Tag Archives: protesters

Peru Mining Protest Turns Deadly in Puerto Maldonado

15 Mar

Andean people protest against Newmont Mining's Conga gold project during a march near the Cortada lagoon at Peru's region of Cajamarca, November 24, 2011.

[EF! Newswire note: the politics behind this story are tricky. We suggest reading more background on recent mining struggles to get a clearer picture of the context in which these protests have occurred.]

Peruvian protests against government plans to regulate small-scale mining left at least three dead and 50 wounded in the southern Amazon jungle today, the government said.

The miners are protesting against tougher penalties for illegal mining.

Local officials said police were far outnumbered by the protesters, who are trying to take control of the airport at the city of Puerto Maldonado.

The miners say the new rules will put them out of work, but the government says the sanctions will encourage miners to get the necessary permits.

An estimated 50,000 miners do not have a licence to operate.

Poisoned rivers

The government says large areas of jungle have been destroyed by illegal mining and large portions of the area’s waterways show high levels of mercury, used in the mining operations.

Officials say they want the miners to obtain the correct permits and to abide by environmental rules, but the protesters accuse the government of wanting to hand over mining concessions only to large multinational companies.

The latest protests erupted after talks between the government and the miners broke down on Tuesday.

Regional officials said more than 10,000 miners tried to seize government buildings, markets and the airport in Puerto Maldonado.

Regional President Luis Aguirre described the situation as “untenable”. “You can hear gunshots throughout the entire city,” he said.

Police have asked for reinforcements as 700 officers were outnumbered by more than 10,000 protesters.

Informal miners also held protests in two other regions, in Piura in Peru’s northwest and in Puno in the southern highlands bordering Bolivia.

Peru is one of the world’s major gold producers and high prices have sparked a boom in recent years.

The government has urged the miners to return to the negotiating table for more talks scheduled for Friday, but it is not clear so far if the miners will attend.

Reposted from BBC News

 

143 arrested at August 29 tar sands protest in DC

31 Aug

Reposted from Indy Media DC


click here to view the video

August 29th was the 6th anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and barely a day after the departure of Hurricane Irene from DC. Delayed by the storm and hearing nature’s message about climate change from Irene, 143 people were arrested in front of the White House in the opener to the second week of tar sands protests.
This was the largest tar sands protest to date in the two-week series of protests running from August 20 until September 3ed. It was the first of these to involve triple-digit mass arrest totals-and over double the size of most of last week’s protests.

The Saturday protest as the storm approached was changed to a rally no including civil disobediance, and the Sunday protest had to be cancelled. On Monday, however, the tar sands pipeline opponents delivered on their promise of a much larger protest than any yet seen in front of the White House on this issue.

The Keystone XL Pipeline would connect the tar sands oil mining operations in Canada to refineries in Texas. A pipeline to the Canadian coast has been blocked, preventing exports to places like China, but some of the oil gets to the US by existing smaller pipelines. The much larger and dedicated Keystone XL pipeline would create the large export market the destructive tar sands mining project has so far lacked, bringing about a massive expansion of the mining.

The State Department as approved the environmental impact statement of this pipeline but still has to decide if it is in the “national interest.” A decision on that question is expected by December. Since tar sands oil can be anywhere(depending on process and surface vs deep) from 17% to several times as carbon intensive as normal oil, this is in truth a decision about whether or not global climate catastrophe is in the national interest!

Hey Obama-Irene has spoken, did you get her message?

Bolivians march against development plan

17 Aug

Reposted from Al Jazeera

Bolivian indigenous activists have started a long protest march from the Amazon plains to the country’s capital in against a government plan to build a 306km highway through a national park in indigenous territory.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has gained notoriety as an environmentally friendly leader and Bolivia’s first indigenous-identified president, which is significant for many locals because the country has a higher per capita indigenous population than any other Latin American country.

Less than a year ago, Morales told Al Jazeera that he is opposed to environmentally destructive development practices that are common in ‘indistrialised’ countries.

“[Those practices are] leaving the world without ecology. I called it ecolocide, which will lead to genocide,” he said.

Organisers of the march have said that they are reacting Morales’ hypocritical stance on climate change and environmentalism, pointing to his promoting of natural gas development and oil exploration.

“Morales isn’t a defender of Mother Earth. His rhetoric is empty,” said Rafael Quispe, leader of the main indigenous organization in Bolivia’s highlands, Conamaq.

Aung San Suu Kyi backs Burma dam protesters

11 Aug

Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the Myanmar and Chinese governments to re-examine the project on the Irrawaddy River

Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has joined forces with environmentalists and minority groups with an appeal for a rethink of a large dam project.

Suu Kyi urged the Myanmar and Chinese governments to re-examine the project on the Irrawaddy River in the interest of national and international harmony.

The Nobel peace prize winner called the waterway “the most significant geographical feature of our country.”

Environmental groups, members of the Kachin ethnic minority and other people living along the river say the Myanmar-China Myitsone Hydroelectric Project in northern Kachin state will displace villagers and upset the ecology of the important food source.

The 3.6 billion dollar (£3.1 billion) dam being built by China in the Kachin heartland is expected to flood an area the size of Singapore.

The Burmese government has not said how much of the energy will be sold to China.

In her appeal, Suu Kyi said some 12,000 people from 63 villages have been relocated and it is not clear whether they will be fairly compensated.

The government said only 2,146 people from five villages had been relocated.

For decades, several ethnic groups have waged guerrilla wars for greater autonomy, including more control over resources in their regions. In March, fighting broke out between the 8,000-strong Kachin militia and the government.

That fighting was related to dams and other large projects being built by China.

Cross-posted from here

Italian police and protesters clash over Alpine rail link

28 Jun

Some 60 people were injured when police and protesters clashed over the construction of a high speed rail link between France and Italy. Environmentalists say the railway would destroy a picturesque Alpine valley.

Scores of people were injured in northern Italy as police confronted protesters opposed to the construction of a high-speed rail link between France and Italy on Monday.

Some 60 individuals – about half of them police officers – had to go to hospital for injuries sustained in the violence, according to the country’s medical emergency services.

Police said officers were injured as protesters threw firecrackers and rocks while demonstrators said that some activists had been beaten.

Protesters, includíng environmental activists as well as local residents, oppose construction of the line between Turin and Lyon, claiming it will destroy the picturesque Alpine valley known as Val di Susa.

The confrontation began as 2,500 officers began to dismantle wooden barricades aimed at preventing construction workers from accessing a tunnel boring site.

‘Urgent need to start work’

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has said that work must start by June 30 to prevent Italy losing funding for the project from the European Union, worth hundreds of millions of euros. Construction costs for the link are estimated at 15 billion euros ($21 billion).

Environmental group Legambiente said there should be an “immediate end to all the violence” and claimed the government had made a “grave error” by sending police in to clear the barricades. “Batons are not the instrument of good politics,” said Legambiente leader Vittorio Cogliati Dezza.

France and Italy signed a deal in 2001 to build the new rail connection, which is to be a strategic link in the European network and allow travel time between Milan and Paris to be slashed from seven to four hours.

Further protests have been announced, with a demonstration in Rome planned for Tuesday.

Author: Richard Connor (dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler

cross-posted from here

Court sets aside land allotment for Andhra power project

23 Jun

Hyderabad, June 23 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh High Court Thursday set aside a government order, allotting land to a thermal power project in Srikakulam district of north coastal Andhra [India].

Dealing with a petition filed by some environmentalists challenging the land allotment, the court set aside the order issued in 2008.

Under the order issued Sep 15, 2008, the state government had allotted 972 acres of land to Nagarjuna Construction Company, which proposed to develop a 2,640 MW plant at Sompeta at a cost of Rs.12,000 crore.

Local communities and the environmental groups have been opposing the project on the ground that it is coming up on a wetland. They argued that the project not only threatens the ecology but also endangers the livelihood of fishermen and farmers.

The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) on July 14, 2010 had cancelled environmental clearance for the project on the ground that it was given in violation of norms.

The NEAA order had come a day after three protesters were killed in police firing on people protesting against the project at Sompeta.

Krishna Murthy, president of Paryavarana Parirakshana Sangham (PPS), which is spearheading the movement against the project, hailed the high court verdict and described it as ‘a victory of the people’.

©Indo-Asian News Service

News source here

Environmentalists protest against Danbei expressway project

22 Jun

By Hermia Lin

Cross-posted from here

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Environmentalists and residents of Danshui in northern Taiwan gathered in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Wednesday to protest against the proposed construction of an expressway along the north bank of the Danshui River.

It’s better to adopt low-carbon measures than to build expensive roads, the protesters said.

An EPA committee in April conditionally approved the construction of the 4.7 km Danbei (Danshui-Taipei) expressway. At a meeting Wednesday, the committee reaffirmed its decision.

The government has said the expressway would aid the development of Danshui Township, help to improve the flow of traffic and speed up evacuation in the event of a nuclear disaster.

However, environmental groups are opposed to project on grounds that it would destroy the mangrove wetlands along the Danshui River and damage the environment.

One of the protesters, Wang Yu-tsang who lives in Danshui, said he did not agree that the traffic congestion in the area could be solved simply by building such an expressway and he was worried about the adverse impact on the mangrove wetlands.

Moreover, the safety of cyclists will be compromised if the expressway is built, he said.

He suggested that the city government consider ways of improving Danshui’s public transportation system. Increasing the number of MRT trains to the city is one way to do so, he said.

Tsui Su-hsin, secretary general of the Green Citizens Action’s Alliance, said environmental groups are very disappointed at the EPA committee’s decision and will continue to oppose the project. They will petition New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu to stop the project and will stage more protests in September, she said.

The EPA said in a news release Wednesday that the developers should consult with New Taipei City officials and the Council of Agriculture to confirm the boundaries between the construction site and the mangrove wetlands before the project begins. The developers should also conduct environmental impact studies for at least six years, the EPA said. 

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