Carnibal of Dirt

Carnibal of Dirt

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Why is the Carnival of Dirt needed? New video from You & I Films - http://vimeo.com/youandifilms/carnivalofdirt


Today: Carnival of Dirt hits London - highlighting exec greed here, global corporate criminality everywhere

Today sees a 30-strong global coalition of activist groups - including London Mining Network, Occupy London, Reclaim the Streets, UK Uncut, Uk Tar Sands Network, Climate Camp - unite as the Carnival of Dirt arrives in London, the world’s centre for commodities, metal and oil trading, and base for many of the world's mining and extraction corporations. [1]

A carnival like no other, the coalition will challenge mining and extraction organisations - such as Xstrata, Glencore International, Rio Tinto, Vedanta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, BP and Shell - who maintain a sustainable reputation domestically, while abroad make Brits complicit in their devastating activities, including environmental disasters, summary executions, financial crimes, labour rights violations, political corruption and cultural genocide. [1] Through links between UK pension funds, with companies such as Xstrata present in almost every fund, the UK public is financing and legitimising these mining and extraction companies globally, while their executive boards enjoy massive remunerations.
 

11am - 'Breakfast' - Meet by St Paul's Cathedral
Aiming to joining up of the dots to making the ‘business as usual’ activities of these corporations visible, the Carnival of Dirt coalition - which spans from London to the Congo, West Papua to the Philippines - brings together the UK groups alongside pressure groups and NGOs from D.R. Congo, West Papua, Peru, the Philippines, Nigeria and Somalia, and welcomes all to experience a carnival like no other. [2]

The day begins with a dramatic and poignant ceremony to celebrate those who stand up against the mining and extraction corporations and to remember those who have died for doing so. The full funeral cortège - with Congolese choir and New Orleans funeral jazz band - will bring their message to one of the institutions most responsible for these practices, the London Stock Exchange. Attendees are invited to come dressed in black to remember the dead.
 

2pm - 'Lunch' - Follow @carnivalofdirt on Twitter for location
A picnic and teach-out will be held where people can share food and listen to indigenous activists describing the effects of these industries and their impact on global inequality.

Speakers include: Benny Wenda (West Papua), Alice Ukoko (Nigeria/Women of Africa), Jean-Guy Kikamba (Congo), Samarendra (India/Foil Vedanta), Esther Stanford-Xosei (Ghana), Muna Hassan (Hands Off Somalia), Makola (Uhuru News), Glevys Rondon (Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme), Rafael Joseph Maramag (Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines), Daniel Balint-Kurti (Global Witness), Richard Solly (London Mining Network), Jamie Kelsey-Fry (New Internationalist), Suzanne (No Tar Sands) and Jo (UK Uncut). [2]

6pm sharp - 'Dinner' - Assemble at The Embankment; follow @carnivalofdirt for updates
A party in the legendary style of Reclaim the Streets, to celebrate the global movement that is moving to end corporatocracy, end a global economic system that is unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic, end the unnecessary and failing austerity measures and bring about a fairer, more equal and sustainable world for all. Wear dancing shoes.

'Business as Usual' has to stop
One example of the inconsistencies happening in the mining world, is the many column inches garnered around the world as Xstrata officials in Europe have made preparations for a $90 billion merger with London-listed commodities giant Glencore. This is despite the opposition of many ordinary shareholders after it emerged that CEO Mick Davis has been offered a retention package of over £20 million just to stay in his job. [3]

In contrast, on the other side of the world with far less media attention, farmers in one of the world's poorest regions are under siege by hundreds of police commandos, as a result of Xstrata refusing to negotiate a new social contract for its Tintaya mine in Peru. [4] A province-wide strike has resulted in at least two deaths, over 100 wounded, the declaration of a state-of-emergency and the arrest of the local mayor.

“On 30 November last year, 21 Occupy London activists were arrested for dropping a banner from Xstrata’s London office, base of Mick Davis – the highest paid director of any FTSE 100 company and are due in court on 27 June. Then it was just about corporate greed,” said Jack Dean from Occupy London. [5]

“Now, seven months on, a worldwide coalition has come together to begin to make the activities of Xstrata and other mining and extraction companies truly visible. Governments and regulators aren’t or can't tell the public what we need to know - and the companies themselves certainly won't come clean. Executive greed here is costing lives abroad, while our pension funds benefit from their activities. These corporates need to be stopped from making us all complicit in their crimes in the majority world where their prioritisation of profit over people, is felt most acutely.” [6]

Sylvestre Mido from the Congolese Action Youth Platform (CAYP), said: “It is outrageous that in this modern day and age, practices such as slavery, murder and rape are not only tolerated by those multinationals but also supported by the British government amongst others. We will no longer stand by when millions are silently killed across the globe for trivial things such as our mobile phones.”

Rafael Joseph Maramag, Secretary of the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, a UK-based pressure group and another active member of the Carnival of Dirt coalition, added: “The Filipino migrant community actively supports the Carnival of Dirt action on 15 June. Issues on human rights abuses brought about by these mining corporations from our countries of origin should come to the fore, especially within the international community. Both corporations and local governments should be held responsible for human rights violations against ordinary people. Impunity in the name of profit must stop!”

Expect surprises from the Carnival family. Get involved at the http://www.carnivalofdirt.org/.
 
Notes
[1] Further information about the Carnival of Dirt:

 

  • Flyers

[2] The Carnival of Dirt coalition includes members of the following groups around the world with more invited to join:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • UK/Europe

[3] Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg defends executive pay -
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/commodities/9318297/Glencore-boss-Ivan-Glasenberg-defends-executive-pay.html
[4] How do you sleep at night, Mr Davis? - http://www.newint.org/blog/2012/06/01/xstrata-peru-mining/, Xstrata’s killing fields - http://www.newint.org/features/2012/05/01/xstrata-environmental-pollution/, Peru mine conflict pits David against Goliath -
http://peoplesworld.org/peru-mine-conflict-pits-david-against-goliath/
[5] N30, corporate greed, Xstrata and the right to protest - http://occupylsx.org/?p=1755 / Apocalypse Now but Far Away (background on Occupy London's Corporations Working Group investigation) - http://theoccupiedtimes.co.uk/?p=4713
[6] Panorama - Billionaires Behaving Badly - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gk8zc/Panorama_Billionaires_Behaving_Badly/, Greedy Glencore doesn't plan to change its ways - http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10902, Glencore - http://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/corruption/oil-gas-and-mining/glencore, Glencore Accused Of Opaque Dealing In Congo http://blogs.wsj.com/corruption-currents/2012/05/09/glencore-accused-of-opaque-dealing-in-congo/?mod=google_news_blog

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