The rates of ecological activists, indigenous people, and wildlife rangers and protectors who have been killed in 2017 continued to increase to now 4 a week. This is about four fold increase since this statistic has been collected in 2002.
It might not be a surprise for those familiar with #RWE extensive repressive apparatus: it’s over four private security companies with international mercenary groups hired to spy on protesters and with massive unquestionable police protection for their eco and climate destructive operations, it might not surprise those familiar with the fact that extractionists will stop at absolutely nothing to make another euro, dollar or yen that the largest single group of these documented victims, 36 all together were killed by mining interests. Here in Rhineland RWE just send thousands of cops and has our activists locked up for months on bullshit charges but in places like Siberia, and Columbia where it also mining people described in this study are being killed.
As with #FreeHambi4 official justice is very rare especially since some of those deaths were actually at the hands of state military and the police as it has been the case in Mexico and Philipines. Here are just some of those stories:
The hunger for minerals turned the Andes into a “war zone” with high-profile conflicts between indigenous groups and the owners of Las Bambas copper mine in Peru and El Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia.
In India, three members of the Yadav family: Niranjan, Uday and Vimlesh, were murdered last May as they tried to prevent the extraction of sand from a riverbank by their village of Jatpura.
In Turkey, a retired couple, Ali and Aysin Büyüknohutçu, were gunned down in their home after they won a legal battle to close a marble quarry that supplied blocks for upscale hotels and municipal monuments.
This is statistic compiled only to include known activists and reported cases. The number when the full scope of violence towards indigenous, frontline communities, and more anti–authoritarian and radical struggles was taken into account, would be much higher so this is just an indicator of escalation that we have also experienced in a milder form with increasing number of forest activists in jail for unprecedented charges.
The study by Global Witness also mention that this escalation is resulting in eco defenders who are also being beaten, criminalised, threatened or harassed. In a recent example, Ecuadorean forest activist Patricia Gualinga reported last month that attackers had thrown rocks through her windows and yelled death threats at her. Just like last week we had a secu pickup truck nearly hit an Hambi activist on a bicycle head on while it was passing a sand dump truck at high speed in a no passing area. https://mobile.twitter.com/HambiBleibt/status/960886978798596096
This global escalation recalls the situation and strategies used following the Zapatista Uprising to which the Mexican state responded with a wave of repression, imprisonment and massacres of several indigenous villagers. Following which there was a wide global response of solidarity with the Zapatistas including infowar, denial of service attacks on Mexican State and its interests computer servers. Alerts were issued and distributed on all future repressive actions. It was this wide response on top of all that Zapatistas have done and are doing that was also instrumental in the State backing down to a degree. In all those cases of repression, intimidation and murder it is the contact, communication, solidarity and support from the outside that is so crucial. So if you have some spare time, access to the internet do connect with many of the global struggles protecting the planet and their communities forests and villages that are under increasingly brutal attack.
Special interests, multinationals and governments that send goons in the middle of the night to intimidate, hurt and kill count not just on minimal publicity those cases will generate but also on not being directly connected to those crimes. Yet many at Hambach Forest, in countless other struggles, communities and villagers know very well who is responsible, where they live and what they do. Just like we do not intend to forget all of our fallen comrades who were and are heroic and will continue to inspire our and many other struggles. Just one Small “THANK YOU” from one among many!