Unmasking BHP week: Megamining at the heart of the climate crisis

2 October 2019 - 10:15am

Four environmental human rights defenders are travelling from Latin America to the UK for Unmasking BHP – a week of arts, protest and discussion to mobilise around the London-listed mining company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Join us from 14 to 22 October as we challenge the largest mining company in the world, BHP, over its neo-colonial practices of extracting metals and fossil fuels in the global South while pocketing the profits, devastating the lives and the land of those affected.

The defenders are from three of the 13 countries that the London-listed multinational operates in. They are travelling to London, the hub of global finance and where many of the world’s largest mining companies’ stocks are traded, to share their struggles against the company’s mega-mining projects.They will voice their demands of BHP in the aftermath of 2015’s Samarco dam disaster in Brazil, the forced displacement of communities surrounding the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, and the huge Escondida mine in Antofagasta, Chile which extracts vast amounts of water from nearby salt flats causing drought. These communities, like much of the Global South, are already experiencing climate breakdown.

Now that the climate crisis is grabbing headlines in the Global North, BHP is using the opportunity to greenwash its carbon emissions (the mining industry is responsible for over a quarter of global emissions). It is promoting itself as being part of the solution, rather than the problem. Cashing in on an ever more lucrative electric vehicle market, BHP is increasing its extraction of ‘green’ metals such as copper for cars, wind turbines and solar panels, and lithium for batteries.

The week before the week of action, decision makers will gather in Geneva to negotiate a Binding Treaty that aims to tackle corporate power, by creating a mechanism that guarantees the rights of communities and workers; and protects the planet. For communities affected by BHP, whose repeated demands have been ignored, this binding treaty could be an important tool in dismantling corporate power.

Read Introducing the Defenders.


Saturday 12 October: P12O Event: Climate Change, Extractivism and Resistance, SOAS, London

Saturday 12 October: Culture, Art and Resistance, SOAS, London (with Fusion de los Pueblos/ Movimiento Jaguar Despierto)

Thursday 17 October Unmasking BHP: protest mega-mining & climate breakdown, QEII Centre, London 

Friday 18 October: Unmasking BHP: academic symposium, UCL, London 

Friday 18 October Unmasking BHP: learning from mining-affected communities, UCL, London 

Satruday 19 October: Event in Liverpool, details to follow

Monday 21 October: Event in Newcatle, details to follow

Monday 22 October: Event in Glasgow, Resisting Extractivism, Megamining and Climate Chaos in Chile (with Friends of the Earth Scotland)

We’re collaborating with London Mining Network, Democracy Center, Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Three Penny Festival Collective and Coal Action Network for the week of action.

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