Training a new generation of corporate apologists? The Munk School and the Globe and Mail

ols-man-shwoing-wasteIn the rural highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), a Canadian gold mine operates amongst the Ipili people, who were one of the last major ethnic groups to be contacted by the Australian colonial administration of New Guinea, or “white man”, in 1939. Since that date, Porgera was known for its rich gold deposits and eventually became the site of one of the largest gold mines in the world. Today, Porgera is a site of controversy, as it riches are overshadowed by stories of gang rapes and killings of the Ipili people at the hands of Barrick security and police.

Last week, a remediation program proposed by Barrick Gold was criticized by Mining Watch Canada and other human rights organizations for forcing victims of gang rape to sign away their rights to sue the company in exchange for redress. Barrick’s offer came two years after a 2011 Human Rights Watch report exposed a “pattern of violent abuses, including horrifying acts of gang rape”. Mining Watch’s report also criticized the fact that Barrick was offering no compensation to women who were gang raped by PNG Police, despite the fact that the police were housed, supplied and fed by Barrick during their time in Porgera.

The Globe and Mail was quick to react, releasing an editorial entitled “Barrick has done its best to improve human rights at mine in Papua New Guinea.” The article praised Barrick while insisting that it seemed “fair” that women receiving remediation could no longer sue the company. Meanwhile, it chastised Mining Watch for failing to acknowledge Barrick’s change for the better.

While the Globe acknowledged that is was “regrettable” that Barrick had not acted on the allegations of gang rape before the Human Rights Watch report was released, it failed to acknowledge that Mining Watch was one of the many organizations that had brought allegations of gang rape to the company years before Human Rights Watch was on the case, only to have these allegations repeatedly denied by the company.

This isn’t the first time the Globe and Mail has gone to bat for Barrick with fawning editorials immediately following accusations of human rights abuses. Continue reading

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Student Rejects his degree at UofT due to University’s Munk ties

I, Michael Vipperman, intend to renounce the degree I am being offered from the University of Toronto on June 14, 2012, in protest over the ongoing commodification and bureaucratization of education at this University, best exemplified by the increasingly intimate relationship between the University and such venemous institutions as Barrick Gold and the World Bank. Continue reading

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Cry of the Andes Film Screening (free)

Journey to the heart of the Andes Mountains where ‘Pascua Lama’ is poised to become the world’s largest open pit mine. However, for the indigenous people and farmers living in the valley below, Pascua Lama threatens their only source of water in one of the driest places on earth. In a war between corporate and social values two men are leading a fight to defend their valley and way of life. Now, one election will ultimately determine the true price of gold.

Learn about the personal journey and political fight of the Diaguita peoples in defense of their territory as they travel to Toronto, the corporate headquarters of Barrick Gold a company infamous for human rights violations and threats to intellectual freedom. Continue reading

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Welcome to the Munk OUT of UofT campaign!

Last year, Peter Munk, the chairman and founder of the world’s largest gold mining company, had his foundation pledge a historic contribution of $35 million to the University of Toronto. In doing so, he created the Munk School of Global Affairs, which aims to prepare students to become global leaders and foster “a deep understanding of the broader architecture and the forces that shape the global system.”

But what are the implications of this donation? How much influence will Munk have over the University’s curriculum and bias? Who is Peter Munk and what is his company Barrick Gold’s reputation worldwide?

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Tanzanians Killed at Barrick’s North Mara Mine Not Forgotten

70 gather at the Munk School of Global Affairs

(photos: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network: solidarityresponse.net)

Approximately 70 people gathered today at a commemoration held for the seven individuals killed in Tanzania at African Barrick Gold’s North Mara Mine. Public outcry over this violence has been amplified by recent reports that local security/police forces employed by the mine have attempted to ban a memorial ceremony for the deceased. To the horror of many local families, these security forces also stole 5 of the 7 peoples’ bodies from the mortuary. Continue reading

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Barrick’s Bodysnatchers: Wanton killings, criminalization, and degradation continue at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania

A man stands by a house in what used to be a rural area. It has almost since been overtaken by waste rock from Barrick's North Mara mine.

By Sakura Saunders

leer el artículo en español aqui.

On May 16, over 1,000 people entered a mine in northern Tanzania, desperate to collect whatever gold they could from the modern industrial site that used to be their bread and butter. But instead of providing the displaced artisanal miners with a boost to their meager income, the day ended in horror.

The next day, African Barrick Gold, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Barrick Gold, released a statement admitting that seven people were killed and twelve injuried at their North Mara mine in Tanzania. The killings came at the hands of Tanzanian police, who Barrick originally claimed were under sustained attack by 800 “criminal intruders” (a number Barrick revised to 1,500), who illegally entered the North Mara mine to steal gold ore. Since this fatal confrontation, tensions have been high in the Tarime District, with an increase in the number of police, the deployment of water cannons, the arrest of journalists and two members of parliament for “instigating violence,” and the theft of five of the seven bodies from the mortuary by police.

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Customary Land Rights in Papua New Guinea loses to Mining Rights in National Court Decision

Landowners appeal to United Nations for support

 from PorgeraAlliance.net  

A recent landmark decision of the National Court that gives Porgera Joint Venture Company exclusive rights of occupancy to its Special Mining Lease (SML) could affect thousands of landowners living in major resource development project areas throughout the country. Meanwhile, landowners from Porgera have traveled to the United Nations to advocate for the humane resettlement of the people still living within the SML. Continue reading

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Social Conflict leaves seven dead at the hands of Barrick security in Tanzania

Security forces at African Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine in Tanzania killed seven “criminal intruders” and injured a dozen more after 800 people stormed the project armed with machetes, rocks and hammers in a bid to steal gold ore, according to mainstream media reports.

Confrontations between local people and mining security are not uncommon near Barrick’s North Mara mine in Tanzania. As Bloomberg journalist Cam Simpson reported in his Dec ’10 feature story about the mine, “Security guards and federal police allegedly have shot and killed people scavenging the gold-laced rocks to sell for small amounts of cash, according to interviews with 28 people, including victims’ relatives, witnesses, local officials and human-rights workers.”

These conflicts take place in the context of forced displacement, destroyed livelihoods and farmlands, and the on-going poisoning Continue reading

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3rd Annual Mining Injustice Conference: Confronting Corporate Impunity!

Mining Injustice Solidarity Network is pleased to invite you to the third conference on the impact of Canadian mining on local communities throughout the world, which will take place the 6th – 8th of May of 2011, in Toronto and will feature the voices of Barrick-impacted community members.

FOR COMPLETE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE PLEASE VISIT: http://www.solidarityresponse.net/mining-injustice-conference/conference-agenda-2011/

***bring your own cup and a blank t-shirt if you can!***

This conference reflects the collective effort of several organizations and grass roots groups in Toronto, in collaboration with peoples, communities and organizations facing and resisting the entrance of corporate mining mega-projects into their territories. Continue reading

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FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL JOINS PROTESTS AGAINST BARRICK GOLD ‘Barrick Gold Clean Up Your Act! Right to Life Over Gold Profits’

Today, during the annual general meeting (AGM) of mining company Barrick Gold in Toronto (Canada), Friends of the Earth International is supporting a loud call from communities around the world for a halt to gold mining and Barrick Gold’s destructive practices. Campaigners are present at the meeting and join a protest rally outside the meeting venue. Barrick Gold, the largest gold miner in the world, has been the subject of many documented studies of human rights abuses and environmental devastation globally, including in the Philippines, Tanzania and Australia. Continue reading

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