Archive for July, 2008

Jul 31 2008

Vedanta Promises


British mining giant Vedanta’s Chairman Anil Agarwal told the company’s AGM today that his company would only go ahead with its highly controversial bauxite mine in Orissa, eastern India, with the ‘complete permission’ of the Dongria Kondh tribe. Vedanta’s subsidiary, Sterlite, is currently awaiting permission from India’s Supreme Court to mine bauxite, the raw material for aluminium, from Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa. The court is expected to award permission shortly. Read More

Jul 28 2008
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Saving Iceland Shuts Down Geothermal Drilling Work in Hengill


“Reykjavik Energy Sponsors Human Rights Abuse in Yemen”

HELLISHEIDI (ICELAND) – This morning the direct action campaign Saving Iceland has occupied one of the main geothermal drill sites in Hengill where the Hellisheidi power plant is being expanded by Reykjavik Energy. 20 activists have chained themselves to machinery and have climbed the drill to hang up a banner saying “Reykjavik Energy out of Hellisheidi and Yemen”. They have also occupied the power control room of the drill site. The power to the drill was shut off and drilling was stopped for the rest of the day. Seven people got arrested. The protest was aimed at Reykjavik Energy supplying electricity to aluminium smelters in Iceland, destruction and pollution of the Hengill area and RE’s sponsoring of severe human rights abuse in Yemen.

In the last week, Saving Iceland took action at the Glencore and ALCOA headquarters in Switzerland as well as all Swiss Icelandic consulates, the Icelandic embassy in Rome, Icelandic consulate in Milan and also the headquarters of Impregilo. In Iceland Century Aluminum and Landsvirkjun both saw two actions against them and now Reykjavik Energy was targeted. Read More

Jul 27 2008
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Demonstration outside Glencore’s Switzerland Headquarters


On 25 July 2008 a second solidarity action in Switzerland (Baar) took place. This is the letter the Saving Iceland Supporters from Switerland wrote us:

On 25 July 2008 we staged a demonstration outside Glencore’s headquarters in Switzerland to show our solidarity with the Saving Iceland campaign and to point the finger at Glencore’s business practices.

Glencore founded the Century Aluminum Co. in 1995 and remains the majority shareholder to this day. Therefore, Glencore can be held directly responsible both for the destruction and pollution in Iceland and for the human rights violations in Jamaica, Africa and Columbia being perpetrated by Century Aluminum.

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Jul 27 2008

Actions at all Icelandic Consulates in Switzerland


For the international action week in solidarity with the activists fighting at the camp in Iceland, some activists of the Swiss S.I. Supporters Group hand delivered a letter to the Icelandic Consuls and Ambassador in Switzerland. It contained an “ecological message for the Icelandic government” which we asked to be forwarded to the ministers for industry, the environment and economic affairs. Read More

Jul 27 2008

Solidarity Demo at ALCOA’s European Headquarters in Geneva


We just received this letter from Saving Iceland Supporters in Switzerland:

On 23 July we returned to the European Headquarters of ALCOA in Geneva, Avenue G. Motta 31, to stage a protest for the international Action Week in solidarity with the Saving Iceland campaign. Our aim was to put pressure on Alcoa and show support for the activists at the summer action camp in Iceland.

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Jul 27 2008

Pollution from Smelters Damages Teeth in Sheep


Iceland Review – Sigurdur Sigurdarson, a veterinarian at Keldur in south Iceland, claims that fluorine pollution from aluminum smelter is causing teeth-damages in livestock and encourages sheep farmers who live near smelters to pay close attention to the symptoms. Read More

Jul 25 2008
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Saving Iceland Invades Landsvirkjun for Alcoa’s Severe Human Rights Abuses


PROTESTS AGAINST LANDSVIRKJUN’S PLANNED DAMS IN ÞJÓRSÁ RIVER AND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LANDSVIRKJUN AND ALCOA

REYKJAVÍK  – Today 30 activists from the international campaign Saving Iceland have invaded the Landsvirkjun (national power company) building (Háaleitisbraut 68) to disrupt work. Earlier this morning Saving Iceland activists dammed the house of Landsvirkjun director Friðrik Sophusson and nailed an eviction notice to his door.

“We oppose Landsvirkjun’s intentions to build the four Þjórsá and Tungnaá dams for Rio Tinto at Straumsvik (1,2), despite the referendum. They are also negotiating to dam Skjálfandafljót and Jökuslá á Fjöllum for ALCOA’s planned Bakki smelter (3,4). This is on top of the mess they are making of Þeistareykir (5) and the deep drilling into Mount Krafla, right next to the tourist attraction. LV are doing this for a company that is a self-admitted arms dealer (6) and has been in the news again and again for it’s gross abuse of human rights. (7) This company should not be welcomed by Landsvirkjun,” says Jaap Krater from Saving Iceland.

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Jul 24 2008

Saving Iceland Actions in Italy


We just received a letter from our great friends in Italy who decided to join the fight against heavy industry. Their target was Impregilo which is ,,an old well-known leader in capitalist destruction of earth”. Impregilo is a Italian company who took part in the destruction of the Kárahnjúkar area in the east of Iceland, when a huge dam was built to power an Alcoa’s aluminium smelter in Reyðarfjörður.

Monday July 21st, a demonstration took place in front of the Icelandic embassy in Rome and the next day, two protests happened by the headquarters of Impregilo in Sesto San Giovanni near Milan and by the Icelandic Consulate in Milan. Read More

Jul 23 2008
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Picture Report of Samarendra & Andri Snaer Discussion


About 90 people attended the Saving Iceland conference with the Indian writer, scientist and aluminium expert Samarendra Das and ‘Dreamland’ author Andri Snær Magnusson, on the influence of the aluminium industry in the third world. It took place at Reykjavikurakademian. The concept of aluminium as a ‘green’ product will was examined. A video of the talks is currently being prepared and will be available shortly.
On the 21st, there was also a talk by Das in the Peace House and on the 24th Das will speak in Keflavik. Read More

Jul 23 2008

Aluminium Production in its Global Context


By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, originally published in Morgunblaðið.

In a brochure named “Norðurál and the Community” [Norðurál is Century Aluminum], published by the company, one can e.g. read about the global process of aluminium production. Century Aluminium has its bauxite mines in Jamaica and now plans to open up one in West Congo, in cooperation with one of the world’s corrupt regimé.

It immediately catch one’s eyes that in Norðurál’s brochure, the word bauxite is not menitoned once and according to an explination picture, which is supposed to show the aluminium process from beginning to end, the production starts when alumina is unshipped in to a huge harbour silo.

How can it be? Is Norðurál such an environmentally friendly company that it does not even have to mine bauxite to be able to smelt aluminium? Does Norðurál have any different methods than other aluminium producers? No, this is what we call greenwashing!

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