'Amazon' Tag Archive

Aug 04 2007

Saving Iceland Conference 2007

Global Consequences of Heavy Industry and Large Dams
Saturday & Sunday July 7 – 8th, 2007, Hótel Hlíð, Ölfus

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Updated July 5th

After three years of struggling against large dams and heavy industry, the Saving Iceland campaign will connect with struggles around the globe. The Saving Iceland Conference will be featuring speakers from South and North America, Africa, India and Europe, activists and scientists. Saving Iceland’s magazine Voice of the Wilderness (download pdf) introduces all the key issues and speakers, including for example Dr. Eric Duchemin (University of Montreal, consultant for the IPCC), Gudbergur Bergsson (writer), Cirineu da Rocha (Dam-Affected People’s Movement, Brazil) and many others, and the conference program.

Ráðstefna „Saving Iceland“ 2007 – Hnattrænar afleiðingar stóriðju og stórstíflna
Laugardaginn og sunnudaginn 7. og 8. júlí 2007
Hótel Hlíð, Ölfusi

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Jul 10 2007
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Summer of Dissent – Four Actions in One Day!

10 July 2007 – The International Summer of Dissent begins!

Kringlan Shopping Mall protest, Laugavegur march, Parlaiment lawn speeches and Iceland’s Prime Minister has his office dammed! All in one day!

Kringlan Shopping Mall
Over 50 people from 5 different continents started the day at Kringlan Shopping Mall, Reykjavik, to protest against the consumer culture that demands new aluminium factories. Reverend Billy, from the Church of Stop Shopping, and his new deciple Reverend Snorri, lead a flock of devoted and extreemly noisy earth lovers (also known as Saving Iceland activists) through the consumerist hell that is a the shopping mall.

“The foreign corporations who want to dam Icelands great rivers, and put polluting smelters on our shores – they want us to keep shopping.

“The Aluminium industry makes most of its money from warplanes, tanks and missiles (30%, actually.) They propose the complete damming of Icelands wilderness rivers, this isnald’s famouse beauty buried under industrial reservoirs. Let us stop the war machine and the ruin of Iceland’s wilderness. The same corporations that keep us shopping, mnake war around the world. Isn’t a shopping mall like a ‘human’ dam? We re stopped, hypnotized, put in debt. Our energy is taken from us. Save the country and save ourselves…”

Summer of dissent - Four actions in one day!

Next, activists held a spontaneous demonstration through Laugavegur, Iceland’s mai n shopping street.

On the lawn outside the Alþingi, the Icelandic Parlaiment, people gathered together to speak out against the aluminium industry. People from Trinidad, who are winning a fight against Alcoa, from South Africa, who are fighting a nuclear powered Alcan plant, from the East of Iceland, who have been devastated by the recent Alcoa Reydarfjordur factory and Karahnjukar dams, from Brasil, who is fighting the damming of the Amazon for aluminium factory energy, and many more gave inspiring speeches and lead energy filled songs against the aluminium industry.

Summer of dissent - Four actions in one day!

Prime Minister’s Office
Street theatre activists then set up an aluminium smelter, installed some tomb stones and handed out dirty Icelandic water (Iceland prides itself on its pure water, yet it is polluting and destroying its water for the sake of heavy industry dams).

SI quote

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May 19 2007

Victory over ALCOA in Brazil!

During a meeting today with the Pará State Secretary of the Environment, Valmir Gabriel Ortega, the State and Federal Public Prosecutors Offices requested cancellation of the environmental license granted to Alcoa to mine bauxite in the municipality of Juruti. In an exclusive interview with the Amazonia website, the coordinator of the State Public Prosecutors Office (MPE) Environmental Center, Prosecutor Raimundo Moraes, explained that the decision to request suspension aims at averting a violent reaction by the local population, which wants the company to leave at any cost, and also to conduct a rigorous review of the license.

Although mining operations are only scheduled to begin in 2008, during public hearings held on May 2nd and 3rd, the community claims that it is already suffering impacts from construction of lodgings for employees of the multinational, a port and a road.

Moraes said, “the impacts are so obvious that Alcoa has not denied any of them. Alcoa said it was correcting the problems and recognized that it does not enjoy good relations with the community”. Moraes, however, stated that the problems run deep and will not be set straight with just repairs.Impacts One of the main complaints raised at the hearings is contamination of the waters in rivers that flow through the town.

Technical studies detected the presence of feces coliforms in Jará Lake, which supplies water to the municipality, and data from the municipal health department show that cases of viral hepatitis, caused by ingesting water contaminated by human feces, jumped from 26 in 2006 to 121 in the first four months of this year. The community accuses Alcoa of not performing proper treatment on sewage from the lodging of its employees. Moreover, Incra representatives present at the meetings presented pictures and other documents that prove that the company is conducting deforestation in areas not authorized inside the Juruti Velho and Socó Agro-extractivist Settlement Projects.

Another complaint is the increased expenses of public agencies, which are faced with increased demands for health, education and infrastructure. “If, after the review is conducted, Alcoa can act correctly, alright, otherwise it would be best for them to leave, as we do not need to bear these costs. It is unfair that they keep the riches produced here and we keep the burdens”, says Moraes.

The prosecutor believes that the population has shown its lack of trust in the company and accuses the multinational of trying to upset the hearings. “They tried to co-opt leaders, offering 10 jobs to each community”.


The preliminary license for installation of the Alcoa plant was granted by the State Environmental Council (Coema) in 2005. At the time, the representative of the State Public Prosecutors Office (MPE) voted against the authorization. Soon afterward, the agency, together with the Federal Public Prosecutors Office (MPF), filed a class action suit petitioning for the suspension of the company’s activities in the region.

The hearings this week were attended by the coordinator of the MPE Environmental Center, Prosecutor Raimundo Moraes and Federal Attorney Daniel César Azeredo Avelino, who commands the (Federal Public Prosecutors Office (MPF) in Santarém. Members from both agencies also visited the affected locations.

By Renata Gaspar
Link: http://www.amazonia.org.br

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/ .
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Mar 17 2007

Alcoa plans to build three dams in Brazilian Amazon

Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company, has announced plans to construct at least three large dams in the Brazilian Amazon. The dams will flood indigenous lands as well as protected ecological reserves and other critical wetlands in the rainforest. Tens of thousands of families will lose their homes and livelihood, including family farmers, fisherfolk, palm nut gatherers, and ceramic makers.

Yet, no studies of the cumulative impacts of these and 13 other proposed large dams have been carried out. Indications are that these dams will destroy thousands of square kilometers of natural ecosystems along the river systems, and further spread poverty throughout the eastern Amazon.

Tell Alcoa to scrap plans for Amazon dams! Send a FREE FAX to Alcoa CEO Alain Belda, http://www.corpwatch.org/action/PAA.jsp?articleid=1017

or first read more about the issue on the International Rivers Network website:

Mar 16 2007



16 March 2007

Last night “Earth First!” closed Alcoa’s headquarters in Drunen, the Netherlands. Alcoa’s largest Dutch factory in Kerkrade was also shut. Entrance gates were locked with chains. The gates’ locks themselves were sabotaged with a liquid.

Alcoa is constructing new aluminum smelters in Iceland. Alcoa also plans to build new smelters in Trinidad and in the Amazon. There is fierce local and international opposition to these plans. Effects on nature and climate are devastating. Various planned smelters would be powered by constructing new megadams that would flood large areas of unique wilderness.

With this action, we are declaring our solidarity with the Saving Iceland campaign. Saving Iceland has called out for an international week of action against heavy industry. This action has been done in response to that call.

Earth First! in Belgium and the Netherlands is also called Groen Front!.
Earth First! is not an organisation but an international banner for direct action.


Websites that contain information relevant to these issues:

Mar 15 2007

Aerial Photos Reveal Massive Cracks in Brazilian Dam – Campos Novos Dam Builders Downplay Danger

Campos Novos 1

Click to enlarge

The design of the Campos Novos Dam is of exactly the same type as the Kárahnjúkar dams. The difference between the two dams is that Campos Novos is built on stable ground whereas the Kárahnjúkar dams are built on top of a cluster of active volcanic fissures. Geological reports warning of this were suppressed by the Icelandic government at the time when the Parliament voted on the Kárahnjúkar dams.

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Jan 31 2007

Greenland to get Norsk Hydro smelter?


Already beset by the devastating effects of a global warming caused by the heavy industrialisation of the planet, the glacial island of Greenland is now under an even more immediate industrial threat: this time by the aluminium industry. Norsk Hydro recently announced that it is considering plans to build a 300,000 tonne and 500 Megawatt primary aluminium smelter in Greenland, powered by the damming of a yet undisclosed part of the island. Read More

Jan 31 2006

State TV Host Growls One Night and Fawns the Next


On 5 January Icelandic State TV host Kristján Kristjánsson interviewed Damon Albarn in the news programme Kastljos. The following night Kristjánsson interviewed the Minister of Industry Valgerður Sverrisdóttir. Below, for comparison, are the transcripts of both interviews and an analysis of the contents.

Interview with Damon Albarn:

Intro: Announcer points out that Damon Albarn “was a pop star in the late 1990s”, and will be playing a concert with Björk on January 7. (A curious introduction, as Damon Albarn’s band Gorillaz was both one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed bands of 2005.)

Kristján Kristjánsson: Are you very much involved in these issues, nature conservatism [sic]? Read More

Oct 14 2005



“Con un coste de más de 1 billón de dólares, el
proyecto de la presa hidroeléctrica de Karahnjukar en Islandia, es un proyecto enormemente controvertido.”

(Mark Lynas/The Ecologist v.33, n.10, 1. Enero 2004)

Mark Lynas viajó hasta el meollo de la cuestión,
esperando descubrir por sí mismo la verdadera cara de este monstruo industrial.
“Sólo llevaba tres días en Islandia y todo iba mal. Estaba allí para investigar el gigantesco proyecto de la fundición de aluminio de Karahnjúkar, una enorme presa hidroeléctrica que está actualmente siendo construida en un lugar remoto de las tierras altas del este. Muy polémico durante el periodo de planificación, Karahnjúkar desencadenó manifestaciones nacionales, campañas internacionales de envío de e-mails y faxes e incluso una huelga de hambre llevada a cabo por la madre de la cantante Björk. Ya había visto otros proyectos de presas destrozar paisajes naturales y sociedades humanas en sitios como India y Brasil.Para mí era bastante claro que las grandes presas son generalmente algo nefasto. Aun así, me encontré sentado en la oficina de Mr Thorsteinn Hilmarsson, agente de prensa de la compañía eléctrica nacional Landsvirkjun, que me estaba convenciendo de que Karahnjukar era, en realidad, beneficioso. Read More