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NEWS: Vancouver protests against Goldcorp and First Majestic Silver

The Vancouver Media Co-op reports, “An ebullient band of demonstrators broke the corporate routine of Vancouver’s business district (Wednesday) morning, bursting into the streets with signs, whistles, props, baby carriages, bicycles, a thirty-foot banner and a marching band in tow. The occasion was Goldcorp’s annual general meeting (AGM), held at the Pan Pacific Hotel.  …At least 200 people joined (yesterday) morning’s demonstration.”

The Vancouver Province adds, “About three dozen demonstrators protesting gold and silver mining companies brought their noisy protest into the lobby of the Pan Pacific Hotel during Goldcorp’s annual general meeting on Wednesday. The mostly young protesters, some playing brass instruments and others beating on native drums and waving placards, said their rally was designed to raise public awareness about what they called human-rights abuses, health problems and environmental violations associated with the mining operations of the Vancouver-based company.”

“Included among the speakers was Carlos Amador, a teacher and community leader in Honduras, near Goldcorp’s San Martin mine, where he organizes communities in the Syria Valley to fight what the group said were environmental damage and human-rights violations caused by the mine. Also protesting was Jesus Lara, a Wixarika (Huichol) artist and healer, who fights in his native Mexico against a mining proposal by First Majestic Silver, also Vancouver-based.”

“The protesters, escorted by police, had a parade permit to travel through Gastown to the hotel but no permission to enter. After the group entered through the back door, Vancouver police and hotel security prevented them from going up the escalator to the floor where Goldcorp was scheduled to hold its AGM and they left after brief speeches. The group was to move on to the nearby office of the Canada Pension Plan, which the group said invests in mining companies like Goldcorp.”

“They are scheduled to protest today (Thursday) outside First Majestic Silver’s AGM on West Hastings Street, where Wixarika people will lead a demonstration demanding the company stop mining on sacred land in Mexico.”

The Vancouver Sun notes, “Vancouver-based First Majestic Silver is being targeted over its Real de Catorce concession in central Mexico, which the Huicholes indigenous people claim contains sites that are sacred to their culture. Jesus Lara Chivarra, a representative of the Huicholes, said that in 2008 four state governors and President Jose Calderon vowed to protect the first nation’s sacred lands, and development of a mine would violate that promise. Through a translator, Chivarra said the Huicholes are ‘willing to go into an endless battle to be able to save the most sacred places.’”

Council of Canadians campaign blogs on Goldcorp and First Majestic Silver are at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=7864 and http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=7808.