'Cultural' Tag Archive

May 02 2007

Environment Minister Bjartmarz Embroiled in Corruption Scandal


Bjartmarz

UPDATE: Voters booted Bjartmarz out of Icelandic politics in the general elections 12 May. But her track record is ugly and Icelandic nature will be smarting for a long time after her dark reign as Minister of the Environment. One of her final crimes against nature was to OK, against all scientific advise, a disastrous road scheme by lake Thingvallavatn in the Thingvellir National Park. This area is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for it’s unique nature. The plan is to build a motorway through the Gjábakka area, much too close to the lake. This road must be resisted and stopped. Read More

Mar 17 2007

Alcoa and Brazil’s latest dam project – They’re doing it again!


Brazilian environmental activists are charging that Brazilian environmental authorities and an Alcoa lead consortium planning construction of Barra Grande dam conspired to commit fraud in the awarding of an environmental license for the project. Members of Brazil’s Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB) and environmentalists blockaded the access road to a stand of virgin forest slated for clearing before the filling of the reservoir. In all, 6,000 hectares of primary forests, including araucaria pines, in one of the richest remaining expanses of the threatened Atlantic Coast rainforest, would be flooded by the dam on the Pelotas river in Southern Brazil. A 2,000 hectare stand of virgin araucaria forests was somehow “omitted” in the project’s environmental studies. Local groups have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to annul the license awarded to Barra Grande, to require the consortium to carry out new studies evaluating the possibility of operating the reservoir at a lower level to avoid drowning the araucaria forests, and if this is deemed impossible, to order the demolition of the dam structure. Heavily-armed riot police have reportedly been sent to the area to disperse protestors. The consortium building Barra Grande includes the Pittsburgh-based Alcoa aluminum company (which contains Kathy Fuller, President of WWF-USA as a Board Member), MAB leader Soli da Silva says the mobilization will continue indefinitely. “We cannot permit that fraud and a ‘done deal’ become the rule on environmental licensing for hydroelectric projects in our country.” Please support these brave environmentalists at http://forests.org/action/brazil/ .
Read More

Mar 14 2007
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Dutch Folk Singer Fighting for Icelandic Nature


Armand

Performance and picketline at Icelandic Consulate in Rotterdam

Wednesday March 14th, 2007, the international campaign Saving Iceland and the nature-activist network GroenFront!, will blockade the Icelandic Consulate, Weena 690, Rotterdam. “With this blockade, we want to make it clear to the Icelandic government, that people in the Netherlands are very worried about the Icelandic heavy industry program and it’s effects on nature and the climate,” says activist Sven Janson.
One remarkable protester will also be present at the protest. Armand is a legendary Dutch singer who’s music and lyrics have captured the hearts of the Dutch with sharp and witty comments on current affairs and important issues in society. He has visited Iceland and his performance is full of impressions of the unique beauty of Iceland. A photo report is available here.
Read More

Jan 09 2007
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Down with ALCAN!


“It’s ALCAN the Aluminium Man
The Aluminium Man with the Aluminium Plan
For making lots of aluminium
Out of other peoples land!

Will this Man of Aluminium
Realize what he’s done,
Once he’s done what he is about to start?
He’s got aluminium, but he’s got no heart!”

 

UPDATE 2007: Recently Alcan had to give up its participation in the bauxite mine because of protests against its human rights violations and environmental devastation. Alcan has been accused of cultural genocide in Kashipur because mining and dams have already displaced 150,000 mainly tribal people there.

Canadian mining and aluminium giant Alcan (in Iceland Alcan Iceland Ltd. and ISAL) want to get their hands on one of the world’s richest deposits of bauxite – the raw material for aluminium – in the Kashipur region of India. The $1.4 billion monster strip-mine and refinery promises to displace up to 20,000 people, destroy their livelihoods and culture, contaminate food and water sources and obliterate their spiritual sites.

Villagers have been fighting the mine for the past 12 years but in November 2004 politicians decided that the Alcan mining project was to be launched at any cost – since then repression has been seriously stepped up. People have been murdered by the police and recently it surfaced that the ALCOA sharks have smelt the blood and are now showing interest in joining in… Read More

Dec 06 2006

2006 Protest Camp at Snæfell, Kárahnjúkar and Reyðarfjörður


2006 Protest Camp
Snaefell camp 

 

Nov 18 2006

Aluminium Smelter Protesters Climb Cranes On-Site


illegal worksite

Over a dozen protesters of the Reydarfjördur aluminum smelter in east Iceland entered the building site this morning, and two of those have climbed 70-meter high building cranes, on which they have attached banners with slogans. The banner reads “ILLEGAL WORKSITE (ÓLÖGLEGT VINNUSVÆÐI) referring to the judgment of the Icelandic High Court which was still valid at the time of the action. RUV (Icelandic National Broadcast Service) reported that the banner read ‘Illegal Action’. Some would say there was quite a difference there. This was never corrected in spite of promises to do so. How convenient for ALCOA…

 

illegal worksite cu 

Just in case…
Ó-L-Ö-G-L-E-G-T
V-I-N-N-U-S-V-Æ-Ð-I! Read More

Nov 09 2006
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‘Blood and bauxite’ by Chandra Siddan


Montreal Mirror
Nov 20-26.2003
Vol. 19 No. 23

kashipur dance 

 

Impoverished Indians fight ALCAN’s bid to open a mine in their backyard. Since this article was written the repression has been stepped up.
Read More

Oct 27 2006

Smelter Struggle: Trinidad Fishing Community Fights Aluminum Project


“What you got…..we don’t want,
what you’re selling…..we ain’t buying!
So no matter, how hard you’re trying,
we want no industrial wasteland in our yard”
(Anti-Smelter Warriors Anthem, chorus)

by Sujatha Fernandes, CorpWatch September 6th, 2006

The roads that wander through the southwestern peninsula of Trinidad pass small fishing villages, mangrove swamps, and coconut plantations; they skirt herds of buffalypso and reveal sheltered beach coves. This February, Alcoa signed an agreement in principle with the Trinidad and Tobago Government that threatens to fundamentally alter this gentle landscape. Plans by the Pittsburgh-based manufacturing company to build a large aluminum smelter have sparked criticism from local residents and environmentalists. Read More

Oct 02 2006

Saving Iceland Gathering 3-5 November 2006


The next Saving Iceland gathering will take place November 3-5 in the Netherlands near Utrecht. Anybody from around the world who is interested in evaluating the 2006 summer camp and getting involved with the future of this campaign should come along to this gathering. Read More

Sep 28 2006

The Closing of the Gates…


With tears in my eyes i write these words I never believed I would. The flooding of Kárahnjúkar has now begun.

The Icelandic media has reported that within the first few hours of the closing of the dam doors on the morning of 28 September 2006, like a noose being tightened, the water level rose 15 meters. The entire 200m+ flooding depth will not be completed until next summer. Some people turned up to watch the valley be drowned, notably reporter Ómar Ragnarsson who will board a boat on the rising reservoir and film the death of the many waterfalls, valleys, cliffs, and so forth.

Despite two summers of an international protest camp in the Icelandic Highlands which was attended by hundreds of people from all over the world; despite a 15,000 people marching in Reykjavik the day before today, together with 200 from Akureyri, 50 in Ísafjörður, 100 in Egilsstaðir, a turnout which is over five times the size of the previous largest demonstration in the 300,000 person Iceland; despite a disastrous environmental assessment report; despite calls from scientists and nature lovers inside outside and out; despite all the consequences on Iceland’s economy; despite this area now to be known as the Halslon reservoir being of huge cultural significance to Iceland; despite it being the second largest wilderness in Europe: heavy industry has got its way and stolen this wilderness merely for the sake of the production of aluminium.

The fight to save Kárahnjúkar may now be over, but the fight to defend Iceland from further assaults by the pro-heavy-industry patriarchs is just beginning. Alcoa, Landsvirkjun, the Icelandic government and any other corporation profiting from this murder will pay for the death of this great wilderness.

Náttúruvaktin