MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Esquel: No to the Mine, No to Bush!

Published by MAC on 2005-11-04


Esquel: No to the Mine, No to Bush!

Assembly of Esquel Self-Organized Neighbors for NO to the Mine

4th November 2005

 0 5 The ongoing Esquel mobilization for the NO TO THE MINE which takes place every 4th day of every month, this afternoon carried the slogans of "Bush Out!" and "No to the Plunder" in a large march. The event, with over a thousand participants, was called by various labor and social organizations to join in the many demonstrations across Argentina rejecting the presence of the US president.

In the document, read in the Plaza San Martin, it was asserted that the miners don't only come for natural resources but "for Bush and the most powerful economic interests in the world, human beings ourselves are also a resource to exploit."

Before the march, local artists played music in the plaza. During the march, community members held alof blue and white balloons, which in addition to representing the national colors of Argentina also are symbols of peace (white) and water (blue), which the residents of this region have been defending with their demonstrations for NO TO THE MINE for three years without interruption.

Among the numerous banners against militarism and plunder, one said "Bush Out -- Meridian Out" showing the community rejection of the Canadian mining company Meridian gold, still present in the city, which insists on carrying out their project of extracting gold and silver with the support of the municipal and provincial government, despite the overwhelming vote against them in the referendum of March 2003.

"The dreams of our people are the nightmares of our politicians," declared student Luisina Romana in her reading of the declaration, noting that these dreams "come to life with every march to expose the complicity of the politicians and to call for real achievements and benefits for the people."

The march included the presence of a dozen residents of San Juan, with a banner saying "Water is Worth More than Gold," who came to speak out against the initiation of the mining operation Veladero at the hands of Barrick Gold, and the scandalous support given by the San Juan local and national government.

The march led to the home of Esquel Meridian Gold director, Julio Hermida, the crowd chastising him under the watch of a dozen police standing guard. Later the demonstrators gathered in the corner where the offices of the mining company are located - also under strong police protection - singing "Bush and the mines are the same dung!", and painting on the streets.

All of the actions were carried out in a spirit of enthusiasm and happiness, ending up again in the Plaza San Martin to release the balloons.

Among the organizations present were A.T.E., the Community Library P.Moreno (Trevelin), C.T.A., the Community Front, student organizations, labor unions Si.Tra.Ed and Si.Tra.Ju.Ch, and the Community Union of Trevelin.

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