Call for imaginings

The world’s largest mining convention comes to Toronto each year, hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). This year, however, PDAC 2021 will move entirely online. But don’t be fooled — just because the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be empty this year doesn’t mean that mining has stopped. Mining projects continue in full force and workers continue to travel to remote mine sites around the world, risking the health and safety of local communities.

We at the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) and our allies have a long history of intervening in and disrupting the convention, giving echo to the millions of voices around the world who say “YES” to life and “NO” to mining. People have long imagined and fought for a world without extractivism, and the systems of violence and oppression that sustain it. And with the pandemic disrupting an in-person convention this year, we’re using it as an opportunity to continue these imaginings in an artistic form. What if the world’s largest mining convention never happened again?

Here’s the invitation: What would a world without extractivism look like for you? This can take many forms. We’d love to see your drawings, paintings, collages, or other pieces of art; murals; poems and songs; short videos; or any other response you can think of. New and old work is welcome, and all skill levels are appreciated. ***

Here are some additional prompts and examples of what we’re thinking about.

We will share what you send us on our website and social media pages. But that’s only the start. We see this as the beginning of a larger project of imagining alternative and non-extractive futures. We want to engage with your submissions and spark conversations within our communities. More details to follow!

You can share your imaginings with us by email ([email protected]) with the subject line “A world without extractivism” by Wednesday, March 31.
Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Una llamada para la imaginación

La conferencia minera más grande del mundo llega cada año a Toronto, Canadá y está organizada por la “Association Canadiense de Prospectores y Desarrolladores” (PDAC). Este año, la conferencia se volverá completamente virtual por causa de la pandemia de COVID-19. Pero no se deje engañar: el hecho de que el centro de Toronto esté vacío (donde siempre tiene esta conferencia) no significa que la minería se haya detenido. Los proyectos mineros canadienses continúan con toda su fuerza alrededor del mundo.

Nosotras organizadas en la Red de Solidaridad Contra la Minería Injusta (MISN por sus siglas en inglés) y nuestras aliadxs tenemos una larga historia de intervención e interrupción de la conferencia, dando eco a los millones de voces del mundo que dicen “SÍ” a la vida y “NO” a la minería. Comunidades por todas partes ya llevan décadas y milenios imaginando y luchando por un mundo sin el extractivismo y sin los sistemas de violencia y opresión que lo sustentan. Y con la pandemia que ha interrumpida una conferencia presencial este año, estamos aprovechando para continuar con estas imaginaciones de forma artística. ¿Qué pasaría si la mayor convención minera del mundo nunca volviera a suceder?

Esta es la invitación: ¿Cómo sería para usted un mundo sin extractivismo? Esto puede tomar muchas formas. Nos encantaría ver sus dibujos, pinturas, collages u otras obras de arte; murales; poemas y canciones; vídeos cortos; o cualquier otra respuesta que se te ocurra. Las obras nuevas y antiguas son más que bienvenidas, y se aprecian todos los niveles de habilidad.

Vamos a compartir lo que nos envíe en nuestra sitio web y en las redes sociales. Vemos esto como el comienzo de un proyecto más amplio de imaginar futuros alternativos al extractivismo y queremos que sus propuestas sigan avanzando estas conversaciones. Más detalles en breve.

Por favor, comparten sus ideas con nosotras por correo ([email protected]) con el asunto “Un mundo sin extractivismo” antes del 31 de marzo. Escribenos por cualquier pregunta o duda. ¡Gracias!

COVID Recovery or COVID Cooptation? TAKE ACTION on Bill 197!

Is Ford using the pandemic as his chance to destroy laws that protect Indigenous sovereignty, defend environmental safety, and uphold our right to say no to extractive projects in Ontario?

We have until November 10th to have our say about it!
Click here for more background information, or keep reading to find out how you can take action NOW!


There are four urgent actions you can take right now:

1) Submit a public comment by November 10th

Right now, the Ontario government is seeking public feedback on which kinds of projects should require comprehensive environmental assessment according to the new law. We KNOW you’ve got something to say about this.

Read More

COVID Recovery or COVID Cooptation? Understanding Bill 197

Is Ford using the pandemic as his chance to destroy laws that protect Indigenous sovereignty, defend environmental safety, and uphold our right to say no to extractive projects in Ontario?

We have until November 10th to have our say about it!
Keep reading for more information, or click here to take action NOW!

On July 8th, 2020, the Ford government introduced Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economy Recovery Act, an omnibus bill changing many facets of life in Ontario. Just two weeks later, with zero opportunity for meaningful public input as required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, this bill was passed into law.

Schedule 6 of the bill makes major changes to how environmental assessment happens in Ontario, as well as to what kinds of projects need to follow the rules of transparency, consultation, and evidence-based practice required under the Environmental Assessment Act. But have you tried actually reading the thing? We did, and… to us, it was about as clear as mud.

We reached out to our friends at the Canadian Environmental Law Association to help us understand this law. This week, we’re launching three explainer videos to help pass along what we learned!

Special thanks to Joel Famadico for filming and editing these videos for us!

Are you as confused about Bill 197 as we were? Watch these videos to help you figure out what’s changing, what’s at risk, what’s at stake, and — most importantly — what YOU can do right now to stop this from getting worse.

Read More

Mining in the time of COVID-19

Hello friends, 

We hope you’re doing as well as possible during these times of both incredible difficulty and powerful global uprising. Many of you, like us, may be spending a lot of time figuring out what effective activism looks like in the new terrain of a pandemic that asks many to stay home while others risk their lives in workplaces that have been deemed “essential.” 

Amidst all the headlines about COVID-19 you may have noticed a few stories squeak by about the ways in which extractive industries are profiteering in these times of crisis. Many of you saw back in March that while many small businesses and some entire industries questioned whether they would have a future, mining projects were put on the list of essential services in Ontario. But that’s not all that’s been happening. 

On June 2nd, our allies at MiningWatch Canada released a report alongside a number of other organizations around the world that detailed four key mining industry trends during the COVID-19 pandemic that pose an immediate threat to mining-impacted communities. Like many others, we are deeply troubled by the mining industry’s despicable practices in a time when people are trying to keep their communities alive and safe from COVID-19. 

While the world is dealing with the public health emergency of COVID-19, mining companies around the world continue their exploitative extraction of resources, putting local and Indigenous communities at further risk. Companies have been linked to numerous virus outbreaks and have often refused to stop activities to investigate or to protect their workers. A few recent examples of mining companies’ COVID-19 outbreaks and inaction include:

  • In Peru, at the huge Antamina copper mine that Teck co-owns with Glencore and BHP, the company denied there was an outbreak when workers complained that many of them were suffering symptoms, and refused to shut down the mine. A little more than two weeks later, one worker was reported dead and another 210 infected
  • At Hudbay’s Constancia mine in Peru, at least 21 workers mine have tested positive for COVID-19, putting the Indigenous communities living in the area at serious risk.  
  • Solaris Resources has been linked to a possible outbreak in the Shuar Arutam People community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, putting the local Indigenous population at grave risk. 

There are many compounding risks to mining during a pandemic. We know that mines are often located in remote areas where communities have little access to hospitals and emergency equipment, leaving them without the health supports they need during this crisis. We also know that mine workers work in confined spaces and in close proximity, encouraging the virus to spread at high speed. An outbreak could be catastrophic for populations already suffering from respiratory conditions and air pollution from mining activities and from limited access to water, taken from them by mines that consume water in large quantities. 

While the entire world was glued to watching virus transmission rates soar, many mining companies have been operating as though we are not in a pandemic at all, expecting Indigenous communities to continue with all permitting processes despite all of their resources going towards keeping safe from the COVID-19 virus. For example, Chief Chris Moonias from Neskantaga First Nation in the so-called Ring of Fire has spoken publicly about how he has been pulled between pandemic preparation and participating in consultation processes, for fear that the consultation would stop altogether. In early June, nine faculty members at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School sent a letter to Minister Greg Rickford, imploring the provincial government to press pause on mineral staking and permitting processes on Indigenous territory during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MISN supports all communities resisting mining extraction and struggling to protect themselves from the irresponsible and dangerous actions of mining companies during the pandemic. We continue to  demand the immediate cessation of all mining activities to protect communities around the world from the virus. 

We also support the demands articulated in the global solidarity letter, including the following:

  • We call on national governments to respect and support the autonomous organizing and self-determining processes of mining-affected communities and Indigenous peoples. Their efforts are vital to protecting community health and the environment, informed by their own knowledge and traditions, as well as to the food sovereignty of rural and urban populations through small-scale agriculture and other productive activities. Economic “reactivation” must not promote more mining, but should, instead, acknowledge and bolster community-based initiatives.
  • We call on international human rights bodies to pay close attention and actively condemn human rights violations committed by governments and mining corporations during the pandemic and the recovery period to follow. We stand in solidarity with the frontline communities, Indigenous peoples and workers most affected by the COVID-19 crisis and the mining industry’s response. We call on others to support them in their vital campaigns for collective wellbeing and justice.


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