London Calling applauds coal protesters who created a stink in VancouverPublished by MAC on 2012-06-05
Source: Vancouver Media Coop
Of course it's not a new tactic by any means.
Disrupting mining companies' official annual general meetings has an honourable history going back more than three decades, especially in the UK, Australia and Canada.
However, following feminists' vocal intervention at an Australian Melbourne mining club a fortnight ago, half a dozen demonstrators last week went one step further.
They reportedly forced the hasty departure of around a hundred participants at a luncheon hosted by the Vancouver branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, by showering them with coal - and fermented fish.
The protestors were incensed that the meeting's keynote speaker, the CEO of Compliance Energy Corp, was boosting his company's Raven Coal project, allegedly situated in un-ceded First Nation's territory on Vancouver Island.
They claim that herring shoals will be adversely affected if the mine proceeds.
Clearly, a relatively new stratagem is in the air.*
And perhaps it's one which other dissidents should take on board?
We've recently seen fisher folk and others rail against Anglo American's proposed Pebble Bay mine in Alaska which, they claim, will ruin vital salmon stocks. Well-organised opponents have attended both that company's, and Rio Tinto's London annual general meetings recent years. See: Rio Tinto gets no Medals from its critics
So far they haven't chucked fish (fresh or fermented) at the board.
Nor have they been anything more than rigorously polite when attending those drinks and canapés gatherings - now considered de rigeur by leading mining companies, as they attempt to quell the criticisms once the formal business is done with.
A few well-aimed croissants, or a splashed glass of chardonnay, would surely not come amiss?
(But no custard pies, please, they've simply outlived their usefulness).
* Our US colleague, professor Stuart Kirsch, points out that this tactic has in fact been used before. This was when Ok Tedi landowner, Alex Maun and friends "delivered fish at BHP's annual shareholders meeting and so got up their noses in 1994 or 1995".
Vancouver CIM Luncheon Disrupted Over Raven Coal Project
No Compliance! No Coal! No Way!
Mining Conference Effectively Shut Down!
Vancouver Media Coop
26 May 2012
On May 24, 2012 the Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum hosted a luncheon meeting at the Four Season's Hotel in Vancouver focusing on Compliance Energy Corp's proposed Raven Coal Mine. The site for this proposed mine is in unceded Pentlach Territory on Vancouver Island, also known as the Comox Valley.
The lemon meringue was barely finished with keynote speaker and Compliance Energy Corp. CEO John Tapics mentioning that there was social opposition to Raven Coal, when he and the 100 person conference were abruptly interrupted by a half dozen people who unleashed decaying herring upon them. A chaotic stench and nauseating shower of fermented fish engulfed the room. Herring are only one of the species that will be negatively effected by the mining development. (Contrary to mass media reports it was herring, not excrement).
Simultaneously, coal tumbled onto the ground. The wondrous blend created by insurgent passion was too overwhelming for the industrial capital bosses to handle. People yelled unyielding opposition while pamphlets were strewn in the air to assert the point, "It has Begun! No Compliance! No Compromise! No Coal!"
Those attending had no choice but to step in the mix of herring and coal as they quickly exited, the conference being effectively shut down. The coal, the herring, what a sight, what a smell: never to be whipped, chained, or owned into submission. A great force used to crash the daydreams and sick fantasies of industrial development.
No one was captured or injured. The conference and the hotel were shut down.
This action is a small contribution to the ongoing struggle against the Raven Coal Mine. We are through with dialogue. We do not except the false temptation of economic development. We will not poison ourselves, each other or the earth to survive!
No Mine, No Compromise, No Compliance, No Way!
Towards a Liberated Reality with Minerals in the Ground and Fish in the Sea
For Mass Media Coverage of Action see: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Smelly+substance+evacuates+Vancouver+Four+Seasons+hotel/6674469/story.html
For More Information About the Opposition to the Raven Coal Mine See: http://www.coalwatch.ca