Resistencia, intercambio, (post)extractivismo: coordinadores de YLNM se reúnen en Galicia- fotos

Resistance, exchange, (post)extractivism: YLNM Coordinators meet in Galicia- in photos

Fotografías de Wale Obayanju, Hannibal Rhoades, Natalie Lowrey 13/03/2017

 

A principios de este mes, los nueve coordinadores regionales de YLNM se encontraron por primera vez. Fue en Galicia, en España, para explorar el futuro de la red Sí a la Vida No a la Minería, y para realizar un intercambio con los movimientos antimineros locales. Compartimos la experiencia a través de esta foto historia.

Días 1 & 2. (Post)Extractivismo: Primer encuentro estratégico de coordinadores regionales de YLNM

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Entre el 1-6 de Marzo 2017, los 9 coordinadores regionales de YLNM, procedentes de Nigeria a Colombia y Australia, se encontraron por primera vez para ayudar a configurar el futuro del trabajo reactivo y colectivo de YLNM, y para comenzar profundas discusiones sobre las causas estructurales del extractivismo y cómo sembrar las semillas de un futuro post-extractivismo.

Conoce a los coordinadores regionales de YLNM.

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El grupo de coordinadoras y coordinadores se reunió en la sede del Sindicato Labrego Galego. El primer día estuvo dedicado a discutir acerca de los violentos e injustos impactos de la minería. Aquí, Wale Obayanju, Coordinador Regional de YLNM para Africa Occidental comparte su experiencia acerca de cómo la extracción de petróleo en el Delta del Níger ha tenido coo consecuencia la destruccción de los sistemas de pesca y agricultura biodiversos que alimentaban a la gente.

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Asociación de palabras: desde la perspectiva de las comunidades resistiendo a la minería, la industria es sinónimo de criminalización, violaciones de derechos humanos y destrucción ambiental. Las discusiones iniciales del grupo coordinador sobre los impactos mineros, que han sido la causa de nuestra creación como red, estuvieron conducidas y recibieron las informaciones de la red amplia de YLNM. Estas indicaron las percepciones de la red sobre los desafíos más importantes que enfrentan las comunidades y las organizaciones que dicen ‘no’ a la minería.

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Patriarcado, (neo)colonialismo, corrupción, un sistema capitalista dependiente del crecimiento continuo que favorece la acumulación de riqueza y poder por parte de unas elites globales, nacionales y locales… Más allá de los impactos, el grupo de coordinadores exploró las causas interconectadas en la raíz de los proyectos extractivos en todo el mundo. Si no se consideran los factores que fomentan la minería, aunque se detenga una mina en un lugar del mundo, otra se estará impulsando en otro lado.

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La minería sostenible es un mito. Nuestro planeta, fuente de vida, no puede aguantar este asalto extractivo. Cualquier futuro viable realista y ecológico debe ser post-extractivo y nos lleva más allá de la dependencia de ‘nuevos’ metales y minerales. El día 2, Natalie Lowrey, Coordinadora Regional para el Pacífico y Mariana Gómez, Coordinadora Regional para Latinoamérica exploran cómo YLNM puede contribuir a generar perspectivas post extractivas y culturalmente apropiadas de desarrollo.

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¿Qué hacemos? Crear espacios de intercambio y solidaridad entre comunidades con experiencias de resistencia exitosa, aquellas enfrentando proyectos mineros y aquellas sintiendo los impactos directos; defendemos a las defensoras y defensores de comunidades y del planeta que se encuentran en primera línea en los conflictos mineros; ayudamos a asegurar que las transiciones sean post- extractivistas. El encuentro permitió al grupo de coordinación discutir cómo construir sobre los éxitos ya existentes y planificar el trabajo conjunto.

PH

Solidaridad sur-sur, norte-sur, sur-norte- son muchos los tipos de solidaridad que sostienen a los movimientos y la principal razón de ser de YLNM. Después de dos días de intensas discusiones, las coordinadoras y coordinadores mostraron su solidaridad con colegas que llevan a cabo campañas contra la minería a gran escala en las Filipinas.

Día 3. Defiende la tierra, defiende la vida. III Encuentro de ContraMINAcción, rede galega contra a minaría destructiva

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El día 3 las y los Coordinadores Regionales de YLNM se unieron a activistas, grupos comunitarios y público en general para llevar a cabo el III Encuentro de ContraMINAcción sobre los impactos de la minería en Galica, para intercambiar conocimientos y estrategias de todo el planeta y para conectar a grupos en resistencia.

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Las injusticias del extractivismo se pueden observar desde las Filipinas hasta España, y también la resistencia intensiva y organizada. Joam de ContraMINAcción modera una mesa redonda con Natalie Lowrey, Wale Obayanju y Michelle Maloney de YLNM sobre sus experiencias de resistencia a la minería y tácticas de éxito.

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La minería crea algunos empleos, pero destruye potencialmente los medios de sustento de muchas personas. Representantes de organizaciones de pescadores y mariscadores Asoar Armega y Plademar Muros-Noia expresaron durante el encuentro público sus serias preocupaciones sobre los proyectos mineros que planean sobre la región, como la mina de San Finx, en Lousame. La interconexión de los sistemas de agua locales y la dependencia de las familias de la pesca de subsistencia y comercial significa que nuevas fuentes de contaminación como la minería podrían ser catastróficas para los ecosistemas y los medios en los que se basa su sustento.

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Pérdida de hermanas y hermanos. En 2014, 42 defensoras y defensores de la naturaleza fueron asesinados en el contexto de resistir contra proyectos mineros, convirtiendose así la minería en la industria más mortífera del mundo para aquellos que se oponen a ella. Después de un almuerzo entrañable con activistas locales, las coordinadoras y coordinadores de YLNM se sumaron a ContraMINAcción, pescadores y agricultores del Sindicato Labrego Galego para llevar a cabo una ceremonia en recuerdo de Berta Cáceres y todas las defensoras y defensores de la tierra y los derechos humanos que perdieron la vida como resultado de su resistencia. Aquí, Nela de contraMINAccion suma una flor y lee el nombre de una de las 12 activistas de la organización COPINH de Honduras asesinadas, como lo fue Berta Cáceres en 2016.

12 nombres, 12 flores rojas.

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Coordinadoras y coordinadores de YLNM se unen en solidaridad con ContraMINAcción y todas las personas presentes, resistiendo a la minería en Galicia, para una foto-acción simbólica al final de la jornada.

Día 4: Froxan y la mina de San Finx

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Una vista de los campos, bosques y poblados de Lousame, Galicia. La villa y sus gentes conservan un sistema tradicional de monte comunal, tierra y agua.

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“Estos edificios casi nunca están abiertos.” El grupo de coordinadores de YLNM acompañó a la gente de Froxán a visitar el sitio histórico de la mina de wolframio. En el lugar se ha construido un museo nuevo, celebrando las antiguas minas que abastecieron las guerras del siglo XX. La gente dice que se trata de un ejercicio de lavado de imagen; un intento de presentar estas tierras como un ‘paisaje cultural minero’ en el que las minas intentan reabrir operaciones mineras. Observando los impactos de la mina histórica que aún perduran sobre la tierra y el agua, la gente de Froxán se opone a la reapertura.

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Una señal marca la entrada a la mina de San Finx. Tungsten San Finx, uns filial de Sacyr, una empresa constructora española reconvertida a minera, espera reabrir la mina para extraer las reservas aún no explotadas de wolframio (tungsteno). La política de materias primas de la Unión Europea incentiva la minería de ‘minerales críticos’ como el tungsteno dentro de las fronteras europeas.

Las operaciones mineras todavía estan por reiniciarse según su plan. En una declaración de julio 2015, la empresa anunció sus planes de comenzar las operaciones comerciales en la mina subterránea en 2016. Pero los pobladores informaron a YLNM que la minería aún no se ha reanudado ya que la empresa carece de los permisos necesarios de descarga de agua residual.

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Miembros de Sí a la vida No a la Minería y ContraMINAcción en la verja de entrada a San Finx. La comunidad alega que la empresa se ha apropiado de terrenos comunitarios al colocar esta barrera. Las áreas comunes circundantes han sido objeto de incendios aparentemente intencionados que la comunidad cree que tienen que ver con el conflicto en torno a la actividad minera.

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En el siglo XX, se construyeron dos represas de relaves en el medio de un río que pasa por la planta de procesamiento de la mina de San Finx. En el lugar se puede apreciar cómo los sedimentos de deshecho han rellenado la represa durante décadas, con tan sólo unos pocos palmos de la represa por encima del nivel de las aguas. El agua corre sobre y a través de estos sedimentos antes de colarse a través de una abertura en la represa hacia el curso inferior del río.

La comunidad local y las asociaciones de pescadores y agricultores están muy preocupados por la contaminación que supone est aforma histórica de depósito de los deshechos en el río. Se supone que saliendo de esta instalación y estructura histórica de los sitios mineros está contaminando los sistemas de agua con metales pesados como hierro, zinc y cadmio, un conocido carcinógeno. Una posible rotura de los muros de la represa es una de las mayores preocupaciones, ya que la pared está dañada tiene grietas bien visibles.

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La población local, organizaciones ambientales y científicos han elevado varias cuestiones relativas a la mina de San Finx en el Parlamento Europeo. Reflejan sus preocupaciones acerca de los impactos a la salud y a la ecología de la minería histórica y moderna en sistemas de tierras y aguas en la localidad, así como sobre la integridad ambiental de la empresa minera.

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Miembros de la comunidad, ContraMINAccion y coordinadores de YLNM se unen en el lugar de la mina para apoyar el derecho de la comunidad a decir ‘no a la minería’ y sí al agua limpia desde su origen hasta el mar, tierras regeneradas y formas de subsistencia tradicionales en el medio rural.

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Como símbolo de regeneración y esperanza, antes de marcharse, las y los coordinadores de YLNM se unieron a la gente de Froxan para plantar árboles en el sitio abandonado de la mina histórica, sobre los huecos que la comunidad está restaurando y rellenando. La resistencia en la aldea es fuerte y está llevando a cabo un renacimiento práctico del conocimiento local-tradicional de los bienes comunes. Las comunidades locales que manejan los montes comunales han hecho un llamamiento a la empresa subsidiaria de Sacyr, Tungsten San Finx, para que abandone las tierras que están ocupando y se responsabilicen de la restauración ambiental del área.


 

Dando las gracias…

Por su esfuerzo y hospitalidad, nuestro agradecimiento a la comunidad de Froxan, a Guadalupe Rodríguez (Coordinadora de YLNM para el Sur de Europa y Latinoamérica), la red en contra de la minería destructiva en Galicia ContraMINAcción y el Sindicato Labrego Galego. También agradecemos a las tierras y aguas de Galicia, bajo amenaza minera, que nos dieron cobijo durante nuestra estancia.

YLNM en los medios de comunicación en Galicia:
Puedes encontrar actualizaciones en vivo y en diferido de los encuentros e intercambios de YLNM y de ContraMINAcción en Galicia buscando #YLNMGalicia2017 y #ContraMina2017 en Twitter, o síguenos en Facebook.

Photographs from Wale Obayanju, Hannibal Rhoades, Natalie Lowrey. 13/03/2017

Earlier this month, YLNM’s 9 Regional coordinators met for the first time in Galicia, Spain, to explore the future of the YLNM network and exchange with local anti-mining movements.

This photo story shares the coordinators’ experiences. Enjoy!

 

Day 1 & 2. (Post)Extractivism: First strategy meeting of YLNM’s  Regional Coordinators

17155501_762042140610852_5019539752070530239_nBetween 1-6th March 2017, YLNM’s 9 Regional coordinators, hailing from Nigeria to Colombia to Australia, met for the first time to help steer the future of YLNM’s reactive and collective work, and to begin deep discussions on the root causes of extractivism and how to sow the seeds of a post-extractive future.

At the heart of our discussions were two key questions:

  • How can YLNM best strengthen frontline communities resisting mining?
  • How can YLNM help advance discussions and actions globally that challenge the root causes of extractivism as a pattern of injustice and accumulation?

Meet YLNM’s Regional Coordinators. 

 

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Coordinators met, fittingly, at the HQ of Galician farmers’ union Sindicato Labrego Gallego. Day one was dedicated to discussions about the violent and unjust impacts of mining. Here Wale Obayanju, YLNM’s Regional Coordinator for West Africa shares how oil extraction in the Niger Delta has led to the destruction of biodiverse farming and fishing systems that feed people.

 

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Word association: from the perspective of communities resisting mining, the industry is synonymous with criminalisation, human rights abuses and environmental destruction. Coordinators’ initial discussions about the impacts we exist to address were led and informed by insights from the wider YLNM network. These indicated what the network perceives to be the greatest challenges faced by communities and organisations saying ‘no’ to mining.

 

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Patriarchy, (Neo)colonialism, corruption, a growth-dependent capitalist economic system that enables accumulation of wealth and power by global, national and local elites… Moving beyond impacts, coordinators explored the inter-linked root causes driving and enabling extractive projects worldwide. Unless the drivers of mining are addressed, a mine stopped in one place is simply a mine shifted elsewhere.

 

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Sustainable mining is a myth. Our planet, source of life, cannot sustain this extractive assault. Any realistic and ecologically viable future must be post-extractive and take us beyond dependency on ‘new’ minerals and metals. On Day 2, Natalie Lowrey, Regional Coordinator for the Pacific, and Mariana Gomez, Regional Coordinator for Latin America, explore how YLNM can advance post-extractive perspectives and culturally appropriate alternatives to development.

 

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What do we do? Create spaces for exchange and solidarity between communities with experience of successful resistance, those facing mining and those feeling the impacts directly; defend the defenders of communities and the planet standing on the frontline of mining struggles; help ensure just transitions are post-extractive transitions. The meeting allowed coordinators to discuss how to build on the network’s existing successes and plan collective work.

 

PHSouth-South, North-South, South-North- solidarity of many kinds is the sustenance of movements and the mainstay of YLNM’s work. After two days of intense discussions, coordinators showed their solidarity for colleagues campaigning against large-scale corporate mining in the Philippines.

 

Day 3. Defend land. Defend life. ContraMINAccion Public Event

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On Day 3 YLNM’s Regional Coordinators joined activists, community groups and the public for the third Public Meeting on Mining Impacts in Galicia to exchange knowledge and tactics from around the planet, and to connect networks of resistance.

 

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The injustices of extractivism can be observed from the Philippines to Spain, and so can powerful community-led resistance to mining. Joam from ContraMINAccion hosts a panel discussion with Natalie Lowrey, Wale Obayanju and Michelle Maloney from YLNM on experiences of mining struggles and tactics for success.

 

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Mining creates few jobs, but it destroys the livelihoods of many. Galician fishermen of Asoar Armega and Plademar Muros-Noia used the public meeting to highlight their serious concerns over mining projects planned for the region, such as the San Finx mine near Froxan. The interconnectivity of local water systems, and people’s reliance on subsistence and commercial fisheries means further/new mining pollution could be catastrophic for ecosystems and livelihoods.

 

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Lost sisters and brothers. In 2015, 42 environmental defenders were killed resisting mining projects, making mining the deadliest industry in the world for those who oppose it. After a hearty lunch with local activists, YLNM Coordinators joined ContraMINAccion, fishermen and farmers union Sindicato Labrego Gallego for a ceremony to remember Berta Caceres and all earth and human rights defenders who have lost their lives as a result of their struggle. Here Nella from ContraMINAccion lays a flower and reads out the name of one of the 12 Honduran activists killed, like Berta Caceres, in 2016. 12 names and 12 red blooms.

 

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YLNM Coordinators unite in solidarity with ContraMINAccion and others resisting mining across Galicia for a symbolic photo-action to end our joint public information meeting.

 

Day 4: Froxan and the San Finx Mine

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A view out over the fields, forests and homesteads of Froxan, Galicia. The village and its people have retained a traditional commons-based system for shared ownership and management of land and water.

 

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“We rarely see these buildings open.” YLNM Coordinators accompanied the people of Froxan to San Finx, the site of historic tungsten mining. A new mining museum has been built in the area, celebrating the old tungsten mines that fuelled war efforts throughout the 20th Century. Locals say this is a white-washing exercise; an attempt to present these lands as a ‘cultural mining landscape’ as companies try to re-open mining operations here. Observing the ongoing impacts of historic mining on their lands and waters, the people of Froxan are opposing the re-opening of the mine.

 

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A sign marking the entrance to the San Finx Mine. Tungsten San Finx, a subsidiary company of Sacyr, the Spanish mining and construction company, hopes to re-open the mine to extract previously un-exploited reserves of tungsten, also known as Wolfram. The EU’s raw materials policy is incentivising the mining of ‘critical minerals’ like tungsten in European territories.

Mining operations at the site are yet to restart as planned. In a statement released in July 2015, the company announced that it planned to begin commercial operations at the underground mine again in 2016. But local people informed YLNM that mining has yet to resume as the company lacks the necessary residual water discharge permits.

 

 

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Members of Yes to Life, No to Mining and ContraMINAccion outside the entrance to the San Finx Mine. Local people allege the mining company has appropriated common land by constructing this barrier. Surrounding common areas have been targeted by suspected arson attacks that local people believe are connected to the conflict over mining activities.

 

 

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In the 20th Century, two tailings dams were built in the middle of a river running past the San Finx Mine’s processing plant. At the site it is possible to see how sedimental waste has filled up the dam over decades, with just a few feet of the dam remaining above the water. The river runs over and through these sediments before plunging through a gap in the dam into the river course below.

Local communities, fishermen’s groups and farmers are deeply concerned about the pollution caused by this historic form of riverine waste management. It is alleged that run off from this facility and historic mine sites is polluting water systems with heavy metals such as iron, zinc and cadmium, a known carcinogen. Dam failure is also a major concern, with the dam visibly cracked and damaged.

 

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Local people, environmental organisations and scientists have formally raised several issues concerning the San Finx Mine in the European Parliament. These reflect serious concerns about the health and ecological impacts of historical and modern mining on lands and water systems in the locality, as well as the mining company’s environmental integrity.

 

 

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Local community members, ContraMINAccion and YLNM Coordinators unite at the San Finx mine site in support of local communities’ right to say no to the mine and yes to clean water from source-to-sea, regenerated land and sustainable traditional livelihoods in the locality.

 

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As a symbol of regeneration and hope, before leaving YLNM Coordinators joined the people of Froxan to plant trees over abandoned historic mine shafts the community is filling in. Resistance in the locality is strong and a hands-on revival of local-traditional commons knowledge in underway. Local communities who manage common lands have called on Sacyr’s subsidiary, Tungsten San Finx, to abandon the lands it is occupying and take responsibility for the environmental restoration of the area.

 


 

Giving thanks…

For all their hard work and hospitality, our deep thanks go to the community of Froxan, Guadalupe Rodriguez (YLNM Coordinator for Southern Europe and Latin America) Galician anti-mining network ContraMINAccion and Galician farmers’ union Sindicato Labrego Gallego. We also thank the lands and waters of Galicia, under threat from mining, that helped sustain us during our stay.

Media from YLNM in Galicia:
Re-live live updates from YLNM’s Galician meetings and exchanges, search #YLNMGalicia2017 and #ContraMina2017 on Twitter, or follow us on Facebook.

 

 

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Divestment, in Solidarity: NAPE Uganda reach out to London’s divestment campaigners
DECLARATION:  WOMEN STAND THEIR GROUND AGAINST BIG COAL
Mining Our Roots

Mining Our Roots

  • Written on: 19 January 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Nnimmo Bassey says #YestoLifeNotoMining

Nnimmo Bassey says #YestoLifeNotoMining

  • Written on: 11 December 2014
  • Posted under: Videos
Ghana’s Upper West Coalition on Mining, Food, Water and Sacred Sites calls President to halt Mining activities in Upper West Region
United in resistance – Letters spark solidarity across continents
Save the Lower Zambezi Campaign

Save the Lower Zambezi Campaign

  • Written on: 10 November 2014
  • Posted under: Campaigns
Gold Rush: Protecting Sacred Groves in Ghana’s Upper West region
Ugandan Communities Resist Oil and Gas Extraction in Bunyoro Kingdom
Sierra Leone’s Mining Boom and Human Rights
War and the Militarisation of Mining in Eastern Congo
Drillers in the Mist: Soco International in Virunga National Park
The Impact of Mining on Human Rights in Uganda
Mining and its Impacts on Water, Food Sovereignty and Sacred National Sites in Uganda
South Africa’s Rainmakers Fight Against Coal

South Africa’s Rainmakers Fight Against Coal

Sacred Voices – A film and a message for the world

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