In April, London Mining Network celebrated our tenth anniversary, celebrating at SOAS University of London, where we launched in April 2007.
We received many messages of support, for all of which we are very grateful. Here are a few of them.
From Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL Global Union
On behalf of IndustriALL Global Union, its 50 million members spread across over 1OO countries and across the major industrial sectors I bring you solidarity greetings as you celebrate your tenth anniversary. Solidarity Greetings also on behalf of the National Union of Mineworkers. Both IndustriALL Global Union and the National Union of Mineworkers have benefited immensely from the bonds of solidarity with the London Mining Network that were forged in the trenches of struggle against global mining capital’s exploitation of workers, communities and the environmental around the world. The National Union of Mineworkers has over the past six years directly benefited from our bonds of solidarity in the silicosis struggle for just and fair compensation for mineworkers in South Africa, mineworkers who have died and continue to die from this deadly disease visited upon them by mining companies who arrogantly want to absolve themselves from this crime.
International solidarity is the glue that binds our struggles and is conceptually attached to human rights. The principle of common action with others and the identification of one’s own interest with theirs has defined the London mining network over its existence.
As you celebrate your tenth year celebration, IndustriALL global union salute your commitment to social and economic justice, justice for working men and women, the environment and environmental justice.
From Multiwatch, Switzerland
… We in Switzerland have had intensive exchanges with the London Mining Network and groups in the US and Canada, later also in Germany and in other European countries. Together we have exerted pressure on the coal mine El Cerrejón and its shareholders Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton. Together we participated in various general assemblies, coordinated speakers’ tours and lobby activities. The London Mining Network has always been a central actor since, even more then we in Switzerland, you are at the center of power within the mining sector.
It is always amazing how, with only very modest resources, your Network manages the great amount of work, thereby never losing its motivation. Solidarity and human kindness are ever present … This is just wonderful.
Multiwatch observes Swiss corporations and documents various cases. For this work, besides the omnipresent focus on Glencore, your newsletter and website are a very appreciated and valuable source of information.
We very much hope that for the next 10 years you will go about your important work with the same energy as in the first 10. However, our prime desire would be that you, the London Mining Network, as well as ourselves, will become superfluous and no longer necessary.
From PAX in the Netherlands
Warm congratulations on your tenth anniversary! Your international solidarity with struggles worldwide, impressive knowledge of the depths mining companies sink to and your persistence in prosecuting them has been an inspiration for us. We sadly cannot join the celebrations since we’ll all be abroad, either supporting victims in Colombia or harassing energy companies importing blood coal. I think you can appreciate this priority. We hope you do not need to exist another ten years!
From LMN member group The Gaia Foundation
Since mining emerged as a pressing concern for the communities and partners Gaia works alongside, LMN has been a constant and invaluable source of information and support.
In the last 5 years we have demonstrated together, sent letters, challenged industry love-ins in London and more. In every instance, LMN has played a pivotal role in the emergence and success of these actions in the heart of the world’s mining capital.
We know first hand that all this work is deeply appreciated by those we support on the frontlines of mining struggles. Having friends organising in ‘the belly of the beast’ is so incredibly valuable.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once famously remarked that those of us agitating for change should “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world”. “Indeed”, she says, “it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The world changes slowly and often imperceptibly, but by providing unwavering support and thoughtful solidarity to communities resisting mining, LMN is just such a group.
At a time of great injustices, characterised by unequal power, competition and greed, LMN embodies values of collaboration, solidarity and a sincere commitment to justice for people and planet.
LMN is an inspiration. Long may it continue!
From LMN member group ACTSA
Over the years, LMN has facilitated ACTSA’s attendance at the Anglo American AGM; Anglo American is a key target for our ‘Justice for Southern African Gold Mineworkers with Silicosis and Tuberculosis’ campaign. In the past, LMN has also supported ACTSA to bring over visitors from South Africa to further our campaign objectives. More broadly, LMN colleagues are a great source of information and advice. And I must say that the LMN crew are very friendly and helpful – it is a genuine pleasure to work with them.
From LMN member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign
LMN shows that the issues facing affected communities from across the world are shared issues and very similar, whether the community representatives LMN have invited to London are from Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia or anywhere else. It is beautiful that people can come together for big events facilitated by LMN and share in their stories and build bridges on an international scale.