Protest at Goldcorp’s AGM in Vancouver
On May 18th, a sunny Wednesday morning, supporters of peoples affected by Goldcorp’s mining operations in Latin America held a vibrant demonstration addressing Goldcorp’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), taking place at the heart of Vancouver’s business sector.
Demonstrators rallied outside the Pan Pacific Hotel, where the shareholders’ meeting took place. “We ask and demand that the shareholders of Goldcorp approve the resolution to voluntarily suspend mining operations in compliance with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ precautionary measures,” said Sarita Galvez, on behalf of the peoples of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine. “And [we ask] that the international community demand Guatemala, Canada, and Goldcorp respect and protect human rights, especially the rights to life, land, and self determination for indigenous peoples.”
To ensure the message was delivered loud and clear, over two-hundred demonstrators made their way inside the luxury hotel lead by a marching band, massive banners, Mr. Metalcorp, and chants of “We don’t want your dirty gold!” The atmosphere was truly vivacious.
Backed by demonstrators in the hotel lobby, a handful of activists gained access to the room of the AGM itself, where they were able to announce, “Goldcorp is not an ethical investment! Goldcorp is killing people!”
The demonstration then hit the streets for a march to deliver a letter to the local office of the Canadian Pension Plan, calling attention to public investments in Goldcorp.
Before delivering the letter, speakers lamented the investment of the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) into companies such as Goldcorp. “The long arm of our investment is causing death and destruction throughout the world,” said Steve Stewart into a megaphone. “What we would like to request of the CPP is simply, don’t use our money to destroy other peoples’ homes.”
Once the letter was delivered, the march continued back to the Pan Pacific Hotel to hear back from the Goldcorp AGM. The security presence was significantly greater upon return, with police and security blocking the main entrances to the hotel, while police on horseback looked on.
Despite his frustration at the shareholders meeting, Carlos Amador of Honduras said he was encouraged by the demonstration. “There has been a lot of solidarity shown here today, and we need to continue to build this understanding of the gravity of the situation in order to continue to be supportive of the struggle.”
The message of demonstrators on this beautiful Wednesday morning is clear: Canadian mining, at the expense of human and environmental rights, will not go unchallenged.
Michael Scott is an activist and blogger based in Castlegar.