Fields in these countries? Has anyone in the government tried to follow up what happens in these countries with regards to Uranium countries so that informed decisions are made?

Jan 26thIndia: Protests follow govt. approval of POSCO mining project – The Indian government’s grant of the final environmental clearance to a Korean giant firm, allowing it to acquire 3,000 acres of ‘forest lands’ in the eastern state of Orissa, has prompted a fresh spate of protests from more than 4,000 families that will be affected by a proposed mining project.

Jan 26thChina: Police Clash With Protesters: A round of violent protests over land prompts media blackout – Authorities in the southwestern Chinese region of Guangxi have sealed off a village and ordered a news blackout following violent clashes between local residents and police in a land dispute.

Jan 26thFirst Nation pushes back against ‘Ring of Fire’ mine, rail project – Last week about 15 protesters from Marten Falls First Nation began protesting near two mineral exploration camps in northern Ontario, because the community of 300 was not consulted.

Jan 25thIndonesia: Halt Mining that Threatens Indigenous Peoples! – The Manggarai, Leragere and Kedang Indigenous peoples are calling on the government of Indonesia to halt all mining in East Nusa Province and conduct a genuine consultation process with communities affected by any ongoing and proposed mining projects.

Jan 25thChile: environment authorities procede with sanction process against Pascua Lama Project – Chilean environmental authorities have begun a probe into the construction of Barrick gold’s Pascua-Lama project, which could lead to fines or even a revoked their concession. The environmental commission CONAMA said the probe was looking into a water source for the project, monitoring of construction noise and controlling dust levels.

Jan 23rd – Klamath Tribes agree with basin restoration plan – The news reports that the Klamath Tribes in Oregon are the first to approve a $1 billion agreement for restoring Klamath River salmon and bringing peace to the long-standing water battles in the basin.

Jan 22ndPanama Government Steps Up Dam Construction on Ngobe Lands – The Ngöbe people continue to face the destruction of their villages, farms, food supply, access to clean water, and way of life as a result of the government of Panama’s decision to build a hydroelectric dam on their river.

Jan 21stDept. rules against native rights, says Eagle Rock isn’t sacred – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has shamelessly and underhandedly given its final approval for a nickel and copper sulfide mine on the Yellow Dog Plains. In issuing the approval, the MDEQ overstepped the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s treaty rights and their religious rights.

Jan 21stIndigenous People in Borneo win landmark court ruling over land rights – A Malaysian court has ruled in favor of indigenous communities in a dispute over land rights just two days after authorities “arbitrarily” destroyed 25 Iban homes in the village of Sungai Sekabai in Sarawak.

Jan 20thMalaysian police destroy homes in Borneo indigenous community – Malaysian authorities yesterday destroyed two dozen homes in an indigenous Iban community near the town of Bintulu in Sarawak, alleges a human rights group.

Jan 19thBangladesh: Rape and repression continue, despite promises of peace – One year since the Bangladesh government promised finally to halt the persecution of the country’s indigenous people, reports are emerging of new abuses.

Jan 19thPhilippine community blocks entry of large mining firm – The community of Anislagan on the island of Mindanao has successfully blocked the Philex mining company from entering their lands. The company was planning to begin work on a “livelihood training center-”perhaps, to replace the community’s actual livelihoods, which the company will destroy if they go ahead with their project.

Jan 18thMessage from Ecuador to Chevron CEO John Watson: We don’t want to continue dying from cancer – A heartfelt message from Amazon rainforest communities in Ecuador to the new Chairman and CEO of Chevron: “We don’t want to continue dying of cancer.”

Jan 18thTsilhqot’in Government denounces “rubber stamp” approval for the Prosperity mine project – The Tsilhqot’in National Government denounces the BC Environmental Assessment Office decision to grant an environmental assessment certificate (EA) to Taseko Mines Ltd. for a proposed massive mine at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), an area where the Tsilhqot’in Nation holds proven Aboriginal hunting and trapping rights.

Jan 17thAlgeria: Indigenous People March for Autonomy – The Kabyles, the indigenous people of Algeria, have marched in the country’s northeastern region of Kabylie, ahead of the celebration of the Berber new year (Yennayer), demanding more autonomy from the central state. The Movement for the Autonomy in Kabylie (MAK) organizing the protest explains that what started as a peaceful march was rapidly confronted heavy handedly by the authorities who imposed a media blackout.

Jan 16thUN report paints grim picture of world’s indigenous peoples – The world’s 370 million indigenous peoples suffer from disproportionately, often exponentially, higher rates of poverty, health problems, crime and human rights abuses, says “the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”, the first ever United Nations report of its kind.

Jan 13thCarbon Markets Violate Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Threaten Cultural Survival – Indigenous Peoples are being forced to sign over their territories for REDD to the Gangsters of the Century, carbon traders, who are invading the world’s remaining forests that exist thanks to the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples,” denounced Marlon Santi, President of the CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, one of the most powerful native organizations in the world. “Our forests are spaces for life not carbon markets.”.

Jan 11th – Government Study: Chilean Gold Mine Threatens Local Glaciers – Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold, the owner of what would be Chile’s largest gold mine, Pascua Lama, could face legal sanctions after Chile’s national water commission (DGA) reported that the company is failing to comply with Chile’s environmental laws.

Jan 10thCall to 1st International Meeting for Those Affected by Vale – Social, environmental and labour movements and organizations in Brazil call on the social, environmental and labour movements in Canada, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Mozambique, Australia, Norway, New Caledonia, South Africa and Indonesia to the 1st Meeting of People, Communities and Workers affected by the aggressive and predatory activities of the company, Vale, from 12th to 15th of April 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jan 9thIt Stinks Like Garbage: Chief worries about expanding Cache Creek dump – Chief Robert Pasco, the chair of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, is clear what he thinks of the provincial government’s decision to allow the expansion of the Cache Creek landfill, or dump: “I think it stinks like garbage. I think it’s wrong.”

Jan 8thBlack Mesa Wins! Peabody’s Coal Mining Permit Revoked – Peabody Coal’s massive coal mine project on the traditional lands of the Hopi and Dineh People in northeastern Arizona, was dealt another major blow this week by an administrative judge in Salt Lake City.

Jan 7thJudge denies Crow Creek Sioux restraining order against IRS – A Judge has ruled against the Crow Creek Sioux’s appeal for a restraining order after the IRS auctioned off their lands in order to pay back taxes. However, a court trial of the case was also set for March 29 and 30, 2010.

Jan 5thPeru’s gold rush sparks fears of ecological disaster – The high price of gold has drawn thousands of miners to a region of south-east Peru, but deforestation and the high levels of mercury used in mining has led to fears of an imminent ecological disaster.

Jan 5thAmnesty calls on El Salvador to investigate the recent murder of environmental activists – Amnesty International has called on the Salvadoran authorities to investigate the killing of two environmental activists who opposed mining projects in the central Cabañas area, and threats against the staff of a community radio station.

Videos

Interviews from Defenders of the Land 2008 – Recorded during the Defenders of the Land gathering in 2008, Joseph Dore, a grassroots activist and member of the Anishnabe Nation, talks about his community’s struggle with mining and logging; and our greater, common need to defend the Earth. This is one of thirteen interviews with participants from the historic gathering.

Wade Davis: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World – In this talk, delivered at the Cowell Theatre in San Francisco, California, on January 13, 2010, Canadian anthropologist Wade Davis takes us on a journey through the ethnosphere—and reminds us of our own cultural imperative as human beings.

Wisdomkeepers by Harvey Arden – A former Senior Writer for National Geographic and Author of numerous books, on Jan. 15 2009, Mr. Arden sat down at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, CA to read from his writings and share some of the lessons he’s learned in the course of his life.

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