Mining as fuel for war, is the title and main theme for this issue of The Broken Rifle. War Resisters' International works against war profiteering, supporting local nonviolent campaigns against these corporations. Most of the campaigns that we have worked together with are campaigns targeting well kno-wn war profiteers – the arms traders and service suppliers to the military. In this issue we want to take a next step and start to look closer to the con-nections that the mining industry has with the globalisation of militarism.
Aluminium's countless applications in modern civilian life tend to mask its numerous uses in weapons technology, which make it one of a handful of metals classed as “strategic” by the Pentagon, meaning that a top priority of the world's most powerful Governments is to ensure its constant supply at lowest possible cost.
"Mining-induced displacement ... was one of the most underreported causes of displacement in Africa, and one that was likely to increase, as mineral extraction remained a key economic driver in the whole region," was one of the conclusions of a official report by SADC, the Southern African Development Community, early 2006.
During the last weeks of November and during most of December of 2007 a state of emergency (militarization of the zone) was declared in the Province of Orellana in the Amazon region of Ecuador, due specifically to the actions of the inhabitants of the Dayuma settlement who have raise up in protest because of the situation of abandonment on the part of the Ecuadorian government.
This militarization and repression has lead to various arrests and unlawful entry into homes of the residents, violating their Human Rights, only because they demanded that their basic needs be met.
The Broken Rifle is the newsletter of War Resisters' International, and is published in English, Spanish, French and German. This is issue 77, February 2008. This issue of The Broken Rifle was produced by Javier Gárate. Special thanks go to Felix Padel, Jan Van Criekinge, Xavier Leon, Howard Clark and Andreas Speck. If you want extra copies of this issue of The Broken Rifle, please contact the WRI office, or download it from our website.
War Resisters' International,
5 Caledonian Road,
London N1 9DX, Britain
tel +44-20-7278 4040