Resources & conflict
The global plunder of natural resources is intensifying. Corporations are increasingly taking over water, oil, gas, mineral and metal deposits, and buying up land in countries across the planet. Governments have been encouraged by capitalist institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF, to compete with each other to attract companies by offering massive tax breaks and guaranteeing huge profits. Extractives industries spread militarism wherever they go, contracting state forces, private mercenary companies or even illegal paramilitary groups to protect their interests and repress local opposition.
As a result, communities in resource-rich areas are suffering forced displacement, human rights violations, destruction of their way of life and their environment, and ultimately perpetual poverty. People’s rights are systematically violated in favour of multinational companies which exploit their natural resources, and those who oppose the presence of such corporations in their territories suffer targeted assassinations, harassment and death threats.
War on Want works side by side with grassroots organisations, communities and social movements in the Global South which are resisting these abuses and defending rights in the context of conflict. We aim to support their struggles and expose the abuses perpetrated by corporations who are putting profit before people in Colombia, Nigeria, Palestine and South Africa.
- In Nigeria, the Niger Delta has been heavily militarised and huge repression of social movements and the local population has taken place in favour of oil companies such as Shell, which sow conflict by using divide and rule tactics. Many communities’ environment and livelihoods have been destroyed by decades of oil spills and destruction. Our Nigerian partner is Social Action.
- Colombia possesses huge natural wealth and is the second most biodiverse country in the world. However, its natural bounty has proved a curse: rural communities have seen their rights systematically violated in favour multinational companies which exploit their natural resources, and community leaders who oppose the presence of multinational corporations in their territories continue to be assassinated at an alarming rate. Our Colombian partners are Nomadesc and Palenque el Congal.
- In Palestine, the Apartheid Wall is cutting Palestinian communities off from their water resources and fertile land, and imprisoning the population of the Occupied Palestinian West Bank. Our Palestinian partners are Stop the Wall and Al-Zaytouna.
- In South Africa, multinational mining corporations have built fortunes on the exploitation of black workers. In 2012, 34 miners were massacred at the Marikana mine, owned by British company Lonmin. Our partner, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), is involved in the campaign for justice for the Marikana miners. NUMSA is also recognised internationally for its progressive work promoting social ownership of energy resources as a means of combatting energy poverty and climate change.
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