[WSMDiscuss] (Fwd) Anti-extractivism reports from Thematic Social Forum in Joburg

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Dec 11 02:42:38 CET 2018

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Final outcomes of the Thematic Social Forum
Date: 	Thu, 6 Dec 2018 13:46:10 +0200
From: 	Thematic Social Forum <thematicsocialforum at gmail.com>


We would like to share the final declaration and the action agenda as 
the final outcomes of the Thematic Social Forum. We would also like to 
encourage you to continue to visit and engage the website as we will 
constantly be uploading documents, pictures, videos and updates on the 
work that have come out of the Thematic Social Forum.

Final Declaration:

Action Agenda:

People's Dialogue Assessment of the Thematic Social Forum:

Please complete the Evaluation Form:

We ask that all organisations and movements that have participated in 
the Thematic Social Forum please share these documents on their own 
organisation/movements website.

If you have any documents, presentations, recording that you would like 
us to upload on the website or share with other participants please send 
us an email on thematicsocialforum at gmail.com 
<mailto:thematicsocialforum at gmail.com>

Thematic Social Forum Organising Committee

On 2018/11/16 18:26, Patrick Bond wrote:
> Coming soon: the official declaration and plan of action from this 
> excellent event...
> A twitter feed with more pics and videos: 
> https://twitter.com/hashtag/TSFMining?src=hash
> Here's at least one youtube presentation (where Lidy Nacpil puts 
> tough, necessary questions to the anti-mining movement): 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1wJ6rW3p74
> An update of my own spin (earlier, with URL links, here):
> https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/mail-guardian/20181116/281822874831596
>   Activists go for weakened mining
>     An international forum draws strength from worldwide protests
>     against extraction
>   * /Mail & Guardian/
>   * 16 Nov 2018
>   * Patrick Bond
> The World Social Forum’s Thematic Forum on Mining and Extractivist 
> Economy, convened earlier this month in Johannesburg, hot on the heels 
> of the Southern Africa People’s Tribunal on Transnational 
> Corporations. Hundreds of activists, grounded in local grievances, met 
> to agree on their approach.
> This is the appropriate moment, here and around the world, for 
> grassroots groups to tackle issues relating to mining, oil and gas. 
> World economic chaos is deterring investment.
> Mining houses cite not just South Africa’s black economic empowerment 
> ownership requirements but also many other structural problems: weak 
> commodity prices compared with the 2011-2015 plateau; China’s unstable 
> demand; higher production costs; embarrassing revelations about the 
> sector’s debilitating illicit financial flows (tax evasion); society’s 
> pushback against systemic corruption and violence; labour militancy, 
> especially against looming mass retrenchments; more effective 
> localised resistance campaigns and rising climate consciousness aimed 
> not just at fossil fuels but also at carbonintensive minerals smelting.
> *Extractive sector reformism*
> A stand against mining can now take root, in part because of 
> ineffectual reformism associated with corporate social responsibility 
> gimmicks (such as the World Bank’s longstanding celebration of Lonmin) 
> and with the mining sector’s civil society watchdogs. That occurs at 
> the mainly uncritical Alternative Mining Indaba, a nongovernmental 
> organisation-dominated event held annually in Cape Town as the 
> corporations gather nearby for the African Mining Indaba.
> The thematic forum firmly opposes “extractivism”. Unlike the 
> alternative indaba, it aims to connect the dots between oppressions, 
> defining its target as extraction in a way that is “devastating and 
> degrading”. Mining exacerbates “conditions of global warming and 
> climate injustice. It subjects local economies to a logic of 
> accumulation that privately benefits corporations.” Mining represses 
> “traditional, indigenous and peasant communities by violations of 
> human rights, affecting in particular the lives of women and 
> children”. The last point is not incidental, as two of the main forum 
> organisers were the Southern Africa Rural Women’s Assembly and the 
> Jo’burg-based WoMin network, African Women Unite Against Destructive 
> Resource Extraction.
> Inspired by Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) activists led by Nonhle 
> Mbuthuma, the fight to halt titanium mining on the Eastern Cape’s Wild 
> Coast generated a popular new slogan, the #Right2SayNo.
> (Meanwhile, at a Xolobeni conflict resolution meeting last month, 
> Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe revealed how desperately he wants 
> investment by the likes of even the aggressive Australian firm MRC.)
> *No means no*
> Such rights language proved invaluable in the Constitutional Court 
> last month when the Itireleng residents won a judgment against 
> displacement from their North West farm, which is under attack by a 
> local platinum mining house.
> On Tuesday, the forum, which gathered at Newtown’s Sci-Bono Discovery 
> Centre, interrupted lunch to demonstrate at the nearby headquarters of 
> AngloGold Ashanti. The JSE-listed firm was shamed in 2005 by Human 
> Rights Watch for its alliances with warlords responsible for the 
> minerals-related murder of millions of people in the eastern 
> Democratic Republic of the Congo.
> In 2011, AngloGold Ashanti won the title of the “world’s most 
> irresponsible corporation” at the Davos Public Eye ceremony, organised 
> alongside the World Economic Forum, following criticism by a key forum 
> participant, Hannah Owusu Koranteng, from Ghana’s Wassa Association of 
> Communities Affected by Mining.
> Since then, the firm has attracted even more protests by communities, 
> labour, feminists and environmentalists from Chile to Colombia, Ghana, 
> Guinea, Tanzania and South Africa about mass retrenchments, inadequate 
> pay and a delay over silicosis-related compensation payments. It’s a 
> sick company, and its local stock market price has fallen by more than 
> half since a mid2016 peak.
> Criticised by investors who believe “AngloGold has not matched up to 
> its global peers”, in large part because of less profitable South 
> African holdings, AngloGold Ashanti is rapidly leaving its home base.
> The firm made its fortune during the 20th-century era of apartheid 
> extractivism, when it was run by the Oppenheimer family. Its new boss, 
> Kelvin Dushnisky, previously led Toronto-based Barrick (the world’s 
> largest gold producer) during its recent reign of mining-related 
> repression.
> The mining corporations under fire at the forum are not only the 
> typical pinstriped, ethics-challenged cowboys from the 
> London-TorontoMelbourne-Jo’burg circuits. Next door in Mozambique, 
> Rio-based Vale’s coal-mining operations at Moatize were disrupted last 
> month because of “excessive pollution [and] acceleration of the decay 
> of houses due to explosion of dynamites”, documented by activists.
> In Mozambique, Vale and the Indian firms Jindal, Coal of India and 
> Vedanta have been criticised for displacement and destruction.
> Protests against foreign companies are prolific in the coal-rich Tete 
> province. Further east, on the Mozambican coastline, the beach sands 
> have been destroyed by the Chinese firm Haiyu. As several Zimbabweans 
> testified, the looting of $13-billion in diamonds from Marange was 
> done jointly since 2008 by Anjin from China and generals from Harare.
> Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal is perhaps the target of the most sustained 
> criticism, including a mass protest in May against Vedanta’s 
> Thoothukudi Sterlite copper plant. Police responded with the massacre 
> of at least 10 Indians who had demanded an end to pollution.
> Protest against Africa’s largest copper mine, Vedanta-owned Konkola, 
> centres on 1826 Zambian farms poisoned by toxic waste. Just before the 
> London Stock Exchange delisting of Vedanta last month, reggae musician 
> Maiko Zulu protested (and was arrested) at the British high commission 
> in Lusaka, demanding that authorities deny Agarwal his escape from 
> London before justice was served. Agarwal bought Konkola for just 
> $25-million in 2004 and a decade later bragged that he had taken home 
> between $500-million and $1-billion a year from Konkola.
> *After extractivism*
> Such Western-plus-Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South 
> Africa) exploitation exemplifies the mineral, oil and gas looting 
> underway across Africa. The extraction of nonrenewable resources that 
> is uncompensated by reinvested profits amounts to an estimated 
> $150-billion annually, far more even than the $80-billion that the 
> African Union’s Thabo Mbeki commission on illicit financial flows 
> identified, and disappears mainly via mining and petroleum firms.
> But, increasingly, corporations are pushing the people and the 
> environment too far and resistance is rising. According to Rosa 
> Luxemburg Foundation officer Tadzio Mueller, a key strategist of 
> Germany’s anti-coal movement, “we are doing here what effective social 
> movements have always done: identify our opponents’ power and shut it 
> down”.
> As Anglo American leader Mark Cutifani remarked in 2015, “there’s 
> something like $25-billion worth of projects tied up or stopped” by 
> mining critics around the world. How activists can increase that 
> figure motivated the week’s discussions.
> More difficult, though, was overcoming North-South intra-movement 
> contradictions, and moving from criticism to strategies for 
> post-extractivist systems of political economy, political ecology and 
> social reproduction.
> The central questions remained to be explored at future events: what 
> minimally necessary mining can be justified; how can those benefits be 
> “socialised”; and how can the costs of business as usual be prevented?
> ***
> CIDSE blog: 
> https://www.cidse.org/articles/business-and-human-rights/cidse-at-the-thematic-social-forum-on-mining-and-extractivism.html
> *12 November 2018
> *
> /Panel on “ Perspectives for Just Transition and Alternative Development”/
> « AMANDLA », and the public shouts in response “Awethu”, which means 
> “POWER – To the people”. This is the motto that resonates in the 
> opening plenary of the first Thematic Social Forum on Mining and 
> Extractive Economy. CIDSE and its members are gathered in Johannesburg 
> with partners and other organizations from over 60 countries from all 
> over the world to celebrate people’s resistance to mining and to its 
> devastating impacts. The first day of this thematic social forum was 
> dedicated to self-organized activities.CIDSE staff and members had the 
> opportunity to engage in reflections on the urgent need for a change 
> of paradigm in order to shift away from the current global 
> extractivist economy. This was for us an opportunity to share the 
> outcomes of CIDSE’s April 2018 Systemic Change Forum, within a panel 
> on “ Perspectives for Just Transition and Alternative Development”, 
> co-organized with MISEREOR and partners such as Red Muqui, WoMin and 
> Accion Ecologica. We also participated in the launch of Iglesias y 
> Mineria divestment campaign. This campaign is aimed at countering the 
> dominant narrative of major mining companies who keep on presenting 
> mining projects as opportunities for development, promising jobs and a 
> so called “sustainable” mining. The Divestment campaign aims at 
> engaging with church actors from all over the world to demand that 
> they screen their own investments and divest from harmful mining 
> investments. Many comrades from African countries showed great 
> interest in this approach and were keen to make links with the 
> Iglesias y Mineria network. CIDSE also co-organized a panel reflection 
> on “Dialogue as a transformative action” with Iglesias y Mineria and 
> the People’s Dialogue. This was for us an occasion to recall the 
> longstanding experience of Latin American partners on liberation 
> theology and deepening the concept of dialogue including the basic 
> conditions to engage in a sound dialogue rather than a negotiation, 
> which implies unbalanced power relations.
> *13 November 2018
> *
> The second day of the Thematic Social Forum on Mining and Extractivist 
> Industries started with songs of resistance from south African 
> communities affected by mining. After this cultural opening, a strong 
> panel of four women shared their social struggles around extractivist 
> activities in Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria and the US. They agreed 
> on the dramatic increase of extractive activities in the past 15 years 
> while seeing at the same time an increased resistance to it. All over 
> the globe, women essentially sustain the social resistance against 
> extractivist activities. The second panel delivered a sharp analysis 
> of the global capitalist system based on extractive economies that 
> brings along massive social and environmental destruction and climate 
> change. The message was clear: we urgently need substantial systemic 
> changes to save the planet. After the plenary sessions, the 
> participants of the TSF took action and brought their strong messages 
> in a loud and colorful protest march to the headquarters of Anglogold 
> Ashanti, one of biggest gold mining corporations in the world. In the 
> afternoon, ten different thematic assemblies started to develop 
> strategies and building networks around a variety of key issues, such 
> as the new emerging threats of deep sea mining or the increased 
> pressure of the shift to “green energy”, requiring always more 
> minerals. This goes along with an ever increasing criminalization of 
> social struggle in many countries. Padre Dario Bossi from Iglesias y 
> Minería outlined the responsibility of the Catholic Church as a global 
> actor in protecting affected communities.
> *14 November 2018
> *
> We started this day with a reporting back from the interesting debates 
> that took place in the thematic assemblies yesterday. Striking ideas 
> that emerged were the need to decolonize territories, minds and 
> bodies. The suffering of communities must stop and solutions such as 
> the blue and green economy were dismantled and criticized as 
> continuing the capitalist agenda. This was followed by a plenary on 
> mining, climate and ecological crisis. Representatives from Accion 
> Ecologica shared some experiences from Ecuador, highlighting that the 
> right of Nature can be a powerful tool and raised the question on how 
> to integrate this concept in our work. We were then provoked on many 
> issues by a representative from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, for example 
> on the ambivalence of climate justice actions in Northern countries: 
> the movements to stop coal or nuclear energy (in Germany but also 
> other European countries) must take into consideration that this 
> reduction does not stimulate the import of raw materials which are 
> produced with extremely negative social and environmental impacts. 
> Global climate justice must take into account all possible negative 
> impacts on everybody wherever they live. So one important question is 
> how we must deal with conflicts of interests within our movements. In 
> the afternoon eight converging commissions took place with the clear 
> intention to identify convergences, divergences and plans of action. 
> In those groups, topics such as the right to say no, alternatives to 
> extractivism, struggles of communities and against companies or 
> international treaties were discussed. Concrete suggestions were made 
> and exchanged in the plenary. Those suggestions now lay the basis for 
> the final declaration of the Thematic Social Forum on Mining and the 
> extractive economy on Thursday, including an action plan for the 
> future. To be continued on Thursday 15th November, last day of the 
> thematic social forum on Mining & Extractivist Economy.
> *15 November 2018
> *
> After the initial dancing and singing, the last day of the forum 
> started with a panel on “Just transition and extractives”. A 
> representative from the Latin-American “Sí a la vida, No a la Minería” 
> network, told us the story of two communities from Colombia who 
> stopped mining projects in their territories, not only by protesting 
> on the streets, but also by creating socioeconomic alternatives around 
> sustainable agriculture and ecotourism projects. A panellist from 
> Muqui Network (Peru), reminded us of the importance of building up new 
> collective identities and narratives around the idea of well-being, 
> understood in broad terms, to challenge the narrowness of conventional 
> views on economic growth. He also pointed out the need to reach the 
> younger generations with the message of ecology because the future is 
> in their hands. The morning continued with the presentation of the 
> first draft declaration which was discussed afterwards in the working 
> groups. There was consensus on the main points, but also important 
> concerns were raised in the following debate, such as the framing of 
> “artisanal mining”. Finally, it was agreed to introduce some 
> amendments in the original draft and the steering committee of the 
> forum will write a final version of the declaration, which will be 
> launched in the coming days.
> ***
> *Yes to Life no to Mining*
> URL: http://www.yestolifenotomining.org
> Thematic Social Forum on Extractivism: Communities say No to 
> extractivism and corporate plunder!
> Wed, 11/14/2018 - 05:34
> On 12th November 2018 the Thematic Social Forum on Extractivism got 
> under way in South Africa, bringing together over 400 community 
> spokespeople & activists to explore how we can go beyond extractivism. 
> Follow #TSFMining, #Right2SayNo and #YestoLifeNotoMining on Twitter 
> and Facebook to stay up to date. Press release from our friends WoMin 
> below.
> Johannesburg, South Africa – November 12, 2018
> Multi-national corporations are running rampant across the world, and 
> particularly in Africa. They violate human rights and extract natural 
> resources through mining, intense mega-agriculture projects and 
> large-scale fishing. All of this is done in the name of profit & 
> development. Communities are shown smoke and mirrors along with false 
> promises – but not everyone is captured. From Xolobeni in the Eastern 
> Cape, to Tete in Mozambique; to communities in the Bundi Valley in 
> Democratic Republic of Congo whose land and livelihoods are under 
> threat from a large-scale dam – people are rising and saying NO! to 
> extractivism.
> The extractivist capitalist model, resulting in the over-exploitation 
> of natural resources, has devastated the environment; cut of the 
> access to water; exacerbated climate change. In many cases corporate 
> power has displaced, destroyed and dislocated communities and their 
> way of life. Often, women bear the brunt of the violence of corporate 
> plunder. This brutal, exploitative system disintegrates the basic 
> social fabric of communities and divorces them from their culture and 
> identity.
> Members of the media are invited to a press conference on Tuesday 
> November 13 where conveners of the Thematic Social Forum on Mining and 
> the Extractivist Economy, currently taking place in Johannesburg, and 
> the Peoples Permanent Tribunal on Transnational Corporations , which 
> was convened from the 9th -11th of November will shed more light on 
> the global efforts to oppose corporate impunity and building 
> collective power. The Thematic Social Forum on Mining and Extractivism 
> is currently hosting up to 500 international delegates from 60 
> countries representing communities from around the world affected by 
> extractivism.
> Venue: SCI-BONO Centre, Newtown, Johannesburg
> Time: 1PM
> Contact: Hassen Lorgat on 082 362 6180; OR
> Raashied Galant on 079 525 9866
> The post Thematic Social Forum on Extractivism: Communities say No to 
> extractivism and corporate plunder! appeared first on Yes to Life no 
> to Mining.
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