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NEWS: Groups protest Barrick Gold room naming at Museum of Nature

Photo by Pei-Ju Wang

CBC reports, “Environmental groups are upset over a decision to rename a room at the Canadian Museum of Nature after corporate mining giant Barrick Gold. Barrick Gold Corp., based out of Toronto, purchased the room’s naming rights for about $1 million. The new ‘Barrick Salon’ is the museum’s premier rental space featuring a circular room with glass windows from floor to ceiling.”

“The decision has activists planning a demonstration at the museum this afternoon, a few hours before the official naming reception that includes Barrick Gold executives. They believe mining companies do not put nature before their own business practice.”

To take action, please go to – ACTION ALERT: Tell the Museum of Nature to Rethink Partnership with Barrick Gold! – at http://canadians.org/action/2012/Barrick-Gold-Canadian-Museum.html.

And if you live in the Ottawa area, be sure to attend a protest outside the museum at 4:30 pm today, https://www.facebook.com/events/196060743844592/.

We will also be voicing these concerns outside the Barrick Gold annual shareholders meeting in Toronto this coming Wednesday May 2. Look for more information soon on how to join us there.

And the Council of Canadians will be hosting a major event on June 1-2 in Vancouver related to mining. ‘Shout Out Against Mining Injustice’ is a two-day international conference aimed at exposing the appalling environmental and human rights abuses of Canadian mining companies. Through workshops, panel discussions and strategy sessions, we will raise awareness, build resistance and strengthen our networks of solidarity. For more on that, please see http://canadians.org/shoutout.

For more on Council of Canadians concerns about Barrick Gold, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13760.

On Tuesday afternoon, MetroNews reported, “Protesters are planning to gather outside the museum at 4:30 p.m. to protest. The rally coincides a letter-writing campaign by the Council of Canadians objecting to the museum’s partnership with Barrick and alleges human rights and environmental abuses.”

More than 70 people – including Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan, organizing team administrative assistant Philippe Charbonneau, members of the Ottawa chapter, and I – attended the protest against Barrick Gold outside the Museum of Nature late Tuesday afternoon. There were speakers and music for the protest on the sidewalk and then an attempted delivery – past the police barricades – of a letter to the museum denouncing its partnership with the corporation.

CBC tweeted, “5:22 pm – Barrick Gold protesters have marched past barricade, trying to block Nature Museum entrance; 5:25 pm – Police presence increasing at Nature Museum, no sign of immediate push back; 5:26 pm – Barrick Gold protesters have marched past barricade, trying to block Nature Museum entrance; 5:26 pm – Protesters want Museum of Nature to give back 1 million dollar naming right donation from Canadian mining giant Barrick; 5:52 pm – Protest organizer only 1 charged for trespassing onto Nature museum, despite being 1 of ~70. Fined $65. Says worth it.”

For more coverage, please see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/04/24/ottawa-barrick-gold-museum-room-sponsorhip.html and http://live.cbc.ca/Event/CBC_Ottawa.